Title

Whiteness at Whitman: A Discursive Study

Abstract

The last significant study of whiteness discourse in rhetorical studies occurred in the work of Nakayama and Krizek in 1995. In my presentation I provide an updated analysis of whiteness discourse, using Nakayama and Krizek’s theory of whiteness. Through ethnographic interviews with Whitman College students, I examine how whiteness functions as a discursive strategy at Whitman, and I demonstrate how whiteness is no longer invisible in the university setting. Whitman students talk about race primarily in terms of “diversity,” “understanding,” “comfort” and “privilege.” The ways students discuss race, and as a result conceive of whiteness, strategically maneuver around the challenge to white student dominance. By discussing whiteness in non-disruptive ways, students reinforce the racial hierarchy in our community.

Faculty Sponsor

Heather Hayes

Tracks

Race and Representation

Terms of Use

ARMINDA Terms of Use

Location

Maxey 104

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Apr 11th, 11:15 AM Apr 11th, 11:30 AM

Whiteness at Whitman: A Discursive Study

Maxey 104

The last significant study of whiteness discourse in rhetorical studies occurred in the work of Nakayama and Krizek in 1995. In my presentation I provide an updated analysis of whiteness discourse, using Nakayama and Krizek’s theory of whiteness. Through ethnographic interviews with Whitman College students, I examine how whiteness functions as a discursive strategy at Whitman, and I demonstrate how whiteness is no longer invisible in the university setting. Whitman students talk about race primarily in terms of “diversity,” “understanding,” “comfort” and “privilege.” The ways students discuss race, and as a result conceive of whiteness, strategically maneuver around the challenge to white student dominance. By discussing whiteness in non-disruptive ways, students reinforce the racial hierarchy in our community.

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