Book Talk: Imagining the Mulatta with Dr. Jasmine Mitchell, 1/21/21
Let’s start off the new year with a discussion on anti-blackness in terms of mixed-race/multiraciality. Join us January 21, 2021 at 9:30AM EST online when Dr. Jasmine Mitchell will discuss her recently released book, Imagining the Mulatta: Blackness in U.S. and Brazilian Media. She will begin with an overview of the book, then there will be a conversational interview with a CMRS board member, followed by live Q&A with the audience.
Brazil markets itself as a racially mixed utopia. The United States prefers the term melting pot. Both nations have long used the image of the mulatta to push skewed cultural narratives. Highlighting the prevalence of mixed-race women of African and European descent, the two countries claim to have perfected racial representation—all the while ignoring the racialization, hypersexualization, and white supremacy that the mulatta narrative creates.
Jasmine Mitchell investigates the development and exploitation of the mulatta figure in Brazilian and U.S. popular culture. Drawing on a wide range of case studies, she analyzes policy debates and reveals the use of mixed-black female celebrities as subjects of racial and gendered discussions. Mitchell also unveils the ways the media moralizes about the mulatta figure and uses her as an example of an “acceptable” version of blackness that at once dreams of erasing undesirable blackness while maintaining the qualities that serve as outlets for interracial desire.
Dr. Jasmine Mitchell is Associate Professor of American Studies and Media Studies at the State University of New York-Old Westbury. Her scholarly specialties include mixed-race and gender representation in popular culture, connections between African-Americans and Afro-Brazilians, Black feminisms, and race and sports.