Mixed Race Initiative


Four members of the great initiative team, clockwise from top left: Tyrone Nagai, Art Director; Melissa Poulsen, Project Coordinator; Emilio Eusebio, Student Intern-Editor; and Michele Troutman, Student Intern-Editor.

Thanks to political organizing, scholarship, and the arts, not to mention media coverage, mixed race has become hyper-visible. So what’s next? AALR’s special issue on mixed race, due out in Fall 2013, won’t simply be a reexamination of race or a survey of mixed voices, important as both are. We envision our role as that of provocateur–inspiring new conversations and cross-pollinations, pushing into new corners.

All contributions to the issue will be collaborative, “mixed” in nature, bringing together folks across racial and ethnic boundaries, across disciplines, genres, regions, and generations. We’ll be soliciting work from artists and writers, historians and activists, race scholars and filmmakers, teachers and students, among others. The idea is a network of original projects that not only map out multiracialism past and present but also break new ground.


The process of pulling the issue together is a project unto itself. Working with the University of Maryland Office of Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy (MICA) and the University of Maryland Multiracial and Biracial Student Association (MBSA), we’re running an editing, publishing, and experiential learning internship program. Student interns are involved in every step of issue creation and production, from conceptualization and reviewing proposals to layout design and community outreach–all while reflecting on mixed race representation, community, and scholarship in relation to their own racial identity development.


The final step of AALR’s mixed race initiative, conducted with the help of participating classrooms, is a Synchronous Teaching Program in the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 academic semesters. You teach the issue, and we’ll serve as a central hub to connect you to other classrooms. We’ll have in place a shared curriculum of potential resources, including activities, writing prompts, and questions, with reflections and editing “flashpoints” generated by our student interns for your students to consider; we’ll also coordinate various means of connection, including communal comment boards, live chat sessions, podcasts, and possible inter-classroom email and Skype exchanges. The goal is a global conversation that builds academic and civic community. If histories and conceptions of multiracialism vary drastically from region to region, this program is a way to engage those differences and make sense of them together, to open a dialogue amongst students and faculty across the U.S. and beyond that challenges and grows our understandings of race and mixed race.


To accommodate a wide variety of schedules and class needs, we’re making the commitment open-ended: we’ll have the program live for a full month, likely October 2013, with curricular materials and exchange possibilities available throughout, but your class can participate for anywhere from a week to the entire month.

And your classroom need not be a mixed race class per se–so far a variety of classrooms have signed on, from ethnic studies to American studies, from cultural psychology to rhetoric & writing, from race theory to Asian American literature. Our feeling is that mixed race touches every field, and the more approaches and fields that join the conversation the better. We’re happy to work with you to figure out how your particular subject or discipline intersects with mixed race, theoretically and logistically speaking.


So far 75 classrooms at 66 different universities and colleges in nine countries (the U.S., Hong Kong, Norway, Germany, Poland, the UK, Canada, Okinawa, and Argentina) have signed on to teach the special issue and take part in our synchronous teaching program, and we’re expecting many more. Such a broad, dynamic dialogue, between over a thousand students and faculty, offers a tremendous opportunity to create social and intellectual community and open new approaches to education and teaching race in particular.

We’re thrilled to say the following professors and instructors have pledged to participate:

Cathy Schlund-Vials, University of Connecticut – Michele Elam, Stanford University – Staci Ford, University of Hong Kong – Lan Dong, University of Illinois Springfield – Sue Kim, University of Massachusetts Lowell – Jennifer Ho, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill – Rosalind Edwards, University of Southampton – Asha Nadkarni, University of Massachusetts Amherst – Cindy Wu, University at Buffalo SUNY – Laura Kina, DePaul University – John Streamas, Washington State University – Catherine Fung, Bentley University – Nitasha Sharma, Northwestern University – Wei Ming Dariotis, San Francisco State University – Kimberly Chang, Hampshire College – Shilpa Davé, Brandeis University – Dominika Ferens, University of Wroclaw – Betsy Huang, Clark University – Huining Ouyang, Edgewood College – Rudy Guevarra, Arizona State University – Monica Chiu, University of New Hampshire – Vivian Halloran, Indiana University – Zelideth Rivas, Marshall University – Brett Coleman, University of Illinois at Chicago – Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly, University of California, Santa Barbara – Daniel McNeil, Newcastle University – Lane Hirabayashi, University of California, Los Angeles – María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, New York University – Tina Botts, University of North Carolina at Charlotte – SooJin Pate, Macalester College – Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, Stanford University – Pablo Mitchell, Oberlin College – LeiLani Nishime, University of Washington – Annmaria Shimabuku, University of California, Riverside – Carlton Floyd, University of San Diego – Evelyn Rodriguez, University of San Francisco – Heike Paul, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg – Sarah Park, St. Catherine University – Alberto Lopez Pulido, University of San Diego – Anna Kazumi Stahl, New York University Buenos Aires – Audrey Wu Clark, U.S. Naval Academy – Jennifer Hayashida, Hunter College CUNY – Deborah L. Kitchen-Døderlein, University of Oslo – Iyko Day, Mount Holyoke University – Greg Choy, University of California, Berkeley – Douglas Davidson and Donald Cooney, Western Michigan University – Nobuko Adachi, Illinois State University – Shirley Tate, University of Leeds – Anna Mae Duane, University of Connecticut – Carmen Birkle, Philipps-Universität Marburg – Shelleen Greene, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee – Heather Brown, Monmouth University – Sarita See, University of California, Davis – Abby Ferber, University of Colorado Colorado Springs – Aryn Dotterer, Purdue University – Karen Mary Davalos, Loyola Marymount University – Jonathan Anuik, University of Alberta – Ikue Kina, University of the Ryukyus – Lorraine Cox, Union College – Margaret Rhee, University of California, Berkeley – Naomi Noiri, University of the Ryukyus – Leila Christine Nadir, University of Rochester – Nola Butler-Byrd, San Diego State University – Alexander Cho, University of Texas at Austin – Evelyn Alsultany, University of Michigan – Lori Kido Lopez, University of Wisconsin-Madison – Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello, Salem State University – Zohra Saed, CUNY Graduate Center – Andrea Herrera, University of Colorado Colorado Springs – Farzana Nayani, Multiracial Americans of Southern California


The following are serving as advisors for the teaching program

Cathy J. Schlund-Vials (U of Connecticut) – Juliana Hu Pegues (Macalester College) – Sue J. Kim (U of Massachusetts Lowell) – Wei Ming Dariotis (San Francisco State U) – Laura Kina (DePaul U) – Steven F. Riley (mixedracestudies.org) – Rudy Guevarra (Arizona State U) – Betsy Huang (Clark U) – Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu (Stanford U) – Daniel McNeil (Newcastle U) – Michele Elam (Stanford U)


We’re proud to recognize the following official sponsors of the Mixed Race Initiative:

Association for Asian American Studies – MAVIN – University of Connecticut Asian American Studies Institute – Pacific Northwest Center for Mestizo and Indigenous Research and Outreach – University of California, Berkeley Ethnic Studies Department – Indiana University Asian American Studies Program – University of Maryland Asian American Studies Program – Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC) – The Department of American Studies, University of Maryland, Baltimore County – New York University Asian / Pacific / American Institute

If you’re interested in joining the teaching program, sponsoring or otherwise supporting the initiative, or learning more, please contact us at editors@aalr.binghamton.edu.

Download this info sheet as a PDF: AALR Mixed Race Initiative

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