Whiteness and Women
What follows are messages and a bibliography of works about women and
whiteness. The contents in Part 1 appeared on WMST-L in 1993 and 1994; those
in Part 2 (discussing pedagogical exercises), in early 1999. For additional
WMST-L files available on the Web, see the WMST-L File List.
PAGE 1 OF 2
Date: Thu, 07 Apr 1994 00:48:52 -0400 (EDT)
From: susanne <LUHMANN @ VM1.YORKU.CA>
Subject: white women and race
last month I asked for texts used to teach about white women and race/racism.
Thnx for all the responses. Today I post the list (mainly from a bib Giavanna J
. Munafo send me plus some additions.)
I would really like to hear which texts people use in which classes (undergrad/
grad, course title and institution) as I am working on a paper on what is taugh
t in Ws/feminist classes about this matter.
Please respond to me privately. Thank you!
Aptheker, Bettina: Women's Legacy.
Blee, Kathleen: Women of the Klan.
Brady, Maureen: Folly (novel: lesbian, race relations).
Carby, Hazel: Reconstructing Womanhood.
Caraway, Nancie: Segregated Sisterhood. Racism and the Politics of American
Erikson, Peter: Profiles in Whiteness. In : The Stanford Humanities Review
Fowlkes, Dianna: White Political Women.
Frankenberg, Ruth: White Women--Race Matters. (1993).
Frye, Marilyn: sel. essays in "The Politics of Reality" (1981).
Hall, Kim F.: In: Women, "Race" and Writing.
hooks, bell: Representing Whiteness. In: Black Looks.
Morrison, Toni: Playing in the Dark.
Pratt, Minnie B.: Rebellion (Especially: Skin, Blood, and Identity).
Rich, Adrienne: essays in "Lies and Secrets ..." and in "Bread, Blood and
Roman, Leslie G.: White is a Color! In: Race, Identity and Representation in
Education. C. McCarthy/W. Crichlow (eds.) (1993)
Russo, Ann: We cannot live without our lives. In: Third world feminism.
Segrest, Mab: My mother's dead squirrel.
Spelman,E: Inessential woman.
Ware, Vron: Beyond the pale. White women, racism and history.
Welch, Sharon: A feminist ethicof risk (1990).
Wilson, B.: Murder in the collective. (novel: lesbian, race relations).
Young, Lisa: in women "race" and writing.
I just put out a biblo about white women and race/racism when I noticed
that some stuff was still missing.
Therefore here part 2:
Doane, Mary Ann: Dark Continents. Epsitemologies of racial and sexual
difference. In: Doane, M.A.: "Femmes Fatales: Feminism, film theory,
McIntosh, Peggy: White privilege and male privilege. In an anthology "RAce,
class and gender".
Wellman, David: Portraits of white racism.
Thanx again for all these suggestions.
And I'd love to hear what is used in which course (undergrad/grad, course title
Please respond privately to LUHMANN @ VM1.YORKU.CA
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 1994 07:02:00 -0500 (EST)
From: RHODA UNGER <UNGER @ APOLLO.MONTCLAIR.EDU>
Subject: RE: white women and racism
I highly recommend an article by L. G.
Roman (1993). White is a color! White defensiveness, postmodernism, and
anti-racist pedagogy. In C. McCarthy & W. Crichlow (Eds.). Race identity
and representation in education. NY: Routledge (pp. 71 - 88). Don't be
put off by the postmodernist "jargon," this paper really transcends its
genre. Rhoda Unger unger @ apollo.montclair.edu
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 1994 11:04:22 -0500
From: "Giavanna J. Munafo" <gjm9u @ DARWIN.CLAS.VIRGINIA.EDU>
Subject: Women and Whiteness research
I am working on a project about the figuring of whiteness in contemporary
novels by African- and Anglo-American women and would appreciate any
references to useful resouces anyone might recommend. I am working
primarily with Roediger, Lott, Dyer, Frankenberg and Morrison re:
whiteness. (Ruth Frankenberg's _White Women, Race Matters: The Social
Construction of Whiteness_ is very helpful, FYI.) I include readings of
novels by Morrison, Kaye Gibbons, Walker, Rosellen Brown, Thulani Davis,
and Oates. Anything that considers women's relations to white racial
identity would be especially useful, since much of the work on whiteness with
which I am familiar is about men. I'm also trying to locate women's
relations to whiteness vis a vis particular historical and cultural moments
in (mid- to late-) 20th-century America, like the desegregation of the
schools, for example. Any thoughts, questions, etc. welcome. Reply
privately with suggested sources, to the list, I guess, if it's a more general
(theoretical) response re: the basis for the project or this kind of work.
gjm9u @ virginia.edu
From: UMBC2::KORENMAN "Joan Korenman" 30-SEP-1992 08:33:48.43
To: BITNET%"WMST-L @ UMDD.BITNET"
Subj: RE: Construction of whiteness
> I would be grateful for references to feminist work on the construction of
> whiteness. I have and appreciate Beyond the Pale: White Women, Racism, and
> History by Vron Ware (New York: Verso, 1992). Thank you.
> Amy Kastely kastely @ uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.edu
Some works that may be useful include the following:
1) "White" by Richard Dyer. The xeroxed copy someone gave me says
only that it appeared in SCREEN sometime in 1988. It's an excellent
discussion by a gay white male, focusing primarily but not exclusively on
the representation of whiteness as an ethnic category in film.
2) "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of
Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women's Studies," by Peggy
McIntosh. In RACE, CLASS, AND GENDER: AN ANTHOLOGY, ed. Margaret L.
Andersen and Patricia Hill Collins (Wadsworth, 1992). I have substantial
reservations about this piece; McIntosh continues to treat "white" too
monolithically, I think, in spite of many people's having called this to
her attention. Still, it contains many useful insights.
3) "White Woman Feminist" by Marilyn Frye in her recent collection
of essays, WILLFUL VIRGIN: ESSAYS IN FEMINISM 1976-1992 (Crossing Press,
1992). According to Frye, this is the latest version of her earlier essay,
"On Being White," which is contained in her earlier collection, THE
POLITICS OF REALITY (Crossing Press, 1983).
4) "Representing Whiteness: Seeing Wings of Desire" by bell hooks
in her collection of essays YEARNING: RACE, GENDER, AND CULTURAL POLITICS
(South End Press, 1990). In this essay, African American feminist bell
hooks focuses on Wim Wenders' film "Wings of Desire." I suspect that she
has other essays as well that discuss the representation of whiteness, but
I can't think of specific titles at the moment.
5) "A Theory of Black Women's Texts and White Women's Readings, or
. . . The Necessity of Being Other" by Minrose C. Gwin (in NWSA JOURNAL, v.
1, No. 1, Autumn, 1988, along with Barbara Christian's response, "Response
to 'Black Women's Texts" in the same issue).
6) WHITE WOMEN, RACE MATTERS: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF WHITENESS
by Ruth Frankenberg (U. of Minnesota Press, 1993).
* Joan Korenman Internet: korenman @ umbc2.umbc.edu *
* U. of Md. Baltimore County Bitnet: korenman @ umbc *
* Baltimore, MD 21228-5398 *
* The only person to have everything done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe *
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 1993 07:50:23 -0400
From: Glynis Carr <gcarr @ MAIL.BUCKNELL.EDU>
Subject: RE: White Privilege essay
I agree with Joan Korenman's criticism of McIntosh's overly general notion
of "white privilege." Although I find M's essay extremely valuable in the
classroom--especially as an "eye-opener" for white students unused to
thinking about race theoretically--many of the privileges she lists as
"white privileges" seem to me to be class privileges instead. Also, when I
use this article with students, I ask them to consider differences between
types of privilege. That is, I ask them, as a preliminary step, to
distinguish between those privileges that need to be renounced and those
that need to be more broadly socialized (e.g., the "privilege" of being
ignorant of other cultures vs. the "privilege" of being treated fairly by
the banking industry). This helps students answer their perennial
question: now that I know about racism, what do I do?
WOMEN AND WHITENESS, A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Prepared by Giavanna Munafo (July 1994)
gjm9u @ darwin.clas.virginia.edu
NOTE: This bibiolography is in process; full citations are provided wherever
currently possible. Additions or suggestions welcome.
Aptheker, Bettina, _Women's Legacy_
Blee, Kathleen M., _Women of the Klan_ (Berkeley: U. of CA Press, 1991)
Brady, Maureen, _Folly_ (novel--lesbian/race-relations)
Bulkin, Elly, Minnie Bruce Pratt and Barbara Smith, _Yours in Struggle:
Three Feminist Perspectives on Anti-Semitism and Racism_ (Brooklyn:
Long Haul Press, 1984)
Caraway, Nancie, _Segregated Sisterhood: Racism and
the Politics of American Feminism_ (Knoxville: U. of TN Press, 1991)
Carby, Hazel, _Reconstructing Womanhood_ (New York: Oxford U. Press,1987)
Doane, Mary Ann, "Dark Continents" in her _Femme Fatales_ (new York:
Erickson, Peter, "Profiles in Whiteness" in the _Stanford Humanities
Review_ (Winter, 1993)
Jones, Lisa, _Bulletproof Diva_ (New York: Doubleday, 1994)
Fowlks, Diana, _White Political Women_ (Knoxville: U. of TN Press, 1992)
Frankenberg, Ruth, _White Women, Race Matters: The Social Contruction
of Whiteness_ (Minneapolis: U. of MN press, 1993)
Frye, Marilyn, "On Being White" in _The Politics of Reality_
(Freedom, CA: Crossing Press, 1983)
Frye, Marilyn, "White Woman Feminist" in _Willful Virgin_ (Freedom, CA:
Crossing Press, 1992)
Hall, Kim F., in _Women, "Race," and Writing_ (New York: Routledge, 1994)
Hooks, Bell, "Representing Whiteness" in _Black Looks_ (Boston: South End
Kaye/Kantrowitz, Melanie, in _The Issue is Power_
McIntosh, Peggy, "White Privilege, Male Privilege" in _Race, Class, Gender_
Moraga, Cherrie, _Loving in the War Years_ and _The Last Generation_
Morrison, Toni, _Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the
Literary Imagination_ (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press,1992)
Pratt, Minnie Bruce, _Rebellion: Essays_ (1991)
Rich, Adrienne, selected essays from _Lies, Secrets,
and Silence_ (New York: Norton, 1979) and _Bread, Blood, and Poetry_
(New York: Norton, 1986)
Roman, Leslie G., "White is a Color!" in McCarthy and Crichlow, eds., _Race,
Identity and Representation_ (New York: Routledge, 1993)
Root, Maria, _Racially Mixed People in America_
Russo, Ann, "We Cannot Live without Our Lives"
in _Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism_, ed. Mohanty,
Russo and Torres (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991)
Seagrest, Mab, _Memoir of a Race Traitor_ (Boston: South End Press, 1994)
Spelman, Elizabeth, _Inessential Woman_ (Boston: Beacon Press, 1988)
Ware, Vron: _Beyond the Pale: White Women,
Racism, and History_ (London: Verson, 1992)
Welch, Sharon, _A Feminist Ethic of Risk_ (Minneapolis: Fortress
Wilson, Barbara, _Murder in the Collective_
Young, Lisa, in _Women, "Race," and Writing in the Early Modern Period_
(London: Routledge, 1994)
On whiteness, but not on women per se, I must also mention:
Roediger, David, _The Wages of Whiteness_ (New York: Oxford U. press, 1993)
Lott, Eric, _Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working
Class (New York: Oxford U. press, 1993)
Dyer, Richard, "White" in _Screen_ 29.1 (Winter '88)
Wellman, David, _Portraits of White Racism_ (New York: Cambridge U.
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