The Great Internet Debate Over Not Reading White Men

Hello, dear reader, and welcome to The Kerfuffler! I'm your host, fantasy writer, essayist, and mad tweeter, Saladin Ahmed. Every other week I'll be looking at America's seemingly endless culture wars playing out online, tracing their fault lines, and wading hip-deep into comment sections so you don't have to. » 3/11/15 2:58pm 3/11/15 2:58pm

Many Whites Today Would Have Been Classified as Black in the 1940s

The U.S. has a long history of using pseudoscience to classify people by race. So what happens when we try to use a legitimate science? A new study of a large data sample from personal genomics company 23andme reveals that people's genetic backgrounds have little impact on their racial self-identification. » 12/26/14 4:55pm 12/26/14 4:55pm

​Among Millennials, Support For Obama Is Divided By Race

Several polls show that support for President Obama among the millennial generation has plummeted. Analysts have offered several reasons, including disenchantment with his healthcare initiative and declining trust in government. But one study says the actual fault-line among millennials is a familiar one: race. » 10/27/14 9:20am 10/27/14 9:20am

How big is Iron Man 3's "Fu Manchu" problem?

Now that the first trailer for Iron Man 3 is out, we've all seen our first glimpse of the Mandarin, Tony Stark's biggest adversary in the comics. The Mandarin is sort of a Fu Manchu knock-off, who was described as a "racist caricature" by none other than Shane Black, the director of Iron Man 3. So even if Iron Man 3 » 10/26/12 9:40am 10/26/12 9:40am

Do people of different races have different voices?

Is there such thing as a Caucasian, Asian, or African voice? And could you actually identify someone's race just by listening to him or her? Admittedly, the whole notion of race is nebulous to say the least — it's a concept that blends physiological and social differences indiscriminately. But there are still… » 7/23/12 8:00am 7/23/12 8:00am

Postcolonialism and Science Fiction: An Introduction

Toronto scholar Jessica Langer has just published a fascinating book called Postcolonialism and Science Fiction. In this excerpt from the book's introduction, she defines what that means, and explores some of the major themes in postcolonial SF. Langer currently works as an adjunct professor in the humanities, and… » 12/20/11 4:00pm 12/20/11 4:00pm

A scientific experiment that dramatically improved the grades of…

One of the big puzzles for education researchers is why students of comparable talents fall into a "racial achievement gap." On average, white students outperform black students when it comes to grades in college classes - even when the students are equally capable. Now psychologists have discovered a simple exercise… » 3/18/11 8:00am 3/18/11 8:00am