Whiteness

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Welcome to the Whiteness: Exploring Critical Issues interdisciplinary research and publications project home page. Since the publication of Richard Dyer’s seminal study White in 1997, academics have increasingly turned critical attention to the subject of racial whiteness. Publications include historical accounts detailing the emergence of whiteness as a racial category, cultural studies exploring the representation and construction of white identities in popular culture, film and television scholars examining narratives about white people, reflecting white themes, white obsessions, and white anxieties. Consistent with the shift in critical studies from minority identity formations to consider ‘central’ identities – masculinity, heterosexuality – the study of whiteness is increasingly understood as central to understanding the operation of ‘race’ as a form of social categorisation.

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The project will explore and assess a number of core themes:

  • Appropriation of racial ‘otherness’ within white culture
  • Histories and Images of whiteness in film and television
  • Aesthetics of racial whiteness
  • Whiteness and multiculturalism
  • Performances of/performing ‘whiteness’
  • Writing whiteness in fiction/non-fiction
  • Whiteness and digital culture including video games
  • Fetishisation of whiteness in non-white cultures
  • Racial whiteness, fashion and cosmetics industries
  • The invisibility of whiteness
  • Technologies of white representation
  • Whiteness, gender and sexuality
  • Theories of whiteness and the concept of white supremacy
  • Ethnicity, whiteness and consumer culture
  • Music and music videos and whiteness

Related themes will also be identified for development and exploration. Out of our deliberations it is anticipated that a series of related cross context research projects will develop.