Showing posts from February 28, 2021

Blogbook -- Chapter 1: The Conditions for the Concept of Race

Entry 5 (Wed, 03 Mar 2021) Since I’m discussing ELA and college writing or language classrooms, and race is in large part constructed by language or words, then we should be specific about the history and etymology of the word “race.” In fact, knowing about the history and development of the word “race” can provide insight into why it has the associations and power it does today.  Western traditions have not always had the term “race” in their lexicon. In fact, the word wasn’t used in the way we use it today until around the later part of the seventeenth century CE.  Furthermore, “race” appears to have entered Western European languages, such as Spanish, Italian, French, English, and Goidelic (or Gaelic) languages between about 1200 to 1500 CE.  Statue of William Dunbar In his extensive study of the concept of race in Western history, Ivan Hannaford explains: “In most Western languages its [race’s] earliest meanings related to the swift course or current of a river or a trial by speed.

Blogbook -- Chapter 1: Race As An Organizing Principle

Entry 4 (Mon, 01 Mar 2021) Race organizes how we understand people, their languaging, and our histories. Take for instance any travel book or travel show, which if done right should arguably be what we might call “multicultural,” a show that values a multitude of cultures, places, people, and languages. That is, traveling around the world to learn about different people, places, cultures, and foods seems like a project that values and respects a wide array of people and places.  But how is such traveling, places, people, and languages organized for consumption by a viewing audience? And I use that term, “consumption,” consciously since our society mostly produces things for consumption only, even education. Who is that audience imagined to be? What are their dispositions toward things? How might such a show or book be a racial project, one that does race making, or even produces racist outcomes?  At its face, a show like the late Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown would not be Eurocentr