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Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies

Schedule

November 12-14, 2014

How Do I Look?: Race, Beauty, and Desire



Wednesday, November 12

Keynote Event

7 pm, Templeton Campus Center, Council Chamber
Blackness and Beauty: Style, Hair Politics, and Colorism
Moderator: Kim Cameron-Dominguez, L&C Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Dr. Yaba Blay, scholar of global skin color politics
Michaela Angela Davis, image activist, writer, fashion editor
Patrice Grell Yursik
, aka Afrobella, award-winning blogger

Introduced by Nima Mohamed, L&C ’15, and Tyler Wayne Patterson, L&C ’16, symposium co-chairs

Panel description:  Mainstream beauty ideals have generally elevated physical attributes associated with whiteness, whether in terms of skin color, hair texture, or body shape. As a result, women who identify as or are perceived as black are rarely utilized by mainstream media to represent the attributes associated with normative whiteness. What constitutes blackness and whiteness and what is considered beautiful are dependent on time, place, history, and context. In the United States and elsewhere around the world, particularly in places with legacies of race-based systems of slavery or colonialism, blackness and beauty have often been constructed as mutually exclusive. These ideals have not been accepted uncritically, and black people have created empowering modes of personal expression in response. Perhaps the most famous resistance to these beauty standards has been the slogan “Black is Beautiful!”  Tonight’s dynamic line-up of panelists will explore the nuances of skin colorism, ideas of black style and fashion

 

Thursday, November 13

Panel Discussion—RESCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY
11:30 am-1:00 pm, Smith Hall, Albany Quadrangle
Close to Home: Student Research in Ethnic Studies
Join us for an interdisciplinary discussion with students who will share original research projects addressing issues of race and ethnicity as they pertain to space, place, and the body.  
Bring your lunch.  Coffee and cookies will be provided.
Moderator: Erin Banks, L&C ’16
Carter Gee-Taylor, L&C ’15, History, “The Survey of Race Relations: Absence, Power, and the Silencing of Racism in the Pacific Northwest”
Isabel Ball, L&C ’15, Psychology, “Child-Rearing Practices Among the Maya in Guatemala”
Hannah Manetta, L&C ’15, International Affairs, “Color, Class, and Criminalization of Procreation”
Robin Zeller, L&C ’15, Environmental Studies, “The Causes and Consequences of Differing Perceptions of Sacred Space in Pharping, Nepal”
Julia Duerst, L&C ’15, History, “The Cabrini-Green Homes: The Imagination and Experience of Public Housing in Post-Civil Rights Era Chicago”


Panel Discussion
1:45-3:15, Stamm Dining Room, Templeton Campus Center
Not My Type: Race and Desire

Panel description: It is not always easy to explain what we find attractive or desirable in other people, but many people are quite comfortable classifying their “type” as individuals who are identified with a particular racial or ethnic category.  How do racial ideologies inform our sensibilities about sexual attractiveness and desirability or unattractiveness and undesirability?   Likewise, how do our experiences and expressions of desire for others reinforce those racial ideologies?  How does racism affect interpersonal relationships involving desire and attraction?  The panelists assembled at this session will draw upon their personal experiences and academic knowledge in discussing the complex interplay of racial ideology and feelings of desire and desirability.

Moderator: Jessika Chi, program manager, L&C Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement
Angela Buck, L&C area director, Campus Living
Naiomi Cameron, L&C associate professor of mathematics
Se-ah-dom Edmo, coordinator, L&C Indigenous Ways of Knowing program
Danni Green, L&C ’16 and symposium co-chair
Khalil Johnson, L&C Mellon post-doctoral fellow in history
Samantha Taylor, queer students of color resources and retention coordinator, Queer Resource Center, Portland State University


Panel Discussion
3:30-5:00 pm, Stamm Dining Room, Templeton Campus Center
Dressing the Part: Fashion and Beauty Culture

Panel description
:  Between Air France firing a black flight attendant for having dreads, and Australian parliament banning burqas from public viewing galleries, personal choices of fashion are politicized.  How people are perceived by others has much to do with how they stylize their bodies. Clothing can reflect one’s own culture or the appreciation of another culture.  When does appreciation become appropriation or a way of stealing designs in the name of expressive fashion?  How does fashion define and shape political discourse?  How does fashion express identity, or how do aesthetic choices cause people to perceive others?  This panel will explore these questions from multiple eras, cultures, and facets of style.

Moderator: Rishona Zimring, L&C professor of English
Elizabeth Sheehan, assistant professor of English, Oregon State University, “Black Internationalism and Beauty Culture: Early Twentieth Century Intersections”
Katherine Quaid, L&C ’14, “Beyond Feathers and Fringe: A Case Study of Native Fashion”
Kim Cameron-Dominguez, L&C visiting assistant professor of anthropology, “Which foundation is mine?: Reflections on my search for make-up, blackness, and belonging during fieldwork in Latin America”
Amirah Fattom, Portland State University student, fashion blogger, “Independence, Self-love, and Fashion”

 
Keynote Event

7 pm, Templeton Campus Center, Council Chamber
Securing Beauty
Mimi Thi Nguyen, Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Introduced by Julia Withers, L&C ’16
Welcoming remarks by Danni Green, L&C ’16 and symposium co-chair

Presentation abstract:  Politics are often encoded as encounters with the beautiful and the ugly, by which conditions for being in the world manifest to us as seen and sensed. But we can say also that beauty (and of course ugliness) encodes the political, oftentimes shaping a call to intervene in such conditions that threaten or prolong its presence. Consider the once-ubiquitous burqa shed inside secret salons under the Taliban, or the Hiroshima Maidens whose keloid scars from the atomic bombing are repaired by American surgeons a decade later; conservationists’ campaigns to protect wildernesses and their “natural beauty” in the early twentieth century, successfully carving out national parks from seized indigenous lands, or the British Museum’s refusal to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece because their preservation and appreciation (the Museum argues) trumps the imperial history of their theft. These seemingly disparate encounters –or more precisely our constructions of them— nonetheless impart to us something specific about the conditions under which beauty presumably flourishes, defies, or endures, or about the values that smooth or hamper attachments to the beautiful. These encounters with the beautiful (its presence, or absence) have force, shaping people into subjects and creating the contours of what is legible, sensible, and perceptible about our worlds.

But beauty is not a given, and neither is its care or protection; in naming these things –beauty, care, protection— particular relations of power become issues of political concern and transformation. How are competing principles, causal relations, or criteria for beauty assembled such that we might recognize the presence of beauty and also the shape of the threat to it? And what violences might follow from the act of securing beauty?

 

Friday, November 14

Panel Discussion (Note: The panel was originally scheduled for Thursday)
11:30 am-1:00 pm, Smith Hall, Albany Quadrangle
Close to Home: Student Research in Ethnic Studies
Join us for an interdisciplinary discussion with students who will share original research projects addressing issues of race and ethnicity as they pertain to space, place, and the body.  
Bring your lunch.  Coffee and cookies will be provided.

Moderator: Erin Banks, L&C ’16
Carter Gee-Taylor, L&C ’15, History, “The Survey of Race Relations: Absence, Power, and the Silencing of Racism in the Pacific Northwest”
Isabel Ball, L&C ’15, Psychology, “Child-Rearing Practices Among the Maya in Guatemala”
Hannah Manetta, L&C ’15, International Affairs, “Color, Class, and Criminalization of Procreation”
Robin Zeller, L&C ’15, Environmental Studies, “The Causes and Consequences of Differing Perceptions of Sacred Space in Pharping, Nepal”
Julia Duerst, L&C ’15, History, “The Cabrini-Green Homes: The Imagination and Experience of Public Housing in Post-Civil Rights Era Chicago”

Panel Discussion
1:45-3:15 pm, Stamm Dining Room, Templeton Campus Center
The Business of Beauty: Race and Consumerism

Panel description: The multi-billion-dollar beauty industry is the target of considerable critique in many ways but is celebrated as an outlet for self-expression and liberation in others.  One significant criticism is the failure of mainstream beauty companies to pay sufficient and respectful attention to the needs of racial minorities or to honor the traditions of different communities.  Some entrepreneurs have rushed in to fill the void, founding their own companies to serve underrepresented populations more fully.   This panel will explore the challenging and empowering aspects of being part of the beauty industry and how to serve a demographic that is largely ignored by big corporate companies.

Moderator: Reiko Hillyer, L&C assistant professor of history
Paula Hayes, L&C ’92 and Trustee, CEO and founder of Hue Noir cosmetics
Madeline Alviso, activist in Pacific Northwest WaXicana community, photographer, spoken word poet, founder and CEO of Chola Pinup
Carlee Smith, co-owner, Fat Fancy boutique and creator of One Flaming Arrow: Indigenous Art, Music, and Film Festival
Annie Maribona, co-owner, Fat Fancy boutique and Body Positive Life Coach, Dreamboat Coaching
Amber Starks, owner, Conscious Coils


Panel Discussion
3:30-5:00 pm, Stamm Dining Room, Templeton Campus Center
Size Matters: Fatphobia and Racism

Panel description: When people’s bodies do not conform to notions of ideal weight or proportion, those individuals are often perceived as unhealthy, amoral, irresponsible, and undesirable.  Moreover, people who are identified as fat are often defined primarily in bodily terms and are seen as deviant, threatening, and unruly.  Fat activists have drawn connections between the way their bodies are understood and the way people of color and people with disabilities are demonized.  These activists reject fat shaming and call for visibility, acceptance, and social justice.  Additionally, they undermine assumptions about “overweight” and health risks, raise pointed questions about prevailing notions of normalcy and fitness, and reveal complex intersecting issues of food access, poverty, health care, racism, and trauma.  This session’s panelists will explore entanglements of fatphobia and racism in examining the constructed nature of desire and ideas of beauty.

Moderator: Cathy Busha, L&C director of Inclusion of Multicultural Engagement
Cory Lira, educator and cultural worker, organizer with Critical Resistance Portland
Shilo George, indigenous scholar and fat activist, graduate student at Portland State University
Roy Pérez, assistant professor of English, American Ethnic Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies, Willamette University

 

Keynote Event

7 pm, Agnes Flanagan Chapel
Race Monologues
Each year a new group of L&C students writes an original series of monologues to share their powerful feelings, experiences, and understandings of race, ethnicity, and identity.

Featuring L&C students Lorena Arriola ’16, Amy Azania ’16, Victoria Diaz ’15, Tiffany Farmer ’18, Jonel Iliscupidez ’16, Alicia Kirkland ’16, Roxana Felicia Vargas ’17, and Rena Wang ’17.

Welcoming remarks by Faviana Schectman ’17 and Megom Wangchuk ’16.

Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies

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