B.A., The Evergreen State College, 1992
M.A., University of Massachusetts Boston, 1994
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 2000
Alex Lubin received his doctorate in American Studies from the University of Minnesota in 2000. He is currently on leave from the American Studies Department at the University of New Mexico and serving as Director of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for American Studies and Research at the American University of Beirut. He is a cultural historian with interests in U.S. racial formations and U.S./Middle East cultural politics. Before joining AUB, he served as an Associate Professor and Chair of the American Studies Department at the University of New Mexico. He is the author of Romance and Rights: The Politics of Interracial Intimacy, 1945-1954 (UP Mississippi) and the editor of Revising the Blueprint: Ann Petry and the Literary Left, (UP Mississippi). He has co-edited a special edition of the South Atlantic Quarterly on Settler Colonialism. In this collection, Lubin contributed an essay on the comparative histories of settler colonialism and national formation in and between the U.S. and Israel. He is currently at work on a monograph entitled, "Liberation Geography: Locating the Middle East in the African American Global Imaginary." This work excavates a centuries-long history of political and cultural exchange between U.S.-based Blacks and the Arab world. Lubin is particularly interested in how the "Palestine question" has circulated within spheres of African American politics and culture.
Latest Publication Title
Romance and Rights: The Politics of Interracial Intimacy, 1945-1954, University Press of Mississippi, 2004
Alex Lubin, ed., Rivising the Blueprint: Ann Petry and the Literary Left, University Press of Mississippi, 2008
Alex Lubin, ed. (with Alyosha Goldstein), "Settler Colonialism: a special issue of the South Atlantic Quarterly," 2008.
Romance and Rights: The Politics of Interracial Intimacy, 1945-1954 studies the meaning of interracial romance, love, and sex in the ten years after World War II. How was interracial romance treated in popular culture by civil rights leaders, African American soldiers, and white segregationists?
Previous studies focus on the period beginning in 1967 when the Supreme Court overturned the last state antimiscegenation law (Loving v. Virginia). Lubin's study, however, suggests that we cannot fully understand contemporary debates about "hybridity," or mixed-race identity, without first comprehending how WWII changed the terrain.
The book focuses on the years immediately after the war, when ideologies of race, gender, and sexuality were being reformulated and solidified in both the academy and the public. Lubin shows that interracial romance, particularly between blacks and whites, was a testing ground for both the general American public and the American government. The government wanted interracial relationships to be treated primarily as private affairs to keep attention off contradictions between its outward aura of cultural freedom and the realities of Jim Crow politics and antimiscegenation laws. Activists, however, wanted interracial intimacy treated as a public act, one that could be used symbolically to promote equal rights and expanded opportunities. These contradictory impulses helped shape our current perceptions about interracial romances and their broader significance in American culture.
Romance and Rights ends in 1954, the year of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, before the civil rights movement became well organized. By closely examining postwar popular culture, African American literature, NAACP manuscripts, miscegenation laws, and segregationist protest letters, among other resources, the author analyzes postwar attitudes towards interracial romance, showing how complex and often contradictory those attitudes could be.