In Mixed Race Amnesia, Minelle Mahtani draws upon personal experiences, interviews with twenty-four women, and her own lucid analysis to challenge readers to cast aside romanticized stereotypes and develop a more nuanced understanding of what it means to be of mixed race in Canada today. This is a thoughtful, fresh, important new book.  

Lawrence Hill, author of Blood: The Stuff of Life


Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality
UBC Press

Mixed Race Amnesia is an ambitious and critical look at how multiraciality is experienced in the global north. Drawing on a series of interviews, acclaimed geographer Minelle Mahtani explores some of the assumptions and attitudes people have around multiraciality.

She discovers that, in Canada at least, people of mixed race are often romanticized as being the embodiment of a post-racial future – an ideal that is supported by government policy and often internalized by people of mixed race. As Mahtani reveals, this superficial celebration of multiraciality is often done without any acknowledgment of the freight and legacy of historical racisms. Consequently, a strategic and collective amnesia is taking place – one where complex diasporic and family histories are being lost while colonial legacies are being reinforced.

Mahtani argues that in response, a new anti-colonial approach to multiraciality is needed, and she equips her readers with the analytical tools to do this. The result is a book that takes critical race studies in new and exciting directions.

The book will be of interest to those in Canadian studies, human geography, critical race studies, sociology, and gender studies, as well as to the burgeoning numbers of mixed-race Canadians.

Mixed Race Amnesia draws on theories of race, human geography, and gender studies, as well as interviews and personal diaries, to tease out the ways in which mixed race women defy, bolster, speak, and live racial categorization. Since both the author and her interviewees neither “live” nor ascribe to racial authenticity, readers are shown a way through which we, collectively, might reimagine how we “see” and engage with social differences.  

Katherine McKittrick, author of Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle

NYU Press

Patterns of migration and the forces of globalization have brought the issues of mixed race to the public in far more visible, far more dramatic ways than ever before. Global Mixed Race examines the contemporary experiences of people of mixed descent in nations around the world, moving beyond US borders to explore the dynamics of racial mixing and multiple descent in Zambia, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Okinawa, Australia, and New Zealand.

In particular, the volume’s editors ask: how have new global flows of ideas, goods, and people affected the lives and social placements of people of mixed descent?  Thirteen original chapters address the ways mixed-race individuals defy, bolster, speak, and live racial categorization, paying attention to the ways that these experiences help us think through how we see and engage with social differences.

The contributors also highlight how mixed-race people can sometimes be used as emblems of multiculturalism, and how these identities are commodified within global capitalism while still considered by some as not pure or inauthentic. A strikingly original study, Global Mixed Race carefully and comprehensively considers the many different meanings of racial mixedness.

Global Mixed Race is a comprehensive compilation of world mixed-race identities, histories, and issues. The editors have expertly prepared for comparison and intrinsic interest contemporary and timely discussions of mixed race as an increasingly recognized dimension of racial and ethnic diversity in the 21st century. From post-modern popular culture to academic race theory, this exciting, ground-breaking collection will be a standard resource and reference for general readers, multidisciplinary scholars, and specialists of race, ethnicity, culture, and mixed race.”

Naomi Zack, author of Race and Mixed Race