Decolonising Sambo: Transculturation, Fungibility and Black and People of Colour Futurity

Shirley Anne Tate
University of Alberta, Canada

Product Details
29 Nov 2019
Emerald Publishing Limited
184 pages - 152 x 229mm
Critical Mixed Race Studies


Using a Black decolonial feminist approach, this book deconstructs 'the white sambo psyche' of white European settler colonialism, which classifies the colonised and enslaved into 'sambo': a category of racial subjection and utter negation which is now so normalized that we are inured to it. 

Drawing on voyages both real and metaphorical to places such as Australia, South Africa, Jamaica, the Dutch West Indies, and the UK, Decolonizing Sambo positions itself amongst the global entanglements of white European settler colonialism, racial capitalism and contemporary culture. This cultural analysis analyses archival data, artefacts, commemorative spaces, films, children's books, and sweets to show sambo's genealogy, transculturation, fungibility, and continuation in contemporary racialising assemblages. 

As we continue to live in an era of 'samboification', this book provides scholars and students with the materials to start thinking about sambo as an (un)known part of colonialism and explore 'post-race' racism within which professions of sincere love for the racialised other are an active aspect of (post) colonial states' self-deception about being 'post-race'.
Chapter 1. Introduction - Sambo's social etymology and white European settler colonial transculturation 
Chapter 2. Naming: The fungibility of subjection, transculturation and colonial inferiority 
Chapter 3. Consuming sambo and necropolitical love/hate: Humour, children's books and sweets 
Chapter 4. Biopolitics and racialising assemblages: Australian colonial breeding out/in and the nation 
Chapter 5. Contemptible commemoration: Racial capitalism and love/care for long dead sambo 
Chapter 6. 'Post-race' racial libidinal economies: Markets and contemptible collectibles 
Chapter 7. Racism's affects in Scandal's refusals: Transracial intimacy, 'post-race' power and the love of the American people  
Chapter 8. Conclusion - Black and people of colour futurities: Decolonising mind, affect, being and power
Shirley Anne Tate is Professor in the Sociology Department, University of Alberta, Canada and Honorary Professor, Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation at Nelson Mandela University, South Africa. Her research has been published in various journals and she has authored several books, including The Governmentality of Black Beauty Shame (2017) and Black Women's Bodies and the Nation (2015).
This is a passionate, powerful and hugely impressive piece of scholarship. Shirley Tate’s best work yet. The breadth of material, the innovative use of language and above all the power of the critique of racism and racialized representations – just tremendous. - Professor Ian Law, University of Leeds, UK

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