In Race and the Senses, Sachi Sekimoto and Christopher Brown explore the sensorial and phenomenological materiality of race as it is felt and sensed by the racialized subjects. Situating the lived body as an active, affective, and sensing participant in racialized realities, they argue that race is not simply marked on our bodies, but rather felt and registered through our senses. They illuminate the sensorial landscape of racialized world by combining the scholarship in sensory studies, phenomenology, and intercultural communication. Each chapter elaborates on the felt bodily sensations of race, racism, and racialization that illuminate how somatic labor plays a significant role in the construction of racialized relations of sensing. Their thought-provoking theorizing about the relationship between race and the senses include race as a sensory assemblage, the phenomenology of the racialized face and tongue, kinesthetic feelings of blackness, as well as the possibility of cross-racial empathy. Race is not merely socially constructed, but multisensorially assembled, engaged, and experienced. Grounded in the authors’ experiences, one as a Japanese woman living in the USA, and the other as an African American man from Chicago, Race and the Senses is a book about how we feel the racialized world into being.
"The obvious fact that racism is reproduced at the everyday level has not often been theorized lately, and this book is a trailblazer. Critical race studies is increasingly feeling the pinch of the limitations of social constructionism, and this book has sensed a way forward. It will be essential reading to researchers of racism across the humanities and social sciences."
~Arun Saldanha, Professor of Geography, University of Minnesota, United States
"Piercing through the ins and outs of what it means to be racialized, Sachi Sekimoto and Chris Brown offer an incisive approach towards unravelling how race is known, sensed, and felt. Race and the Senses fleshes out the multisensory dimensions of race relations and identity politics, accomplished through a visceral duet between scrupulous introspection and sensory assemblages. A deftly crafted intervention in the fields of sensory scholarship and racial embodiment."
~ Kelvin E.Y. Low, Associate Professor and Deputy Head of Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore, Singapore