Race, Genetics, Medicine and the Museum

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Teaching Resources on 2016-05-30 19:14Z by Steven

Race, Genetics, Medicine and the Museum

Museums & Social Issues: A Journal of Reflective Discourse
Volume 11, Issue 1, 2016
Special Issue: Special Issue: Museum, Health & Medicine
pages 53-62
DOI: 10.1080/15596893.2015.1131095

Monique Scott, Director of Museum Studies
Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Research Associate, Anthropology Department
American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York

The natural history museum has long been invested in educating the public about what it means to be human, including human identity, human ancestry and human diversity. With the recent scientific advances in human genomic research and the public fervor for individual genetic ancestry testing, the museum is now challenged both to keep pace with current scientific research and wrestle with popular scientific thinking that circulates outside the museum. This article considers several strategies that the American Museum of Natural History Museum has used to intervene in public perceptions of “race”, genetics and human health through critical interactive dialogue—the museum as a space for audiences of various ages to investigate and interrogate the science and politics of human identity that accompany this new genetic frontier.

Read or purchase the article here.

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‘A Change of Heart’: Racial Politics, Scientific Metaphor and Coverage of 1968 Interracial Heart Transplants in the African American Press

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-30 16:40Z by Steven

‘A Change of Heart’: Racial Politics, Scientific Metaphor and Coverage of 1968 Interracial Heart Transplants in the African American Press

Social History of Medicine
Published online: 2016-05-26
DOI: 10.1093/shm/hkw052

Maya Overby Koretzky
Johns Hopkins Institute for the History of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

This paper explores the African American response to an interracial heart transplant in 1968 through a close reading of the black newspaper press. This methodological approach provides a window into African American perceptions of physiological difference between the races, or lack thereof, as it pertained to both personal identity and race politics. Coverage of the first interracial heart transplant, which occurred in apartheid South Africa, was multifaceted. Newspapers lauded the transplant as evidence of physiological race equality while simultaneously mobilising the language of differing ‘black’ and ‘white’ hearts to critique racist politics through the metaphor of a ‘change of heart’. While interracial transplant created the opportunity for such political commentary, its material reality—potential exploitation of black bodies for white gain—was increasingly a cause for concern, especially after a contentious heart transplant from a black to a white man in May 1968 in the American South.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Inspired By — A Q&A With Actor-Writer-Producer Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni

Posted in Articles, Biography, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-30 15:22Z by Steven

Inspired By — A Q&A With Actor-Writer-Producer Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni

Goldstar Pulse

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni is creator and star of One Drop of Love, a solo show co-produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. She’s a spokesperson on the arts and racial identity, a board member of Mixed Roots Stories, and an honoree at next week’s Media Done Responsibly Awards for her commitment to diversity in Hollywood.

Tell us about what you do.

I’m the writer, producer and performer of a one-woman show (One Drop of Love) exploring the intersections of race, class and gender and how these affect our most intimate relationships. I’m an educator and have taught (and learned from) students from all over the world. I’m also an advocate for equity and inclusion at all levels of media content production.

And you haven’t run off to do something else because…

I’m named after a book, Fanshen by William Hinton, about a small village in China that used this word as their motto. ‘Fan Shen’ symbolizes the creation of a society in which everyone contributes and benefits equitably. So you could say my parents gave me a sense of responsibility from birth, and I happily do what I can to live up to my name personally and professionally…

Read the entire interview here.

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Casting Diverse Multigenerational Families

Posted in United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2016-05-30 00:27Z by Steven

Casting Diverse Multigenerational Families

ZAN Casting
195 Chrystie Street, #603B
New York, New York 10002

Leah Mara, Casting Associate (Telephone: 212.533.0502)

ZAN Casting, a casting agency in New York is working on a digital short for Tylenol, and looking for Modern Diverse Families to share their stories. #HowWeFamily.

Overall, we are looking for real 3 generation families, ideally 8-12 members, with a strong Patriarch (Grandfather) figure. The rest of the extended family should be diverse, representing a complete a cross section of todays uniquely blended society in 1 real family tree

Shoot Date: Wedesday, June 8 or Thurday June 6, 2016 (1 Day Shoot Ony)
Location: New York City + Surrounding area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania) (Within 1.5 hour range of city)

Compensation: $1,000 (USD) Per Individual (If Chosen)
Location Fee: $2,000 (USD) To be filmed in your home.

Usage: Intended use is 6 weeks digital + social media (buyout will be All rights/all media in perpetuity)

  • REAL MODERN FAMILIES — 3 generation family that represents a broad cross section of diversity, with an emphasis on visual differences and the unique characteristic of today’s melting pot i.e. Race, Interracial marriage, LBGT, special needs, military, religion, adoption, etc.. Open to all types!!
  • Potential Age Breakdown – Grandparents; Parents (siblings and their respective families); Grandkids.

SUBMISSIONS INSTRUCTIONS: Submit by Tuesday May 31st to: studio@zancasting.com

  1. Names, Ages, Location, Contact info (phone+email)
  2. Tell us about yourself, your family, interesting characteristics
  3. Family Photos (explain who everyone is)
  4. Send a video telling us a little about yourself and your family history, interesting relationships and connections

CASTING: Families can submit via email or come to our casting!
Casting Date: Friday 5/27, Saturday 5/28, or Tuesday 5/31
Casting Time: 10am – 5pm EDT
Casting Location: 195 Chrystie Street, 603B, New York, New York 10002
Contact to Schedule: studio@zancasting.com / 212.533.0502

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“You think you are the United Nations?” Tony sneered when Anna claimed ancestors from around the globe. “In America, you are black. Don’t go thinking other people see their relatives in you.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-05-29 23:57Z by Steven

E pluribus unum. Out of many, one. America’s boast brazenly embossed on its coins. But in New York a blind man can find his way across the city by his nose, by the odors of food rising from the streets and through open windows. His ears can take him anywhere across the five boroughs. Even when the language spoken is English, he can tell the difference in the accents. He knows he is either uptown or downtown, in African American Harlem or Spanish Harlem, in Caribbean Brooklyn or in East Asian Queens. He knows when he enters the WASP enclave, or the territories carved out by Europeans.

“You think you are the United Nations?” Tony sneered when Anna claimed ancestors from around the globe. “In America, you are black. Don’t go thinking other people see their relatives in you.”

Tony is African American. If other bloods run through his veins, he pretends not to know. His Africanness comes before his Americanness, he said to Anna. And it did not matter when Anna pointed out that except for the two who had been dragged onto slave ships from Africa, he and all his relatives, his parents and grandparents and great-grandparents going back for more than four hundred years, had all been born and raised in America.

Elizabeth Nunez, Anna In-Between, (New York: Akashic Books, 2009), 209.


New Orleans II: the Halloween Ghost Post

Posted in Articles, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-05-29 21:53Z by Steven

New Orleans II: the Halloween Ghost Post

The History Tourist

Susan Kalasunas

My first chance to encounter a ghost at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel in New Orleans came not long after check-in.

“Can we see the ballroom?” I asked the receptionist.

“Yes. We don’t have an event tonight, but the doors should be open. It’s right up those stairs.” That would be the grand one with the double staircase that swept up to the second floor.

The doors were unlocked but the only light in the room was from street lights peeking through large, heavily draped windows. We wandered in the dark. There’s a ghost associated with the ballroom: a woman who dances, alone, or who hides behind the curtains. I searched for the woman while Mr. History Tourist searched for the light switches. Mr. HT found the switches first and set the chandeliers alight.

This was once the Orleans Ballroom. Says the Bourbon Orleans website: “In 1817, entrepreneur John David…built the Orleans Ballroom: the oldest, most historic ballroom in New Orleans. When it opened, the ballroom became the setting for…the forever famous Quadroon Balls.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Staking Claim: Settler Colonialism and Racialization in Hawai’i

Posted in Books, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Oceania, United States on 2016-05-29 21:25Z by Steven

Staking Claim: Settler Colonialism and Racialization in Hawai’i

University of Arizona Press
232 pages
6.00 x 9.00
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8165-0251-6

Judy Rohrer, Director of the Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility (ICSR); Assistant Professor in Diversity and Community Studies
University of Western Kentucky, Bowling Green, Kentucky

Exploring how racialization is employed to further colonialism

In the heart of the Pacific Ocean, Hawai’i exists at a global crosscurrent of indigeneity and race, homeland and diaspora, nation and globalization, sovereignty and imperialism. In order to better understand how settler colonialism works and thus move decolonization efforts forward, Staking Claim analyzes competing claims of identity, belonging, and political status in Hawai’i.

Author Judy Rohrer brings together an analysis of racial formation and colonization in the islands through a study of legal cases, contemporary public discourse (local media and literature), and Hawai’i scholarship. Her analysis exposes how racialization works to obscure—with the ultimate goal of eliminating—native Hawaiian indigeneity, homeland, nation, and sovereignty.

Staking Claim argues that the dual settler colonial processes of racializing native Hawaiians (erasing their indigeneity), and indigenizing non-Hawaiians, enable the staking of non-Hawaiian claims to Hawai’i. It encourages us to think beyond a settler-native binary by analyzing the ways racializations of Hawaiians and various non-Hawaiian settlers and arrivants bolster settler colonial claims, structures, and white supremacist ideologies.

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The First Strange Place: The Alchemy of Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Oceania, United States on 2016-05-29 21:25Z by Steven

The First Strange Place: The Alchemy of Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii

Free Press an (imprint of Simon and Schuster)
272 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781476727523

Beth Bailey, Professor of History
Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

David Farber, Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of History
University of Kansas

Just as World War I introduced Americans to Europe, making an indelible impression on thousands of farmboys who were changed forever “after they saw Paree,” so World War II was the beginning of America’s encounter with the East – an encounter whose effects are still being felt and absorbed. No single place was more symbolic of this initial encounter than Hawaii, the target of the first unforgettable Japanese attack on American forces, and, as the forward base and staging area for all military operations in the Pacific, the “first strange place” for close to a million soldiers, sailors, and marines on their way to the horrors of war.

But as Beth Bailey and David Farber show in this evocative and timely book, Hawaii was also the first strange place on another kind of journey, toward the new American society that began to emerge in the postwar era. Unlike the largely rigid and static social order of prewar America, this was to be a highly mobile and volatile society of mixed racial and cultural influences, one above all in which women and minorities would increasingly demand and receive equal status. With consummate skill and sensitivity, Bailey and Farber show how these unprecedented changes were tested and explored in the highly charged environment of wartime Hawaii.

Most of the hundreds of thousands of men and women whom war brought to Hawaii were expecting a Hollywood image of “paradise.” What they found instead was vastly different: a complex crucible in which radically diverse elements – social, racial, sexual – were mingled and transmuted in the heat and strain of war. Drawing on the rich and largely untapped reservoir of documents, diaries, memoirs, and interviews with men and women who were there, the authors vividly recreate the dense, lush, atmosphere of wartime Hawaii – an atmosphere that combined the familiar and exotic in a mixture that prefigured the special strangeness of American society today.

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Tales of African-American History Found in DNA

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2016-05-29 21:06Z by Steven

Tales of African-American History Found in DNA

The New York Times

Carl Zimmer

The history of African-Americans has been shaped in part by two great journeys.

The first brought hundreds of thousands of Africans to the southern United States as slaves. The second, the Great Migration, began around 1910 and sent six million African-Americans from the South to New York, Chicago and other cities across the country.

In a study published on Friday, a team of geneticists sought evidence for this history in the DNA of living African-Americans. The findings, published in PLOS Genetics, provide a map of African-American genetic diversity, shedding light on both their history and their health.

Buried in DNA, the researchers found the marks of slavery’s cruelties, including further evidence that white slave owners routinely fathered children with women held as slaves.

And there are signs of the migration that led their descendants away from such oppression: Genetically related African-Americans are distributed closely along the routes they took to leave the South, the scientists discovered…

…The history of African-Americans poses special challenges for geneticists. During the slave trade, their ancestors were captured from genetically diverse populations across a portion of West Africa. Adding to the complexity is the fact that living African-Americans also may trace some of their ancestry to Europeans and Native Americans…

…Most of the Native American DNA identified by Dr. Gravel and his colleagues in African-Americans occurs now in tiny chunks. The scientists concluded that most of the mingling between Africans and Native Americans took place soon after the first slaves arrived in the American colonies in the early 1600s.

The European DNA in African-Americans, on the other hand, occurs in slightly longer chunks, indicating a more recent origin. Dr. Gravel and his colleagues estimate that its introduction dates to the decades before the Civil War

Read the entire article here.

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LA poets document the city in ‘Coiled Serpent’ anthology

Posted in Articles, Arts, Book/Video Reviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-29 20:18Z by Steven

LA poets document the city in ‘Coiled Serpent’ anthology

Los Angeles Daily News

Richard Guzman, Arts and Entertainment Reporter
Long Beach Press Telegram

As students take part in a guitar workshop inside his Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in Sylmar, Los Angeles Poet Laureate Luis Rodriguez grabs a copy of the latest book published by his nonprofit organization.

He walks outside to a small table and sets down his blue Winnie the Pooh coffee cup, exposing a faded forearm tattoo of a long-haired indigenous woman as he flips through the pages of “Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles.”

“I love the beauty of it. The poems really stand out, and I think it’s really reflective of the city. The city is beautiful in so many weird ways,” says the poet and novelist, who is perhaps best known for his memoir “Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.

Rodriguez, who was named poet laureate by Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2014, has long been an advocate for the city, its poetry and the power of words to change lives.

And the new book exemplifies those tenets with a collection of poems that capture the experiences, cultures and even the weirdness that intertwine — and at times collide — to create the fabric of the city.

The anthology includes the voices of more than 160 L.A. poets who are part of the sweeping 371-page tome…

Read the entire article here.

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