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Compass: Navigating Multiness

April 13-15, 2018 at Swarthmore College

Created for the Compass Conference and curated
by its student organizers, this guide highlights key
readings for exploring the Multi experience and the
navigation of multiple identities.

Literature

Everything I Never Told You

"Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet." So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee..

On Beauty

Howard Belsey, a Rembrandt scholar who doesn't like Rembrandt, is an Englishman abroad and a long-suffering professor at Wellington, a liberal New England arts college. He has been married...

Passing

Nella Larsen's powerful, thrilling, and tragic tale about the fluidity of racial identity that continues to resonate today. Clare Kendry is living on the edge. Light-skinned, elegant, and ambitious, she is married to a racist white man...

Caucasia

Birdie and Cole are the daughters of a black father and a white mother, intellectuals and activists in the Civil Rights Movement in 1970s Boston. The sisters are so close that they have created a private language...

The Color of Water

'James McBride evokes his childhood trek across the great racial divide with the kind of power and grace that touches and uplifts all our hearts.' - Bebe Moore Campbell...

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The long-awaited-and thrillingly satisfying, genuinely original- first novel from the unmistakable voice behind the story collection Drown.

Drown

From the beloved and award-winning author Junot Díaz, a spellbinding saga of a family's journey through the New World. A coming-of-age story of unparalleled power, Drown introduced the world to Junot Díaz's exhilarating talents...  

This Is How You Lose Her

From the award-winning author, a stunning collection that celebrates the haunting, impossible power of love. On a beach in the Dominican Republic, a doomed relationship flounders. In a New Jersey laundry room...

Born a Crime

Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable...

Dreams from my Father

Barack Obama learns that his father--a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man--has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey--first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces...

My Year of Meats

A cross-cultural tale of two women brought together by the intersections of television and industrial agriculture, fertility and motherhood, life and love--the breakout hit by the celebrated author of A Tale for the Time Being...

Academic

Mothering Queerly, Queering Motherhood

Provides a model for queering motherhood that resists racist, neoliberal, and hetero- or homonormative ideals of "good" mothering.

Red and Yellow, Black and Brown

Red and Yellow, Black and Brown gathers together life stories and analysis by twelve contributors who express and seek to understand the often very different dynamics that exist for mixed race people who are not part white...

Philosophy and the Mixed Race Experience

Philosophy and the Mixed Race Experience is a collection of essays by philosophers about the mixed race experience.

Outsiders Within

Given Madonna's recent decision to adopt a child from Malawi, news and entertainment are abuzz with what you've observed yourself--in your own family, or the family next door, or passing the neighborhood playground...

The Browning of America and the Evasion of Social Justice

Considers the effects of the browning of America on philosophical debates over race, racism, and social justice.

The Multiracial Experience

How might a multiracial concept dismantle our negative construction of race? How do we redefine `ethnicity′ when `race′ is less central to the definition? The Multiracial Experience challenges current theoretical and...

Spurious Issues

Recent times have seen the rise of a movement lobbying for explicit recognition of multiracial identity as separate from any other racial category. Factions in this movement have petitioned the government for the addition of a federal multiracial...

'Mixed Race' Studies

Mixed race studies is one of the fastest growing, as well as one of the most important and controversial areas in the field of race and ethnic relations. Bringing together pioneering and controversial scholarship from both the social...

The Politics of Multiracialism

A provocative analysis of current thought and discourse on multiracialism.

Mark One or More

The movement to add a multiracial category to the 2000 U.S. Census provoked unprecedented debates about race. The effort made for strange bedfellows...

Mixed Messages

The experiences and voices of multiracial individuals are challenging current categories of race, profoundly altering the meaning of racial identity and in the process changing the cultural fabric of the nation. Exploring this new reality...

Multiracial Identity and Racial Politics in the United States

While pundits point to multiracial Americans as new evidence of a harmonious ethnic melting pot, in reality mixed race peoples have long existed in the United States. Rather than characterize multiracial Americans as a "new" population...

The Borders of Race

Who is ¿multiracial¿? And who decides? Addressing these two fundamental questions, Melinda Mills builds on the work of Heather Dalmage to explore the phenomenon¿and consequences¿of racial border patrolling by...

Amalgamation Schemes

Despite being heralded as the answer to racial conflict in the post-civil rights United States, the principal political effect of multiracialism is neither a challenge to the ideology of white supremacy nor a defiance of sexual racism...

Mixed

Mixed presents engaging and incisive first-person experiences of what it is like to be multiracial in what is supposedly a postracial world. Bringing together twelve essays by college students who identify themselves as multiracial...

Mixed Race America and the Law

For the first time in United States history, the Year 2000 census allowed people to check more than one box to identify their race. This new way of gathering data and characterizing race and ethnicity reflects important changes in how...