Displacing Whiteness

Essays in Social and Cultural Criticism

Displacing Whiteness

Book Pages: 368 Illustrations: Published: September 1997

American Studies, Cultural Studies, Theory and Philosophy > Race and Indigeneity

Displacing Whiteness makes a unique contribution to the study of race dominance. Its theoretical innovations in the analysis of whiteness are integrated with careful, substantive explorations of whiteness on an international, multiracial, cross-class, and gendered terrain. Contributors localize whiteness, as well as explore its sociological, anthropological, literary, and political dimensions.
Approaching whiteness as a plural rather than singular concept, the essays describe, for instance, African American, Chicana/o, European American, and British experiences of whiteness. The contributors offer critical readings of theory, literature, film and popular culture; ethnographic analyses; explorations of identity formation; and examinations of racism and political process. Essays examine the alarming epidemic of angry white men on both sides of the Atlantic; far-right electoral politics in the UK; underclass white people in Detroit; whiteness in "brownface" in the film Gandhi; the engendering of whiteness in Chicana/o movement discourses; "whiteface" literature; Roland Barthes as a critic of white consciousness; whiteness in the black imagination; the inclusion and exclusion of suburban "brown-skinned white girls"; and the slippery relationships between culture, race, and nation in the history of whiteness. Displacing Whiteness breaks new ground by specifying how whiteness is lived, engaged, appropriated, and theorized in a range of geographical locations and historical moments, representing a necessary advance in analytical thinking surrounding the burgeoning study of race and culture.

Contributors. Rebecca Aanerud, Angie Chabram-Dernersesian, Phil Cohen, Ruth Frankenberg, John Hartigan Jr., bell hooks, T. Muraleedharan, Chéla Sandoval, France Winddance Twine, Vron Ware, David Wellman


“An excellent sampling of scholarship in an emerging field. The multiracial dynamics of the formation of whiteness are well represented. And a sure mark of the maturity of the collection is the recurring, careful attention to the dynamics of race and gender.” — David Roediger, University of Missouri

“This collection will be a substantial contribution to a current and growing body of materials investigating whiteness. As Frankenberg and the contributors know, recent work—even work that brackets whiteness in terms of class—has made little effort to specify the stunning range of particularity in the ways whiteness is experienced. This collection begins such a specification.” — Dana D. Nelson, University of Kentucky


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Ruth Frankenberg is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of California at Davis and is the author of White Women, Race Matters.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction: Local Whiteness, Localizing Whiteness / Ruth Frankenberg 1

Fictions of Whiteness: Speaking the Names of Whiteness in U.S. Literature / Rebecca Aanerud 35

Rereading Ghandi / T. Muraleedharan 60

Theorizing White Consciousness for a Post-Empire World: Barthes, Fanon, and the Rhetoric of Love / Chéla Sandoval 86

On the Social Construction of Whiteness within Selected Chicana/o Discourse / Angie Chabram-Dernersesian 107

Representing Whiteness in the Black Imagination / bell hooks 165

Locating White Detroit / John Hartigan Jr. 180

Brown-Skinned White Girls: Class, Culture, and the Construction of White Identity in Suburban Communities / France Winddance Twine 214

Laboring under Whiteness / Phil Cohen 244

Island Racism: Gender, Place, and White Power / Vron Ware 283

Minstrel Shows, Affirmative Action Talk, and Angry White Men: Marking Racial Otherness in the 1990s / David Wellman 311

Bibliography 333

Contributors 349

Index 351
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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2021-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2011-1
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