Fall 2011 Graduate Seminar, ANG  6452-8114


Course description

This course combines the approaches and concerns of intellectual history, the sociology (and/or anthropology) of knowledge, historical anthropology, and ethnography in probing the manner in which sociocultural anthropologists and kindred social scientists interrogate, make analytical sense of, and theorize the meanings, discourses, relations, social locations, practices, and subjectivities that  constitute race and racism as interrelated domains of social stratification and power.  The seminar only samples the rapidly burgeoning literature on diverse and highly contested modalities of racialization that have been (re)configured across time and space, largely, since the era of European colonial expansion.  Course contents are designed to expose students to race relations in diverse parts of the world through a cross-section of world anthropological perspectives.  Toward this objective, the seminar seeks, in a modest way, to shed some light on contributions made from sites situated outside and beyond the centers of North Atlantic/Western epistemic dominance.  The aim is to decenter the scholarship emerging from the latter by repositioning it within a more horizontally arranged ecology of knowledges that includes varieties of intellectual production historically rendered marginal to “the canon.”

Readings–required books

Paulina Alberto, 2011. Terms of Inclusion: Black Intellectuals in 20th Century Brazil. University of North Carolina Press.

Lee D. Baker, 2010.  Anthropology and the Racial Politics of Culture. Duke University Press.

Jane H. Hill, 2008.  The Everyday Language of White Racism. Wiley-Blackwell.

Brian Klopotek, 2011.  Recognition Odyssey: Indigeneity, Race, and Federal Tribal Recognition Policy in Three Louisiana Indian Communities.  Duke University Press.

Peter Wade, 2010.  Race and Ethnicity in Latin America. Second edition. Pluto Press.

Zine Magubane, 2003.  Bringing the Empire Home:  Race, Class, and Gender in Britain and Colonial South Africa. University of Chicago Press.

Ann Stoler, 2010.  Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule. Second edition.  University of California Press.

Other Relevant Texts

Mohamed Adhikari, 2005. Not White Enough, Not Black Enough: Racial Identity in the South African Coloured Community. Ohio University Press.

Mohamed Adhikari, ed. 2009. Burdened by Race: Coloured Identities in Southern Africa. University of Cape Town Press.

Ira Bashkow, 2006.  The Meaning of Whitemen: Race & Modernity in the Orokaiva Culturel World. University of Chicago Press.

Kamari Maxine Clarke and Deborah A. Thomas, eds. 2006.  Globalization & Race: Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness.  Duke University Press.

Faye V. Harrison, ed. 2005. Resisting Racism & Xenophobia: Global Perspectives on Race, Gender & Human Rights.  AltaMira Press.

Bernard Magubane,  1979.  The Political Economy of Race & Class in South Africa.  Monthly Review Press.

Bernd Reiter & Gladys L. Mitchell, eds. 2010.  Brazil’s New Racial Politics. Lynne Riener Publishers.

Audrey Smedley, 2011 [1999].  Race in North America: Origins & Evolution of a Worldview. Second edition. Westview Press.

Yasuko Takezawa, ed. 2011. Racial Representations in Asia. Kyoto University Press.

Joao H. Costa Vargas, 2008.  Never Meant to Survive: Genocide & Utopias in Black Diaspora Communities.  Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Peter Wade, 2009. Race & Sex in Latin America.  Pluto Press.

Jonathan W. Warren, 2001.  Racial Revolutions: Antiracism & Indian Insurgence in Brazil.  Duke University Press.

Plus, there are many more anthropologists doing important work in this area, among them: John Jackson, John Hartigan, Kyeyoung Park, Circe Sturm, Mary Weismantel, Marisol de la Cadena, etc.


Participation—25% (or 25 points; weekly discussion questions & rotation of responsibility for facilitating discussion, etc. )

Five short essays—50% (critical reflections on readings; 1000 words, double-spaced)

Proposal for final essay–0% (but required for approval)

Final review essay—25% (on a topic informed by selected course readings along with additional scholarly literature, films, and online sources; 2500 words)

Grading/Point Scale

A=95-100 points, A- =90-94, B+ = 87-89, B=83-86, B- =80-82, C+ = 77-79, C=73-76

Extensions on Assignments

Students will be allowed extensions on writing assignments ONLY if there are serious extenuating circumstances that can be documented (e.g., illnesses, deaths in family, or
religious observances).

Academic Honesty

An honor code is observed in all academic work at the University.  Every student must operate according to an implied pledge that “any work submitted for credit the student has neither received nor given unauthorized aid.”  In other words, cheating and plagiarism are breaches of academic honesty subject to disciplinary action, which may include a failing grade for the course. For further details, consult the honor code website:

Accommodations to Students with Disabilities

Students needing classroom accommodation should register with the Dean of Students Office, where the necessary documentation will be issued. Students must submit their documentation to the professor when requesting accommodation.


Schedule of meetings, readings, & writing assignments

08.22        [Dis]orientation:  introductory queries on why race matters

08.29        [Re]orientation:  general overview on race and racism

Race and Anthropology  (Harrison 2008)

AAA Statement on Race

AAA Public Initiative: Race: Are We So Different?

The Persistent Power of “Race” (Harrison 1995)

Expanding the Discourse on Race (Harrison 1998)

Interrogating Racism (Mullings 2005)


09.12  The history of “culture” and “race” in U.S. anthropology  [1st short essay due]

Lee D. Baker, 2010. Anthropology & the Racial Politics of Culture

09.19   The cultural politics of U.S. indigenous or Native American identities

Brian Klopotek, 2011.  Recognition Odysseys: Indigeneity, Race, & Federal Tribal Recognition Policy in Three Louisiana Indian Communities

09.26  Whiteness & white racism  [2nd short essay due]

Jane H. Hill, 2008.  The Everyday Language of White Racism

    Kristin Loftsdottir , 2009. Invisible Colour: Landscapes of Whiteness & Racial Identity                                 in International Development. Anthropology Today 25(5):4-7.

10.03  Race, ethnicity & sex in Latin American structures of alterity [proposal due]

Peter Wade, 2010 [1997]. Race and Ethnicity in Latin America. Second edition.

Peter Wade, 2009. Race & Sex in Latin America [Chps1&2]

10.10   Debating race in Brazil: a perspective from intellectual history [3rd short essay]

Paulina L. Alberto, 2011.  Terms of Inclusion: Black Intellectuals in Twentieth-Century Brazil

10.17  Racial politics in contemporary Latin America

Marisol de La Cadena, 2000.  Indigenous Mestizos, De-Indianization, and Discrimination: Cultural Racism in Cuzco. In Indigenous Mestizos: The Politics of Race and Culture in Cuzco, Peru, 1919-1991.

Joao Costa Vargas, 2004. Hyperconsciousness of Race and Its Negation: The Dialectic of White Supremacy in Brazil. Identities 11:443-70.

Charles R. Hale, 2006. Racial Ambivalence in Transnational Perspective. In Mas Que un Indio: Racial Ambivalence and Neoliberal Multiculturalism in Guatemala.

Angela Figueiredo, 2010. Out of Place: The Experience [of the Black Middle Class. In Brazil’s New Racial Politics. Bernd Reiter & Gladys Mitchell, eds.

Keisha-Khan Perry, 2010.  Racialized History and Urban Politics: Black Women’s Wisdom in Grassroots Struggles. In Brazil’s New Racial Politics.

Sales Augusto dos Santos, 2010.  Black NGOs and “Conscious” Rap: New Agents of the Antiracism Struggle in Brazil.  In Brazil’s New Racial Politics.  

10.24   Blackness and other racial constructs in South Africa and its colonial metropolis [4th short essay due]

Bernard Magubane, 1979. The Political Economy of Race & Class in South Africa [selected chapter(s);  Introduction and Ch8]

Zine Magubane, 2004.  Bringing the Empire Home: Race, Class, and Gender in Britain and Colonial South Africa.

Michele Ruiters, 2009.  Collaboration, Assimilation and Contestation: Emerging Constructions of Coloured Identity in Post-Apartheid South Africa.  In Burdened by Race: Coloured Identities in Southern Africa. Mohamed Adhikari, ed.

10.31   Historical anthropology of race and the regulation of gender, sex, & intimacy in the colonial East Indies

Ann Laura Stoler, 2010 [2002].  Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule. Second edition.

11.07   Race and racial representations in South and East Asia   [5th short essay due]

Subhadra Mitra Channa, 2005.  Metaphors of Race & Caste-Based Discrimination against Dalits & Dalit Women in India.  In Resisting Racism & Xenophobia: Global Perspectives on Race, Gender & Human Rights.  FV Harrison, ed.

Yasuko Takezawa (1),  2011.  Toward a New Approach to Race and Racial Representation: Perspectes from Asia.  In Racial Representations in Asia. Yasuko Takezawa, ed.

—–2011. New Arts, New Resistance: Asian American Artists in the “post-race” Era.  In Racial Representations in Asia.

Marvin D. Sterling, 2011. Toward an Analysis of Global Blackness: Race, Representation, and Jamaican Popular Culture in Japan.  In Racial Representations in Asia.

11.14   Race, Racism & Human Rights

Faye V. Harrison, 2000.  Facing Racism & the Responsibility of Human Rights Knowledge.  Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 925:45-69.

—-2002. Global Apartheid, Foreign Policy & Human Rights.  Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture & Society 4(3):48-68.

 —- 2008.  Politics of Antiracism & Social JusticeNorth American Dialogue 12(1):7-17.

11.21  Students’ presentations on research for final paper

11.28  Students’ presentations

12.05  Last meeting; students’ research presentations

12.16   Final exam designated for 10 am – noon. If necessary, student presentations will be scheduled during this time.  Final papers due by noon.

Happy Winter Holidays!

8 Responses to “Antiracism”
  1. Wohh exactly what I was looking for, regards for putting up.

  2. Some genuinely fantastic articles on this site, thanks for contribution.

  3. Gary Mccrory says:

    My spouse and i still can not quite feel that I could end up being one of those studying the important ideas found on your web site. My family and I are sincerely thankful on your generosity and for giving me the opportunity to pursue the chosen profession path. Thank you for the important information I acquired from your website.

    • You’re welcome Gary. Glad you and your wife are interested in this information. It was my hope that others beyond those enrolled in the class would be interested. I don’t believe that the walls of the academy should restrict the flow of socially relevant, or even not socially relevant, knowledge.

  4. Paulina Alberto says:

    Dear Prof. Harrison,

    I am honored that you chose to include my book in your class! (The syllabus looks wonderful). I hope the students found it useful.

    Paulina Alberto
    U. of Michigan

    • Dear Professor Alberto,

      What a pleasant surprise! My students and I truly learned a great deal from your book. Unlike so much of the literature on Brazil that we read here in the U.S. (and I suspect even in Brazil), Afro-Brazilian social and political thought is conspiculously absent from the discourse. So when I came across your book, I immediately ordered it and was determined to have my students read it as well. I will continue to reference and consult the rich, multivocal intellectual history you document and analyze for many years to come. Part of my scholarship addresses the intellectual history of Africans and Afro-descendants in anthropology, so I am really excited about your work.

      I really appreciate your message.

      All the best in the new year,


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