White Out

A Guidebook for Teaching and Engaging with Critical Whiteness Studies

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Despite hopeful—though problematic—proclamations about the end of racism after the election of our first African-American President, we are witnessing a backlash and renewed racism at this point in American and global history. Put simply, Critical Whiteness Studies (CWS) has as much exigency now as ever. Critical Whiteness Studies is an interdisciplinary project—with scholars from legal studies, literature and rhetorical studies, film and visual studies, class and feminist theorists, etc.—that contributes to critical race theory. Scholars tend to posit whiteness as an ideological, political, legal, and social fiction that places so-called whites in a position of hegemony over other non-dominant groups. The project, then, functions to unmask and interrogate these fictions. As part of critical multi-cultural and race theory, the project is anti-oppressive.

Those new to CWS are often unfamiliar with much of the court cases referenced and the critical terminology used by scholars in the field. As such White Out: A Guidebook for Teaching and Engaging with Critical Whiteness Studies is designed to orient readers to the history and purpose of CWS, to key concepts and legal cases, and to established and newer texts and resources. For educators wishing to include CWS in their workshops or courses, this guidebook also includes pedagogical resources ranging a sample syllabus to sample assignments and student texts to advice for structuring a dialogic workshop or classroom.

Student contributors are: Thomas Drake Farmer, Daniel Giraldo, Abby Graves, Elaine Ruby Gunn, Faith Jones, and Connor McPherson.

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Jennifer Beech, Ph.D. (2001), is Professor of English at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. With expertise in critical whiteness studies and working-class rhetorics, she has published in College English, JAC, and Pedagogy, as well as in numerous edited collections.
Preface
List of Figures

PART 1: Overview of Theory and Resources


1 Introduction to Critical Whiteness Studies
 1 What Is the Purpose and Function of CWS?
 2 Is CWS an Attack on White People?
 3 What Are the Scholarly Origins of CWS?
 4 Aren’t We Post-Racial? Why Is CWS Still Needed?
 5 Where Does the Term “White” Come From?
 6 But I Am Not Racist, so Why Do I Need Critical Whiteness Studies?
 7 What If I Don’t Feel Privileged? Or—Conversely—How Do I Respond to Those Who Deny Privilege?
 8 Are Universities Actually Offering Courses Dedicated to CWS?
 9 Has CWS Made Its Way beyond the Academy?
 10 What’s Next for CWS?

2 Bills, Cases, Conventions, Laws, and Orders

3 Web Resources

PART 2: Pedagogical Resources


4 Activities for Structuring a Dialogic Classroom or Workshop

5 Sample Syllabus
 1 Rhetorics of Whiteness

6 Sample Assignments with Sample Student Texts
 1 Considerations for Writing Short Responses
 2 Sample Response
 3 Facilitation Guidelines
 4 Book Review Assignment
 5 Sample Book Review
 6 Sample Review of Book Read in Electronic Format
 7 Memoir or Critical Dialogue
 8 Sample Memoir
 9 Sample Memoir
 10 Sample Critical Dialogue
 11 Second Sample Critical Dialogue
 12 Cultural Studies Rhetorical Analysis Assignment
 13 Sample Cultural Studies Rhetorical Analysis

Glossary
Bibliography
Students, educators, and activists concerned with critical race theory, whiteness studies, and anti-racist rhetoric, pedagogy, and activism.
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