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Rebecca Dominguez-Karimi on history and George R.R. Martin’s fantasy

The oral historian is a deep reader of history. She will visit Sulphur Springs Museum Sunday.
Rebecca Dominguez-Karimi
Rebecca Dominguez-Karimi [ CASTILLO | courtesy of Rebecca Karimi ]
Published Jan. 24, 2020

As part of the Florida Humanities Council Florida Talks program, historian Rebecca Dominguez-Karimi will appear at 2 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Sulphur Springs Museum and Heritage Center, 1101 E River Cove St., Tampa, to discuss Jim Crow laws and how they affected the Hispanic community. Dominguez-Karimi, whose research has focused on structural violence in minority communities, feminist studies and Mexican American history, is a first-generation American who grew up in San Antonio, Texas, attending school there prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. She holds a Ph.D. in comparative studies and a master’s in liberal studies from Florida Atlantic University. Her nonfiction writing and academic essays have been published in Multicultural Memories of Race and Change and An Introvert in an Extrovert World: Essays on the Quiet Ones. She lives in North Florida.

What’s on your nightstand?

Who Really Feeds the World: The Failure of Agribusiness and the Promise of Agroecology by Vandana Shiva and The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee, who talks about scientific information in a digestible format. He’s dealing with complicated issues, and he is able to draw the reader in. I also am enjoying Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin. He is able to create a world so closely resembling our own and the lust of power that seems to permeate all societies. Of course, I really love his Daenerys and the feminine power, and I really enjoyed the war between the queens, and how he did that instead of another war with men. I also enjoy the fantasy portion of his writing. I go back to J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling.

Concerning immigration issues, what would you encourage people to read for a better understanding?

I like several books by Leo R. Chavez, professor of anthropology at University of California Irvine: The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation and Covering Immigration: Popular Images and the Politics of the Nation; Marjorie S. Zatz and Nancy Rodriguez’s Dreams and Nightmares: Immigration Policy, Youth and Families; Ronald Takak’s A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America; Donna R. Gabaccia‘s Immigration and Diversity: A Social and Cultural History; Thomas Sowell’s Ethnic America; Arunulfo De Leon’s Mexican Americans in Texas. I like these writings because they look at U.S. immigration and its history through the lens of minorities — revisionist history — not framed by the dominant discourse. The last three are older writings but delve into more of the background history of immigration. Gabaccia specifically examines the role of scientific racism in the formation of early U.S. immigration policies.