Seminar Convenor: Sajdeep Soomal
Tuesdays from 4:00-6:00pm (starting May 30, 2016)
firstname.lastname@example.org Location TBD
In order to recall the forgotten and erased histories of the American automobility, this reading group aims to bring together disparate scholarship that addresses the racial, ethnic and settler dynamics of North American auto manufacturing, car (sub)cultures, urban geography, and auto-racing, among other arenas of automobility. We intend to explore the ways in which car culture has served as a site where relations of racial, ethnic and settler power have been articulated, resisted and negotiated. Participants are expected to have a foundation in both cultural studies of the automobile and critical theories of race, ethnicity and indigeneity. We hope to foster a collaborative learning space, so please feel free to bring a short summary of any additional texts that you would like to include in the reading list.
Part 1: Building the Age of Automobility
May 30: Introducing American Auto-Citizenship
Clarke, Deborah. “Introduction” and "Modernism: Racing and Gendering Automobility." Driving Women: Fiction and Automobile Culture in Twentieth-century America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2007. 1-9 and 41-72. Print.
Franz, Kathleen, and Susan Smulyan. "Cars as Popular Culture: Democracy, Racial Difference, and New Technology, 1920-1939." Major Problems in American Popular Culture: Documents and Essays. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. 227-55. Print.
Gilroy, Paul. "Driving While Black." Car Cultures. By Daniel Miller. Oxford: Berg, 2001. 81-104.
June 6: On the Line? Black Automobile Workers and Entrepreneurs
Larrie, Reginald. "Black History Feature: He Was Owner of an Auto Factory." Baltimore Afro-American 9 Aug. 1980: 8+. Print.
Peterson, Joyce Shaw. "Black Automobile Workers in Detroit, 1910-1930." The Journal of Negro History 64, No. 3 (Summer, 1979): 177-190.
Kevin Boyle, "There Are No Union sorrows the Union Can't Heal: The Struggle for Racial Equality in the United Automobile Workers, 1940-1960," Labor History 36 (1995).
Kevin Boyle, “The Kiss: Racial and Gender Conflict in a 1950s Automobile Factory” Journal of American History. 1997 84(2): 496-523.
June 13: Policing Black and Latinx Mobility
Browse through “Driving While Black,” a scholarly project hosted by Cornell University: https://courses2.cit.cornell.edu/sociallaw/student_projects/DrivingWhileBlack.htm
Lewis, Tom. "The GI and the General" Divided Highways: Building the Interstate Highways, Transforming American Life. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 2013. 71-92. Print.
Frohardt-Lane, Sarah K. Race, Public Transit and Automobility in World War II Detroit. Thesis. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011. Print.
Leonard, David. "Virtual Gangstas, Coming to a Suburban House near You: Demonization, Commodification, and Policing Blackness." The Meaning and Culture of Grand Theft Auto: Critical Essays. By Nate Garrelts. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2006.
Part 2: Ethnic Identity and Car Customization
June 20: Lowriders
Chappell, Ben. Lowrider Space: Aesthetics and Politics of Mexican American Custom Cars. Austin, TX: U of Texas, 2012. Print.
Bright, Brenda. "'Heart like a Car': Hispano/Chicano Culture in Northern New Mexico." American Ethnologist 25, No. 4 (Nov., 1998): 583-609.
June 27: The Import Car Scene
Best, Amy L. “Race-ing Men: Boys, Risk, and the Politics of Race.” Fast Cars, Cool Rides: The Accelerating World of Youth and Their Cars. New York: NYU Press, 2006. 80-108. Print.
Kwon, Soo Ah. "Autoexoticizing: Asian American Youth and the Import Car Scene." Journal of Asian American Studies 7.1 (2004): 1-26. Web.
July 4: Ghetto Fabulous
Watch an episode of Pimp my Ride.
Brown, Roger. "Ghetto Fabulous: Inner City Car Culture, the Law, and Authenticity." InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies 6.1 (2010): Web.
Excerpt from Best, Amy L. “Conclusion: The Ride of Your Life.” Fast Cars, Cool Rides: The Accelerating World of Youth and Their Cars. New York: NYU Press, 2006. 159-163. Print.
Part 3: Racing American Bodies
July 11: Street Racing
Screening of The Fast and the Furious
Watch a short video produced by 1320Video about street racing in Los Angeles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs1_AAUTZAs
Best, Amy L. "Sex-in’ the Car: Girls and Car Cruising." Fast Cars, Cool Rides: The Accelerating World of Youth and Their Cars. New York: NYU Press, 2006. 56-79. Print.
Mary C. Beltrán, “The New Hollywood Racelessness: Only the Fast, Furious, (And Multiracial) Will Survive” Cinema Journal 44:2 (Winter 2005) 50-67
July 18: NASCAR
Newman, J. I., and M. D. Giardina. "NASCAR and the "Southernization" of America: Spectatorship, Subjectivity, and the Confederation of Identity." Cultural Studies – Critical Methodologies 8.4 (2008): 479-506. Web.
"An Oral History Of Black NASCAR Drivers." Complex CA. Complex Magazine, 22 Feb. 2012. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.
Part 4: Vehicles of (De)colonization and (Anti-)Racism
July 25: Black Community Publishing
Browse through the NY Public Library’s digital copies of the Green Book: http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/collections/the-green-book/
Watch a clip from the upcoming Ric Burns’ documentary about the "Green Book."
Seiler, Cotten. ""So That We as a Race Might Have Something Authentic to Travel By": African American Automobility and Midcentury Liberalism." Republic of Drivers: A Cultural History of Automobility in America. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2008. 105-28. Print.
"Car Magazine Aims At African-Americans." Los Angeles Times [L.A.] 17 Sept. 1998. Print.
August 1: Dissenting Soundscapes of the Car
Watch the official music video for “Still D.R.E.” by Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg.
Williams, Justin A. "‘You Never Been on a Ride like This Befo’: Los Angeles, Automotive Listening, and Dr. Dre’s ‘G-Funk’*." Popular Music History 4.2 (2010): pp. 160-176.
Kajikawa, Loren. "“Let Me Ride”: Gangsta Rap’s Drive into the Popular Mainstream." Sounding Race in Rap Songs. Oakland, California: U of California, 2015. 85-117. Print.
August 8: Contesting Settler Automobility
Browse Selected Documents from Carla Rose Leah’s dissertation which share the stories of Black and Indigenous women in the Early Automotive Era.
Rymhs, Deena. "Idling No More: The Road in Tomson Highway’s The Rez Sisters." Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities 2.2 (2015): n. pag. Web.
Campbell, David. "The Biopolitics of Security: Oil, Empire, and the Sports Utility Vehicle." American Quarterly 57.3 (2005): 943-72. Web.
Leib, Jonathan. "Identity, Banal Nationalism, Contestation, And North American License Plates*." Geographical Review 101.1 (2010): 37-52. Web.
Livermont, Tasiyagnunpa Beth. "Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’." Editorial. Native Peoples Magazine July-Aug. 2016. Web.
August 15: Imagining the Future of Automobility