1st Edition

Race and the Senses The Felt Politics of Racial Embodiment

By Sachi Sekimoto, Christopher Brown Copyright 2020
    200 Pages
    by Routledge

    198 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    Introduction: Feeling Race1.The Visceral is Political: Race as Sensory Assemblage2.Transnational Asian Embodiment: On the Strange Feeling of Racialization3.Sensing in Motion: The Kinesthetic Feelings of Race4.A Phenomenology of the Racialized Tongue: Embodiment, Language, and the Bodies that Speak5.Sensing Empathy in Cross-racial Interactions 6.Conclusion: Pedagogy of the Sensuous Bibliography Index


    Sachi Sekimoto is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato in USA. Christopher Brown is Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Communication Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato in USA.

    "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