Academic books, like all books, represent journeys, and all the contributors
to this volume have embarked on a four-year journey with us as we contem-
plated the analytic and practical relationships among processes of globaliza-
tion, racial formation, and the cultural production of blackness in various
localities. Accordingly, this book is truly the result of a collaborative e√ort.
The idea for the volume first emerged as a result of a double session called
‘‘2001 Black Odyssey: The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation at the Dawn of
the New Millennium’’ at the American Anthropological Association meeting
in 2001. Organized by Deborah Thomas, Kamari Clarke, and John Jackson
and co-sponsored by the Association of Black Anthropologists and the Asso-
ciation for Africanist Anthropology, this session was designed to interrogate
the relationships between globalization and race in a range of ethnographic
and historical settings. Most of the authors in this book participated in that
panel, and our discussants—Maureen Mahon, Faye Harrison, Randy Matory,
and Charlie Piot—contributed dynamically to our deliberations and we are
grateful to them for their input, participation, and feedback.
The addition of several other essays here was intended to build on the ideas
presented in that AAA session, and we extend our gratitude to the following
presses for their permission to reproduce versions of copyrighted material:
University of Wisconsin Press, for Lee D. Baker, ‘‘Missionary Positions.’’ A
version of this essay was previously published as ‘‘Research, Reform, and
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