National borders and transnational forces have been central in defining the meaning of race in the Americas. Race and Transnationalism in the Americas examines the ways that race and its categorization have functioned as organizing frameworks for cultural, political, and social inclusion—and exclusion—in the Americas. Because racial categories are invariably generated through reference to the “other,” the national community has been a point of departure for understanding race as a concept. Yet this book argues that transnational forces have fundamentally shaped visions of racial difference and ideas of race and national belonging throughout the Americas, from the late nineteenth century to the present. Examining immigration exclusion, indigenous efforts toward decolonization, government efforts to colonize, sport, drugs, music, populism, and film, the authors examine the power and limits of the transnational flow of ideas, people, and capital. Spanning North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, the volume seeks to engage in broad debates about race, citizenship, and national belonging in the Americas.
Taken together the essays in this volume bring us beyond our customary discussions involving populations of Iberian, indigenous, and African descent and those peoples who are categorized by the broad and elusive term mestizo. These traditional categories are, of course, discussed in this volume, but Race and Transnationalism in the Americas brings the story of other groups—East Asians, South Asians, Arabs, and others of Middle Eastern origin—often not included in the discussion of the racial and ethnic mosaic that is the lived reality for many of the peoples of Latin America. The essays selected by Bryce and Sheinin also expand our understanding of race and ethnicity in the region by looking at the groups that have traditionally been discussed from new angles.
Race and Transnationalism in the Americas reminds readers that all social, cultural, and political phenomena are simultaneously national and transnational. By treating local and global as two sides of the same coin, the chapters analyze individuals, groups and institutions that traverse, and are constrained, by many types of borders. In the midst of our troubled times, this volume reminds us that the relationship between race and (trans) nation is always evolving.
In this important volume, Bryce and Sheinin have assembled an impressive body of scholarship offering new understandings of race, nation, and the transnational flows of people, ideas, and capital. The breadth of this collection and the new approaches taken by many of the authors make Race and Transnationalism a must-read.