Almost Black?

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Almost Black, the forthcoming story and book by “Jojo,” err, Vijay, an “Indian American who got into medical school pretending to be an African American” has the internet abuzz and many in a rage. After shaving his head and trimming his “long Indian eyelashes,” 17 years ago Vijay Chokal-Ingam, the “Indian-American frat boy” with a 3.1 GPA, transmuted into “Jojo,” the African American affirmative action (which he refers to as state sponsored racism) applicant to medical school.

“Why now?,” many have asked, to this Vijay responds that “…he’s revealing his race ruse now because he heard that UCLA is considering strengthening its affirmative-action admissions policies,” arguing that, “…it’s a myth that affirmative action benefits the underprivileged.” Also, and perhaps most pressing, he has begun promotion for a memoir he is working on, Almost Black, which chronicles his “social experiment.” To add humor to the explicitly politically problematic, Vijay pats himself on his own back by affirming the public benefit of him not becoming a doctor. Continue reading “Almost Black?”

Identifying Identity with Monica Miller

“Identifying Identity” offers a series of responses from members of Culture on the Edge to the following claim made by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg:

zuckerberg blurb

Zimmer’s critique of Zuckerberg’s disingenuous claim that somehow having more than one identity equates to a lack of integrity is spot on. In fact, Zuckerberg’s claim is laughable, for we analysts know all too well that identities are never singular nor static – rather – always fluid over time and space and most importantly perhaps, they are co-constitutive and contingent, never of their own complete making. This thinking, about identity and identities is well marked by the work we do here at The Edge insofar as we take seriously Bayart’s assertion that “there is no such thing as identity, only operational acts of identification.” With that in mind, and pushing further the constructed nature of and the tactics and strategies that make identities possible, the social actor does not have complete control over how their identities are made – and more so – how such identities are read and represented, especially as they are mediated technologically in and through online formats like social media. Continue reading “Identifying Identity with Monica Miller”

“New Books on the Edge” with K. Merinda Simmons

Simmons-Changing

New Books on the Edge” is an ongoing blog series, which engages forthcoming manuscripts by Edge collective members.

Changing the Subject: Writing Women Across the African Diaspora

From diaspora to class, gender, subjectivity, migration, labor and much more – take us behind the scenes of Changing the Subject — how it came to be, what sorts of questions are raised in this project, and what data is being engaged?

My disciplinary training is in literary theory, and I have long been puzzled by a tendencyI see working in that domain of scholarship. Namely, while so much of the field has been influenced by what many—myself included—see as important poststructuralist intellectual moves, I nonetheless keep coming across analyses by prominent scholars that focus on “authenticity” in one manner or other. This seems an especially noticeable phenomenon within scholarship on texts deemed marginalized—and, as my data set when I began the work that would ultimately become this book was comprised of narratives by women of various African diasporas, I decided to delve into how and why the emphasis on something called authenticity appears in the criticism surrounding these texts. Continue reading ““New Books on the Edge” with K. Merinda Simmons”

What’s a Language?

Picture 7The Edge’s Twitter account was the lucky recipient of this picture earlier this morning (though it wasn’t morning where it originated, was it; thanks @the_cotter-man) — making implicit reference to the recent workshop on “code switching” that four members of the Edge participated in at Lehigh University. Continue reading “What’s a Language?”

#edgeswitch Continues…

day2Day two of the Lehigh University workshop on code switching continues,
with members of Culture on the Edge participating.

wealldoitLive Tweets

#edgeswitch @idendefying

four.jpgDid you miss the live tweeting from yesterday’s code switching workshop
at Lehigh University, featuring four of Culture on the Edge‘s
members among the seven presenters?

Well, it’s not hard to find — @idendefying

liveAnd there’s a group discussion today from
10:00 am – 12:00 pm (U.S. eastern time),
which will be live tweeted too.

 

Start Spreadin’ the News…

edgeinnewyorkYes, there was a disturbance in the Force: three members of Culture on the Edge are in the Big Apple — or should we say New York City? — on the eve of the code switching workshop, where they’ll be joined by a fourth member of our group.

Learn more at Lehigh University
when the Edge comes to town
  this Monday and Tuesday

When Code Switching Goes Wrong

Picture 4As Craig Martin, from the Edge, asks: When does code switching go wrong?

Maybe in this case?

The caption at the original post reads:

I don’t understand Duke University. At a ceremony reading out the names of victims of genocide, this Blue Devil [i.e., their team mascot] got into the act. Maybe the strangest thing I’ve seen in a spell, it was, I’m sure, meant as an act of piety at this sports besotted university.

You’ll learn more about code switching at
Lehigh University when t
he Edge
comes to town in a few days.