Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness

Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons

Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness

Describes the author's experiences with interracial marriage and motherhood.

The Whiteness of Child Labor Reform in the New South

The Whiteness of Child Labor Reform in the New South

Focusing on Alabama's textile industry, this study looks at the complex motivations behind the "whites-only" route taken by the Progressive reform movement in the South. In the early 1900s, northern mill owners seeking cheaper labor and fewer regulations found the South's doors wide open. Children then comprised over 22 percent of the southern textile labor force, compared to 6 percent in New England. Shelley Sallee explains how northern and southern Progressives, who formed a transregional alliance to nudge the South toward minimal child welfare standards, had to mold their strategies around the racial and societal preoccupations of a crucial ally--white middle-class southerners. Southern whites of the "better sort" often regarded white mill workers as something of a race unto themselves--degenerate and just above blacks in station. To enlist white middle-class support, says Sallee, reformers had to address concerns about social chaos fueled by northern interference, the empowerment of "white trash," or the alliance of poor whites and blacks. The answer was to couch reform in terms of white racial uplift--and to persuade the white middle class that to demean white children through factory work was to undermine "whiteness" generally. The lingering effect of this "whites-only" strategy was to reinforce the idea of whiteness as essential to American identity and the politics of reform. Sallee's work is a compelling contribution to, and the only book-length treatment of, the study of child labor reform, racism, and political compromise in the Progressive-era South.

The White Possessive

Property, Power, and Indigenous Sovereignty

The White Possessive

The White Possessive explores the links between race, sovereignty, and possession through themes of property: owning property, being property, and becoming propertyless. Focusing on the Australian Aboriginal context, Aileen Moreton-Robinson questions current race theory in the first world and its preoccupation with foregrounding slavery and migration. The nation, she argues, is socially and culturally constructed as a white possession. Moreton-Robinson reveals how the core values of Australian national identity continue to have their roots in Britishness and colonization, built on the disavowal of Indigenous sovereignty. Whiteness studies literature is central to Moreton-Robinson’s reasoning, and she shows how blackness works as a white epistemological tool that bolsters the social production of whiteness—displacing Indigenous sovereignties and rendering them invisible in a civil rights discourse, thereby sidestepping thorny issues of settler colonialism. Throughout this critical examination Moreton-Robinson proposes a bold new agenda for critical Indigenous studies, one that involves deeper analysis of how the prerogatives of white possession function within the role of disciplines.

Interrogating the Communicative Power of Whiteness

Interrogating the Communicative Power of Whiteness

The field of communication offers the study of whiteness a focus on discourse which directs its attention to the everyday experiences of whiteness through regimes of truth, embodied acts, and the deconstruction of mediated texts. This book takes an intersectional approach to whiteness studies, researching whiteness through rhetorical analysis, qualitative research, performance studies, and interpretive research. More specifically the chapters deconstruct the communicative power of whiteness in the context of the United States, but with discussion of the implications of this power internationally, by taking on relevant and current topics such as terrorism, post-colonial challenges, white fragility at the national level, the emergence of colorblind discourse as a pro-white discursive strategy, the relationship of people of color with and through whiteness, as well as multifaceted identities that intersect with whiteness, including religion, masculinity and femininity, social class, ability, and sexuality.

Chasing the White Whale

The Moby-Dick Marathon; Or, What Melville Means Today

Chasing the White Whale

The twenty-five-hour nonstop reading of Melville’s titanic epic has inspired this fresh look at Moby-Dick in light of its most devoted followers at the moment of their high holy day, January 3, 2009. With some trepidation, Dowling joined the ranks of the Melvillians, among the world’s most obsessive literary aficionados, to participate in the event for its full length, from “Call Me Ishmael” to the destruction of the Pequod. Dowling not only survived to tell his tale, but does so with erudition, humor, and a keen sense for the passions of his fellow whalers.

Whiteness of a Different Color

European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race

Whiteness of a Different Color

In this work of historical imagination, Jacobson argues that race resides in contingencies of politics and culture. Linking "whiteness studies" to traditional historical inquiry, he shows that in a nation of immigrants, "race" has been at the core of civic assimilation--ethnic minorities, in becoming American, were re-racialized to become Caucasian.

Talkin' Up to the White Woman

Aboriginal Women and Feminism

Talkin' Up to the White Woman

Dr Aileen Moreton-Robinson "talks up" in this provocative interrogation of feminism in representation and practice. As a Geonpul woman and an academic, she provides a unique cultural standpoint and a compelling analysis of the whiteness of Australian feminism and its effect on Indigenous women.Through an extensive range of articles by non-white scholars and activists, she demonstrates the ways whiteness dominates from a position of power and privilege as an invisible and unchallenged practice. She illustrates the ways in which Indigenous women have been represented through the publications and teachings of white Australian women. Such renderings of Indigenous lives are in contrast to the many examples provided of life writings by Indigenous women themselves.Persuasive and engaging, Talkin' Up to the White Womanis a timely argument for the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in developing the teachings and practices that impact on Australia's pluralistic society.

Power Plays Power Works

Power Plays Power Works

Now, more than 20 years since its initial release, John Fiske’s classic text Power Plays Power Works remains both timely and insightful as a theoretically driven examination of the terrain where the politics of culture and the culture of politics collide. Drawing on a diverse set of cultural sites - from alternative talk radio forums, museums, celebrity fandom, to social problems such as homelessness - Fiske traverses the topography of the American cultural landscape to highlight the ways that ordinary people creatively construct their social identities and relationships through the use of the resources available to them, while constrained by social conditions not of their own choosing. This important analysis provides a set of critical methodological and analytical tools to grapple with the complexities and struggles of contemporary social life. A new introductory essay by former Fiske student Black Hawk Hancock entitled ‘Learning How to Fiske: Theorizing Power, Knowledge, and Bodies in the 21st Century’ elucidates Fiske’s methods for today’s students, providing them with the ultimate guide to thinking and analyzing like John Fiske; the art of ‘Learning How to Fiske’.

Out of Whiteness

Color, Politics, and Culture

Out of Whiteness

What happens when people in societies stratified by race refuse to accept the privileges inherent in whiteness? What difference does it make when whites act in a manner that contradicts their designated racial identity? Out of Whiteness considers these questions and argues passionately for an imaginative and radical politics against all forms of racism. Vron Ware and Les Back look at key points in recent American and British culture where the "color line" has been blurred. Through probing accounts of racial masquerades in popular literature, the growth of the white power music scene on the Internet, the meteoric rise of big band jazz during the Second World War, and the pivotal role of white session players in crafting rhythm and blues classics by black artists, Ware and Back upset the idea of race as a symbol of inherent human attributes. Their book gives us a timely reckoning of the forces that continue to make people "white," and reveals to us the polyglot potential of identities and cultures.

Playing in the White

Black Writers, White Subjects

Playing in the White

The postwar period witnessed an outpouring of white life novels--that is, texts by African American writers focused almost exclusively on white characters. Almost every major mid-twentieth century black writer, including Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Ann Petry and James Baldwin, published one of these anomalous texts. Controversial since their publication in the 1940s and 50s, these novels have since fallen into obscurity given the challenges they pose to traditional conceptions of the African American literary canon. Playing in the White: Black Writers, White Subjects aims to bring these neglected novels back into conversations about the nature of African American literature and the unique expectations imposed upon black texts. In a series of nuanced readings, Li demonstrates how postwar black novelists were at the forefront of what is now commonly understood as whiteness studies. Novels like Hurston's Seraph on the Suwanee and Wright's Savage Holiday, once read as abdications of the political imperative of African American literature, are revisited with an awareness of how whiteness signifies in multivalent ways that critique America's abiding racial hierarchies. These novels explore how this particular racial construction is freighted with social power and narrative meaning. Whiteness repeatedly figures in these texts as a set of expectations that are nearly impossible to fulfill. By describing characters who continually fail at whiteness, white life novels ask readers to reassess what race means for all Americans. Along with its close analysis of key white life novels, Playing in the White: Black Writers, White Subjects also provides important historical context to understand how these texts represented the hopes and anxieties of a newly integrated nation.