Books

Doing Race: 21 Essays for the 21st Century, New York: W.W. Norton, 2010.

Doing Race focuses on race and ethnicity in everyday life: what they are, how they work, and why they matter. Going to school and work, renting an apartment or buying a house, watching television, voting, listening to music, reading books and newspapers, attending religious services, and going to the doctor are all everyday activities that are influenced by assumptions about who counts, whom to trust, whom to care about, whom to include, and why. Race and ethnicity are powerful precisely because they organize modern society and play a large role in fueling violence around the globe.

Doing Race is a collection of new essays by an interdisciplinary team of authors that gives a comprehensive introduction to race and ethnicity. Targeted to undergraduates, it begins with an introductory essay and includes original essays by well-known scholars. Drawing on the latest science and scholarship, the collected essays emphasize that race and ethnicity are not things that people or groups have or are, but rather sets of actions that people do.

Doing Race provides compelling evidence that we are not yet in a post-race world and that race and ethnicity matter for everyone. Since race and ethnicity are the products of human actions, we can do them differently. Like studying the human genome or the laws of economics, understanding race and ethnicity is a necessary part of a twenty first century education.

Learning From Experience: Minority Identities, Multicultural Struggles, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.

In Learning from Experience, Paula Moya offers an alternative to some influential philosophical assumptions about identity and experience in contemporary literary theory. Arguing that the texts and lived experiences of subordinated people are rich sources of insight about our society, Moya presents a nuanced universalist justification for identity-based work in ethnic studies.

This strikingly original book provides eloquent analyses of such postmodernist feminists as Judith Butler, Donna Haraway, Norma Alarcón, and Chela Sandoval, and counters the assimilationist proposals of minority neoconservatives such as Shelby Steele and Richard Rodriguez. It advances realist proposals for multicultural education and offers an understanding of the interpretive power of Chicana feminists including Cherríe Moraga, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Helena María Viramontes. Learning from Experience enlarges our concept of identity and offers new ways to situate aspects of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation in discursive and sociopolitical contexts. Reviewed: American Literature 75.4 (2003): 892-895; Hypatia http://www.msu.edu/~hypatia/reviews/Moya.htm (2002)


Reclaiming Identity: Realist Theory and the Predicament of Postmodernism, co-edited with Michael Hames-García, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.

"Identity" is one of the most hotly debated topics in literary theory and cultural studies. This bold and groundbreaking collection of ten essays argues that identity is not just socially constructed but has real epistemic and political consequences for how people experience the world. Advocating a "postpositivist realist" approach to identity, the essays examine the ways in which theory, politics, and activism clash with or complement each other, providing an alternative to the widely influential postmodernist understandings of identity.

Although theoretical in orientation, this dynamic collection deals with specific social groups—Chicanas/os, African Americans, gay men and lesbians, Asian Americans, and others—and concrete social issues directly related to race, ethnicity, sexuality, epistemology, and political resistance.

Satya Mohanty's exegesis of Toni Morrison's Beloved serves as a launching pad for the collection. The essays that follow, written by prominent and up-and-coming scholars, address a range of topics—from the writings of Cherrie Moraga, Franz Fanon, Joy Kogawa, and Michael Nava to the controversy surrounding racial program housing on college campuses—and work toward a truly interdisciplinary approach to identity.




Identity Politics Reconsidered, co-edited with Linda Martín Alcoff, Michael R. Hames-García, and Satya P. Mohanty, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2006.

Based on the ongoing work of the agenda-setting Future of Minority Studies national research project, Identity Politics Reconsidered reconceptualizes the scholarly and political significance of social identity. It focuses on the deployment of "identity" within ethnic-, women's-, disability-, and gay and lesbian studies in order to stimulate discussion about issues that are simultaneously theoretical and practical, ranging from ethics and epistemology to political theory and pedagogical practice. This collection of powerful essays by both well-known and emerging scholars offers original answers to questions concerning the analytical legitimacy of "identity" and "experience," and the relationships among cultural autonomy, moral universalism, and progressive politics.

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