SOCB53 Exam Notes Pt. 2

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Neda Magbouleh

Why Being a POC Author Sucks Sometimes  Race/Ethnicity Breakdown of Books reviewed – showcases 65% of books reviewed as Caucasian authors  Highlights the gap in diversity of Caucasian and POC authors  This is an informal survey taken by author Roxanne Gay that breaks down authors reviewed by NYT  These days, it is difficult for any writer to get a book published. We’re all clawing. However, if you are a writer of color, not only do you face a steeper climb getting your book published, you face an even more arduous journey if you want that book to receive critical attention. It shouldn’t be this way. Writers deserve that same fighting chance regardless of who they are but here we are, talking about the same old thing  Ellen Oh is a person of color – and a published author  She cannot answer if it felt harder for her to get published Her problems  No one would buy a book on ancient korea  Writing was ridiculed saying it’s a bad translation of a chinese book even though English is her native language and shes not Chinese A lovely publisher published her  She wrote a childrens book – multicultural  Librarians and teachers looking for diversity, there have been many more multicultural titles in children’s publishing  However she was wrong – 37%  Publishers seem to believe that multicultural books just don’t sell as well. But do they get the same marketing push as non-POC books? Are all things equal when they are sent out into the world? I would hazard a guess that they are not. Because if you do not believe that multi-cultural books will sell well, then you will not put the marketing money behind them and thereby you create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now I have been lucky, my books have had terrific marketing support from my publisher. So the question then goes to the other side of the coin. Where are the booksellers, the librarians, the teachers on pushing the multicultural books? It’s not just enough to ask publishers to publish the books, there must be help from the other side. There has to be a support system for these books once they are published, to help get them into the children’s hands. And that is not all up to the publisher.  I once asked a YA librarian if she thought there were enough diverse titles and she said that they were there, but you just have to know how to look for them. Isn’t that part of the problem? That they are invisible and no one knows about them? How are they shelved in bookstores and libraries? How easy are they to find? Of the 112 titles chosen by YALSA for the 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list, less than 10% were by POC authors. The 2013 list is looking like it may fare even worse. So if teen librarians are looking to these lists that are so woefully underrepresented, does this not aggravate the underlying problem?  But there is that part of me that wonders why is it that when I see a list about what Asian fantasy books are out there, the books are predominantly by caucasian authors. Are POC writers not writing them or are they being passed over for books written by non-POC authors instead? And why is it that books by or about POC don’t tend to sell as well as other “mainstream” books. What is the difference? Is it the difference in how they are marketed? Is it their cover art? Where they are placed in the bookstore or library? How they are pushed or not pushed by the booksellers, librarians, and teachers?  The reality is, there are just not a lot of POC authors out there. We are not representing the 37% of our population when we only amount to 10% of publishing. When you look at diversity panels or even the YA tag in, the authors tend to be predominantly white because they reflect publishing.  This is why I can’t help but be resentful. I freely admit it. It sucks being a POC author sometimes. You feel invisible. You feel passed over. And true or not, it feels harder for us to get to tell our own stories. And that shouldn’t be the way things are.  I want to see more of me in publishing. I want to see more POC authors overcoming the publishing barrier and writing about their cultures. I want to see diversity panels filled with… diversity! We need to be performing on stage with our counterparts, not just watching in the audience. DEVIOUS MAIDS The problem with Devious Maids  Different politics to see that project through in Hollywood  She uses devious maids (was a show that was made) to talk about the problems that she had within her work  It portrayed one particular slice of the Latina experience  Heteronormative  There are no unattractive maids  There’s a white-racial frame, systemic racism and Joe Feagin  These stereotypes have large implications, this time honored imperialistic way  How north Americans speak to Latinos  This is very threatening, every time Hollywood serves this stereotypical thing o Its easier to dehumanize people, because it does have the political aims attached to them, colonialism looks different, however it takes on similar sorts of echoes Monster, Terrorist, Fag: The War on Terrorism And the Production of Docile Patriots How gender and sexuality are central to the current war on terrorism?  Gender justice and queer politics through broader frames of reference, all with multiple genealogies – indeed as we hope to show, gender and sexuality produce both hyper visible icons and the ghosts that haunt the machines of war  The construct of the terrorist relies on a knowledge of sexual perversity  NORMALIZATION invites an aggressive heterosexual patriotism that we can see for example, in dominant media representations and in organizing efforts of sikh Americans (fetish of the turbaned sikh man)  The forms of power now being deployed in the war on terrorism in fact draw on processes of quarantining a racialized and sexualized other, even as western norms of the civilized subject proved the framework through which these others become subjects to be corrected The Monster and the Terrorist  In what way has monstrosity come to organize the discourse on terrorism? First we could merely glance at the language o Used by the dominant media in its interested depictions of ISLAMIC MILITANCY  Osama bin laden according to Fox Channel is a dirtbag/monster o Overseeing a web of hate  His followers in Al Qaeda are terror goons. Taliban fighters are diabolical and henchmen  Another web article: it is important to realize that the Taliban does not simply tolerate the presence of Bin Laden and his terrorist training camps in Afghanistan  It is part and parcel of the same evil alliance, and they share the same fanatical obsession: imposing a string brand of islam on all muslims and bringing death to those who oppose him.  Morality is separated from good from a shadowy evil  This discourse marks off a figure, Osama Bin Laden, or a government, the Taliban as the opposite of all that is human and good  THE terrorist monster is pure evil and must be destroyed o Does the monster have a mind? Do such figures and such representational strategies have a history? We suggest this language of terrorist monsters should be read by considering how the monster has been used throughout history The monster was one of the three elements that Foucault linked to the formation of the abnormals  The group of abnormals was formed out of three elements  The human monster: an ancient notion whose frame of reference is law, a juridicial notion but in the broad sense as it referred not only to social laws but to natural as well; the monster’s field of appearance is a juridico-biological domain – HALF HUMAN HALF ANIMAL  Combining the impossible and the forbidden  The individual to be corrected, the new procedures for training the body, behaviour and aptitudes open up the problem of those who escape that normativity which is no longer sovereignty of the law The monster is also to be differentiated from the individual to be corrected on the basis of whether power operates on it or through it In other words, the absolute power that produces and quarantines the monster finds its dispersal in techniques of normalization and discipline  Monsters are sexual
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