The Evolution of Mixed-Race Historiography and Theory

Inaugural Sawyer Seminar

How has the study of mixed race been historicized and theorized in Western academia? Has our understanding of mixed race changed in the 21st century, or is our public discourse still bound by past ideology, experience, and debate? Does theorizing mixed race bind or liberate us from the ideological pitfalls of racialist thinking?

Conference Convenors: Duncan Williams, Brian C. Bernards, and Velina Hasu Houston, USC


Ariela Gross, USC
John B. and Alice R. Sharp Professor of Law and History, and Co-Director of the Center for Law, History and Culture; author of What Blood Won’t Tell: A History of Race on Trial in America (Harvard University Press, 2008) and Double Character: Slavery and Mastery in the Antebellum Southern Courtroom (Princeton University Press, 2000)

Paul Spickard
, UC Santa Barbara

Professor of History; author of Mixed Blood: Intermarriage and Ethnic Identity in Twentieth-Century America (U-Wisconsin Press, 1989), Almost All Aliens: Immigration, Race, and Colonialism in American History and Identity (Routledge, 2007), Japanese Americans: The Formation and Transformation of an Ethnic Group (Rutgers, 2009), and Race in Mind (forthcoming) and editor of Pacific Diaspora (U-Hawaii Press, 2002), Racial Thinking in the United States (U- Notre Dame Press, 2003), Revealing the Sacred in Asian and Pacific America (Routledge, 2003), Race and Nation: Ethnic Systems in the Modern World (Routledge, 2005), and Is Lighter Better?: Skin-Tone Discrimination among Asian Americans (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008)

Falguni Sheth
, Hampshire College

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Political Theory; author of Race, Liberalism, and Economics (University of Michigan Press, 2004) and Toward a Political Philosophy of Race (SUNY Press, 2009)

Please e-mail Kana Yoshida at to register, and if you would like to receive advanced copies of presenter papers for this seminar (highly encouraged!).

Presented by the Center for Japanese Religions and Culture's "Critical Mixed-Race Studies: A Transpacific Approach" Andrew W. Mellon Foundation John E. Sawyer Seminars Series at the University of Southern California.

  • Department of Classics
  • University of Southern California
  • THH 256
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0352