Racial Formation in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Daniel Martinez HoSang, Oneka LaBennett, and Laura Pulido (University of California Press, 2012)
Michael Omi and Howard Winant’s Racial Formation in the United States remains one of the most influential and widely read books about race. Racial Formation in the Twenty-First Century, arriving 25 years after the publication of Omi and Winant’s influential work, brings together 14 essays by leading scholars in law, history, sociology, ethnic studies, literature, anthropology and gender studies to consider the past, present and future of racial formation.
The contributors explore far-reaching concerns: slavery and land ownership; labor and social movements; torture and war; sexuality and gender formation; indigineity and colonialism; genetics and the body. From the ecclesiastical courts of 17th-century Lima to the cell blocks of Abu Grahib, the essays draw from Omi and Winant’s influential theory of racial formation and adapt it to the various criticisms, challenges, and changes of life in the 21st century.
“This collection of essays marking the 25th anniversary of the publication of Michael Omi and Howard Winant’s Racial Formation in the United States demonstrates the importance and influence of the concept of racial formation. The range of disciplines, discourses, ideas, and ideologies makes for fascinating reading, demonstrating the utility and applicability of racial formation theory to diverse contexts, while at the same time presenting persuasively original extensions and elaborations of it. This is an important book, one that sums up, analyzes, and builds on some of the most important work in racial studies during the past three decades.”—George Lipsitz, author of How Racism Takes Place
“Racial Formation in the Twenty-First Century is truly a state-of-the-field anthology, fully worthy of the classic volume it honors—timely, committed, sophisticated, accessible, engaging. The collection will be a boon to anyone wishing to understand the workings of race in the contemporary United States.” —Matthew Frye Jacobson, Professor of American Studies, Yale University
“This stimulating and lively collection demonstrates the wide-ranging influence and generative power of Omi and Winant’s racial formation framework. The contributors are leading scholars in fields ranging from the humanities and social sciences to legal and policy studies. They extend the framework into new terrain, including non-U.S. settings, gender and sexual relations, and the contemporary warfare state. While acknowledging the pathbreaking nature of Omi and Winant’s intervention, the contributors do not hesitate to critique what they see as limitations and omissions. This is a must-read for anyone striving to make sense of tensions and contradictions in racial politics in the U.S. and transnationally.”—Evelyn Nakano Glenn, editor of Shades of Difference: Why Skin Color Matters
Daniel Martinez HoSang and Oneka LaBennett
Part I. Racial Formation Theory Revisited
1. Gendering Racial Formation
2. On the Specificities of Racial Formation: Gender and Sexuality in the Historiographies of Race
Roderick A. Ferguson
3. The Transitivity of Race and the Challenge of the Imagination
James Kyung-Jin Lee
4. Indigeneity, Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy
Part II. Racial Projects and Histories of Racialization
5. The Importance of Being Asian: Growers, the United Farm Workers, and the Rise of Colorblindness
6. The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Black): Legal and Cultural Constructions of Race and Nation in Colonial Latin America
Michelle A. McKinley
7. Race, Racialization, and Latino Populations in the United States
8. Kill the Messengers: Can We Achieve Racial Justice without Mentioning Race?
9. The New Racial Preferences: Rethinking Racial Projects
Devon W. Carbado and Cheryl I. Harris
Part III. War and the Racial State
10. “We didn’t kill ’em, we didn’t cut their head off”: Abu Ghraib Revisited
Sherene H. Razack
11. The “War on Terror” as Racial Crisis: Homeland Security, Obama, and Racial (Trans)Formations
Nicholas De Genova
12. Racial Formation in an Age of Permanent War
Conclusion. Racial Formation Rules: Continuity, Instability, and Change
Michael Omi and Howard Winant
Daniel Martinez HoSang is Associate Professor of Political Science and Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon. His first book, Racial Propositions: Ballot Initiatives and the Making of Postwar California (UC Press), won the James A. Rawley Prize of the Organization of American Historians.
Oneka LaBennett is Associate Professor of African and African American Studies and Director of the American Studies Program at Fordham University. She is the author of She’s Mad Real: Popular Culture and West Indian Girls in Brooklyn.
Laura Pulido is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Among her books is Black, Brown, Yellow, and Left: Radical Activism in Los Angeles and A People’s Guide to Los Angeles (UC Press).
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