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The Colorblind ScreenTelevision in Post-Racial America$
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Sarah Nilsen and Sarah E. Turner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479809769

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479809769.001.0001

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Race in Progress, No Passing Zone

Race in Progress, No Passing Zone

Battlestar Galactica, Colorblindness, and the Maintenance of Racial Order

(p.320) 13 Race in Progress, No Passing Zone
The Colorblind Screen

Jinny Huh

NYU Press

This concluding chapter investigates the “supposedly” colorblind and gender-neutral casting of the Sci-Fi Channel's Battlestar Galactica (BSG) in order to articulate what is referred to as twenty-first-century racial anxiety: racial passing. It argues that the racial diversity and multiethnic characters of the show both critique and maintain cultural fears of miscegenation and racial erasure in post-racial America. While “race” may not be overtly discussed in BSG, its narratives illustrate continuing racial fears as well as preserve certain restrictions of racial behavior and conduct through detection. The chapter explores the role of detection on two levels: how Cylons are detected on a literal level; and how detection functions at a meta-narrative level to uphold certain boundaries of race and gender/sexuality.

Keywords:   colorblind, gender-neutral casting, Battlestar Galactica, racial anxiety, racial passing, racial diversity, miscegenation, racial erasure, post-racial America, detection

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