The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness

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Birgit Brander Rasmussen, Eric Klinenberg, Irene J. Nexica, Matt Wray
Duke University Press, Aug 17, 2001 - Social Science - 352 pages
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Bringing together new articles and essays from the controversial Berkeley conference of the same name, The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness presents a fascinating range of inquiry into the nature of whiteness. Representing academics, independent scholars, community organizers, and antiracist activists, the contributors are all leaders in the “second wave” of whiteness studies who collectively aim to combat the historical legacies of white supremacy and to inform those who seek to understand the changing nature of white identity, both in the United States and abroad.
With essays devoted to theories of racial domination, comparative global racisms, and transnational white identity, the geographical reach of the volume is significant and broad. Dalton Conley writes on “How I Learned to Be White.” Allan Bérubé discusses the intersection of gay identity and whiteness, and Mab Segrest describes the spiritual price white people pay for living in a system of white supremacy. Other pieces examine the utility of whiteness as a critical term for social analysis and contextualize different attempts at antiracist activism. In a razor-sharp introduction, the editors not only raise provocative questions about the intellectual, social, and political goals of those interested in the study of whiteness but assess several of the topic’s major recurrent themes: the visibility of whiteness (or the lack thereof); the “emptiness” of whiteness as a category of identification; and conceptions of whiteness as a structural privilege, a harbinger of violence, or an institutionalization of European imperialism.

Contributors. William Aal, Allan Bérubé, Birgit Brander Rasmussen, Dalton Conley, Troy Duster, Ruth Frankenberg, John Hartigan Jr., Eric Klinenberg, Eric Lott, Irene J. Nexica, Michael Omi, Jasbir Kaur Puar, Mab Segrest, Vron Ware, Howard Winant, Matt Wray


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Introduction Birgit Brander Rasmussen Eric Klinenberg Irene J Nexica and Matt Wray
Universal Freckle or How I Learned to Be White Dalton Conley
The Souls of White Folks Mab Segrest
The Mirage of an Unmarked Whiteness Ruth Frankenberg
White Racial Projects Howard Winant
The Morphing Properties of Whiteness Troy Duster
What Antiracists Can Learn from Whites in Detroit John Hartigan Jr
The Nation and its White Closets Jasbir Kaur Puar
Identity Politics in the Vital Center Eric Lott
How Gay Stays White and What Kind of White It Stays Allan Bérubé
Emerging Practices of Antiracist Organizations Michael Omi
Antiracist Organizing and the Concept of Whiteness for Activism and the Academy William Aal

Whiteness and the International Imagination Vron Ware

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About the author (2001)

Birgit Brander Rasmussen is Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Race and Migration at Yale University. She is the co-editor of The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness (Duke, 2001).

Eric Klinenberg is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University.

Irene J. Nexica is an independent scholar who studies popular music and culture.

Matt Wray is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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