American Studies Professor's Book Examines Women of Mixed-Race in Brazil and the United States

Jasmine Mitchell's first book cover

Dr. Jasmine Mitchell, an assistant professor in the American Studies/Media & Communications Department, has released her first book "Imagining the Mulatta: Blackness in U.S. and Brazilian Media." , the 288-page book was published by the University of Illinois Press.

In "Imagining the Mulatta," Dr. Mitchell investigates the development and exploitation of mixed-race women and popular culture in Brazil and the United States. Drawing on a wide range of case studies, she analyzes policy debates and reveals the use of mixed-black female celebrities as subjects of racial and gendered discussions. Dr. Mitchell also unveils the ways the media moralizes about the mulatta figure and uses her as an example of an “acceptable” version of blackness that at once dreams of erasing undesirable blackness while maintaining the qualities that serve as outlets for interracial desire.

A former Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellow, Mellon Mays Fellow, and Oliver Scholar, Dr. Mitchell has written several book chapters and articles on such subjects as race and gender in Brazilian hip-hop, mixed raced superheroes and Brazilian cinema. 

A resident of New York City, she earned her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota and her Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Williams College. Dr. Mitchell's academic interests included race and gender representation in popular culture, mixed-race, race and sports, African Americans and Afro-Brazilians, and black feminisms. Her next project concerns Brazilian mega-sporting events and the role of race in public media cultures.