Teaching Whiteness in American Literature


Teaching Whiteness in American Literature discusses challenges to raising the consciousness of university students of American literature about the impact of whiteness/white supremacy on the development of American characters as they have been portrayed in American literature from J. Hector St. John De Crevecoeur’s late 17th century Letter’s from an American Farmer to David Mamet’s late 20th century Glengarry Glen Ross. Issues to be addressed include (1) the justification for scrutinizing this racial whiteness/white supremacy as building blocks of American identity, and (2) overcoming obstacles to discerning and deconstructing this racial whiteness/white supremacy in the classroom. Because this racial whiteness/white supremacy has been normalized to the point of being sacrosanct and invisible, demystifying it could be judged as heresy and incur serious repercussions. Nonetheless, the benefits of enlightenment make the challenges worthwhile.

Author Information
John Reilly, Loyola Marymount University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: IICAHHawaii2017
Stream: Humanities - Literature/Literary Studies*

This paper is part of the IICAHHawaii2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon