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Philosophy and the Mixed Race Experience

Edited by Tina Fernandes Botts - Contributions by Linda Martín Alcoff; Ronald Robles Sundstrom; Gabriella Beckles-Raymond; Marina A.L. Oshana; Jennifer Lisa Vest; Tina Fernandes Botts; Naomi Zack; J. L. A. Garcia; Celena Simpson; Timothy J. Golden and Jason D. Hill

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Philosophy and the Mixed Race Experience is a collection of essays by philosophers about the mixed race experience. Each essay is meant to represent one of three possible things: (1) what the philosopher sees as the philosopher’s best work, (2) evidence of the possible impact of the philosopher’s mixed race experience on the philosopher’s work, or (3) the philosopher’s philosophical take on the mixed race experience. The book has two primary goals: (1) to collect together for the first time the work of professional, academic philosophers who have had the mixed race experience, and (2) to bring these essays together for the purpose of adding to the conversation on the question of the degree to which factical identity and philosophical work may be related. The book also examines the possible relationship between the mixed race experience and certain philosophical positions. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 334Size: 6 3/8 x 9 1/4
978-1-4985-0942-8 • Hardback • January 2016 • $100.00 • (£70.00)
978-1-4985-0944-2 • Paperback • July 2017 • $49.99 • (£32.95)
978-1-4985-0943-5 • eBook • January 2016 • $46.99 • (£65.00)
Tina Fernandes Botts is visiting assistant professor of philosophy at Oberlin College and postdoctoral fellow in the Consortium for Faculty Diversity in Liberal Arts Colleges.
Foreword, by Linda Martín Alcoff

Editor’s Introduction: Toward a Mixed Race Theory, by Tina Fernandes Botts

Part 1: Mixed Race Political Theory

Chapter 1: Responsible Multiracial Politics, with a new postscript, by Ronald Robles Sundstrom

Chapter 2: Mixed Race Identity in Britain: Finding Our Roots in the Post Racial Era, by Gabriella Beckles-Raymond

Part 2: Mixed Race Metaphilosophy

Chapter 3: Through the Looking Glass: What Philosophy Looks Like from the Inside When You’re Not Quite There, by Marina Oshana

Chapter 4: Being and Not Being, Knowing and Not Knowing, by Jennifer Lisa Vest

Chapter 5: A Mixed Race (Philosophical) Experience, by Tina Fernandes Botts

Part 3: Mixed Race Ontology

Chapter 6: The Fluid Symbol of Mixed Race, by Naomi Zack

Chapter 7: On Being Mixed, by Linda Martín Alcoff

Chapter 8: Race and Ethnic Identity, by J.L.A. Garcia

Part 4: Mixed Race and Major Figures

Chapter 9: Through a Glass, Darkly: A Mixed-Race Du Bois, by Celena Simpson

Chapter 10: German Chocolate: Why Philosophy is So Personal, by Timothy J. Golden

Part 5: Mixed Race Ethics

Chapter 11: Who is Afraid of Racial and Ethnic Self-Cleansing? In Defense of the Virtuous Cosmopolitan, by Jason D. Hill

Afterword, by Naomi Zack

Epilogue, by Tina Fernandes Botts
In these essays, mixed-race philosophers address the impact of this phenomenological experience on their philosophical workanalyzing, critiquing, and reflecting on the mixed-race experience as viewed personally, historically, socially, politically, and philosophically. Rich insights into the nature of the 'lived experience' of being a 'mixed person' are on display, as are various troubling questions raised by the very existence of mixed-race persons. Is social categorization contradictory, and does it cause self-alienation by demanding monoracial identification of persons who have multiple experiences and multiple social and self ascriptions? Is race a matter of lineage, appearance, or culture? Who decides on race and for what purpose? Do mixed-race persons cause discomfort, threatening both the borders of white identity and black emancipatory projects and indigenous sovereignty? Do mixed-race persons symbolize traumatic conquest and the slavery experience? Is mixed-race experience a way to engage in interracial repair and open up different ways of knowing and being? Is it the way to a new universal humanism or virtue cosmopolitanism? This is a valuable and challenging resource. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above.
CHOICE


The collection adds to our awareness of the diversity of women's lives because it emphasizes the importance of the lived experience of its mixed race authors. By focusing on some of the manifestations of racism in the lives of mixed race people, the book expands our understanding of intersectional racial oppression. Finally, the collection also offers a robust exploration of the possibilities of a more just future.
Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy


Few North American philosophers and an even smaller proportion of North Americans in general have thought deeply about the way society labels some people as 'mixed race.' This volume includes some of the seminal essays that established the issue as a genuinely philosophical topic and is supplemented by new essays where the contributors draw on their personal experience to illuminate it further. Tina Botts' collection brings the topic fully alive and makes it impossible to ignore.
Robert Bernasconi, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies, Pennsylvania State University


This is an exciting and very important new anthology. The essays gathered here are rigorous and provocative efforts to philosophize about and from mixed-race experience. Bringing together a variety of outstanding thinkers, this collection offers a diversity of approaches to a woefully under-explored theme. It is a timely and sophisticated intervention into a challenging set of questions and issues. Those interested in issues of race and racism broadly, but especially those interested in mixed-race identities and discourses, will find this text indispensable.
Michael Monahan, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Marquette University


Tempted (if light enough) to pass as white, pressured (if their ancestry is known) to identify as black or brown or red, rejected (all too often) as neither, while denied (perversely) the right to claim both or all or no racial identities, mixed race people find themselves in multiple binds that destabilize conventional understandings of the relation between the individual and society. Tina Botts’s path-breaking collection gives eleven mixed race philosophers the chance to speak their minds—and they do just that, with painful and illuminating candor, humor, a defiant determination not to have others tell them who and what they are, and an insistence that their distinct perspective on reality raises deep meta-philosophical questions about the protocols of the discipline. This book should be welcomed not only by the growing number of Americans who claim mixed race identity, but by anyone too smugly certain about their own supposedly contrasting “unmixed” racial identity (which means almost everyone).
Charles Mills, John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy, Northwestern University


This collection of profoundly rich original essays by prominent and emerging philosophers weaves together their distinctive voices to expand the boundaries of ontology, political theory, and critical race philosophy. Anyone puzzled or frustrated by official and social uses of racial categories needs to read and engage this volume.
Anita L. Allen, University of Pennsylvania


This important collection is courageous, challenging, and long overdue. Professor Fernandes Botts has assembled a stellar list of contributors, and has worked with them to produce that rarity in professional philosophy: a set of reflections that is both philosophically ambitious and deeply personal. The mixed race theory it begins to enact is a valuable resource for philosophical race theorists. And the way it enacts this theory – by embracing rather than evading the living messiness of the issues in play – is an excellent model for philosophers in any area.
Paul C. Taylor, Pennsylvania State University


Philosophy and the Mixed Race Experience is the leading philosophical text on the philosophy of mixed race. Sensitive to the relations between the social position and personal experiences of thinkers and the insights they can bring to philosophy, this collection highlights the perspectives of mixed race philosophers. In this volume, Tina Botts and contributors show how mixed race experiences are important not only for the philosophy of race and moral and political philosophy, but for the practice of philosophy overall.
Elizabeth Anderson, John Dewey Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies, University of Michigan Ann Arbor


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