While race and ethnicity are subjectivities that deeply shape our individual and collective experiences, it must be said that neither are as inherent or “natural” as is suggested by media, pseudoscience, or institutional exercises like government censuses. Instead, to historicize and contextualize race means to understand that it is a social construct, made meaningful and ubiquitous by corresponding knowledges, language, and behavior. These five sources from The Library deconstruct what we know about race, from its colonial and imperial origins to its application within visual culture, the fashion system, and industry.
About The Author
Kai (they/them) is an aspiring cultural and fashion historian. Their work centers the body politics of beauty, clothing, identity, glamour and style and their interactions with the meaning-making functions of the fashion system. Their work also attempts to decolonize exclusionary historical discourses by centering the histories of queer and Black peoples who have been systematically obscured from collective memory. Kai is a recent graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where they received a BA in Art History and the Cultural History of Dress and Fashion.