Deconstructing Whiteness: A Select Bibliography

  Recent titles:

Mike Hill, After Whiteness: Unmaking an American Majority (NYU Press, 2004)

Karyn D. McKinney, Being White: Stories of Race and Racism (Routledge, 2005)

Robert Jnsen, The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege

George Yancy, What White Looks Like: African American Philosophers on the Whiteness Question

Fiction, Memoirs, Autobiographies

Historical and Critical Studies

Essays and Articles

Films, Videos, Documentaries


New materials appear almost daily from book publishers, magazines and journals, and internet sites. What follows is only my own selection; I have highlighted with an asterisk * items particularly useful as a place to begin.


 I.  Fiction, Memoirs and Autobiographies

Azoulay, Katya Gibel. Black, Jewish, and Interracial: It's Not the Color of Your Skin, But the Race of Your Kin, and Other Myths of Identity

*Baldwin, James. "Stranger in the Village." Notes of a Native Son

Berger, Maurice. White Lies: Race and the Myths of Whiteness

Boler, Olivia. Year of the Smoke Girl

Harper, Frances E.W. Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted

Henry, Neil. Pearl's Secret: A Black Man's Search for His White Family

Johnson, James Weldon. Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man

Larsen, Nella. Passing

*Lazarre, Jane. Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons

Lewis, Sinclair. Kingsblood Royal

McBride, Frank. The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother

Moraga, Cherrie L. Loving in the War Years

*Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye

Mourning Dove, Cogewea: The Half-Blood

O'Hearn, Claudine Chiawei, ed. Half and Half: Writers on Growing Up Biracial and Bicultural

Reddy, Maureen. Crossing the Color Line: Race, Parenting, and Culture

Senza, Danny. Caucasia

Schuyler, George. Black No More

Smith, Lillian. Killers of the Dream

Walker, Rebecca. Black, White, and Jewish

II.  Historical and Critical Studies

Allen, Theodore. The Invention of the White Race

Appiah, Anthony and Amy Gutmann. Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race

*Babb, Valerie. Whiteness Visible: The Meaning of Whiteness in American Literature and Culture

Bay, Mia. The White Image in The Black Mind: African-American Ideas about White People, 1830-1925

Berger, Maurice. White Lies: Race and the Myths of Whiteness

*Bernardi, Daniel, ed. The Birth of Whiteness: Race and the Emergence of U.S. Cinema

----. Classic Hollywood, Classic Whiteness

Bonnett, Alastair. White Identities: Historical and International Perspectives

Broeck, Sabine. White Amnesia Black Memory? American Women's Writing and History

Brodkin, Karen. How Jews Became White Folks: and What that says about Race in America

Brown, Heloise and Madi Gilkes and Ann Kaloski-Naylor, eds., White? Women: Critical Perspectives on Race and Gender

Caughie, Pamela. Passing and Pedagogy: The Dynamics of Responsibility

Chideya, Farai. The Color of Our Future: Race for the 21st Century

Cuomo, Chris J. and Kim Hall, eds. Whiteness: Feminist Philosophical Reflections

Curry, Renée R., 1955-. White Women Writing White: H.D., Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, And Whiteness

Daniels, Jessie. White Lies: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality in White Supremacist Discourse

Davis, Jane. The White Image in the Black Mind: A Study of African American Literature

Delgado, Richard, and Jean Stefancic, eds. Critical White Studies: Looking Behind the Mirror

Deloria, Vine. Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact

*Dyer, Richard. White

Evans, Nicholas M. Writing Jazz: Race, Nationalism, and Modern Culture in the 1920s

Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin, White Masks

Ferber, Abby L. White Man Falling: Race, Gender, and White Supremacy

Fine, Michelle, et al., eds. Off White: Readings on Race, Power, and Society

Frankenberg, Ruth. White Women/Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness

-----, ed. Displacing Whiteness: Essays in Social and Cultural Criticism

Gilroy, Paul. Against Race: Imagining Political Culture Beyond the Color Line

Gubar, Susan. Racechanges: White Skin, Black Face in American Culture

Hale, Grace Elizabeth. Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940

Haney-Lopez, Ian. White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race

Hill, Mike, ed. Whiteness: A Critical Reader

Hill, Mike. After Whiteness: Unmaking an American Majority (NYU Press, 2004)

Howard, Gary R. We Can't Teach What We Don't Know: White Teachers, Multiracial Schools

Hughes, Langston. The Ways of White Folks

*Hollinger, David. Post-ethnic America

*Ignatiev, Noel. How the Irish Became White

*Jacobson, Matthew Frye. Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race

Jurca, Catherine. White Diaspora: The Suburb and the Twentieth-Century American Novel

Kincheloe, Joe, ed. White Reign: Deploying Whiteness in America

Kivel, Paul. Uprooting Racism: How White People can Work for Racial Justice

Lamont, Michele. The Cultural Territories of Race: Black and White Boundaries

*Lazarre, Jane. Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of A White Mother of Black Sons

Lipsitz, George. The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics

Lott, Eric. Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class

*McCarthy, Cameron and Warren Crichlow, eds. Race, Identity, and Representation in Education

McIntyre, Alice. Making Meaning of Whiteness: Exploring Racial Identity with White Teachers

McKoy, Sheila Smith. When Whites Riot: Writing Race and Violence in American and South African Culture

McKee, Patricia. Producing American Races: Henry James, William Faulkner, Toni Morrison.

McKinney,Karyn D. Being White: Stories of Race and Racism (Routledge, 2005)

Sartwell, Crispin. Act Like You Know: African-American Autobiography and White Identity

*Morrison, Toni. Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination

Thandeka. Learning to be White: Money, Race, and God in America

Thomas, K. Nakayama, Judith N. Martin (editors): Whiteness: The Communication of Social Identity.

O'Donnell, James and Christine Clark, eds. Becoming and Unbecoming White: Owning and Disowning a Racial Identity

Omi, Michael and Howard Winant. Racial Formation in the United States from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Pfeil, Fred. White Guys: Studies in Postmodern Domination and Difference

Rasmussen, Birgit Brander, et al., eds., The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness

Rodriguez, Nelson M and Leila E. Villaverde, eds. Dismantling White Privilege: Pedagogy, Politics, and Whiteness

*Roediger, David. The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class

-----. Towards the Abolition of Whiteness

-----. Colored White: Transcending the Racial Past

-----. ed. Black on White: Black Writers on What It Means to be White

*Rogin, Michael Paul. Black Face, White Noise: Jewish Immigrants in the Melting Pot

Saxton, Alexander. The Rise and Fall of the White Republic: Class Politics and Mass Culture in Nineteenth-Century America

Seshadri-Crooks, Kalpana. Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian Analysis of Race.

Sollors, Werner, ed. Interracialism: Black-White Intermarriage in American History, Literature, and Law

Stokes, Mason. The Color of Sex: Whiteness, Heterosexuality, and the Fictions of White Supremacy

Ware, Vron. Beyond the Pale: White Women, Racism, and History

-----and Les Back. Out of Whiteness: Color, Politics, and Culture

Williams, Linda. Playing the Race Card: Melodramas of Black and White from Uncle Tom to O. J. Simpson

Wray, Matt and Annalee Nevitz, eds. White Trash: Race and Class in America.

Wu, Frank H. Yellow.

III. Essays and Articles

Alberti, John. "The Nigger Huck: Race, Identity, and the Teaching of Huckleberry Finn." College English. 58:8 (Dec. 1995): 919-937.

Fishkin, Shelley Fisher. "Interrogating 'Whiteness,' Complicating 'Blackness': Remapping American Culture." American Quarterly. 47 (Sept. 1995): 428-66.

Du Bois, W. E. B. "The Souls of White Folk." In Du Bois: Writings [Library of America].

*Dyer, Richard. "White." In Dyer, The Matter of Images: Essays on Representations.

-----. "Seeing the White." Times Higher Education Supplement. No. 1286 (June 27 1997).

Giroux, Henry. "Rewriting the Discourse of Racial Identity: Towards a Pedagogy and Politics of Whiteness." Harvard Educational Review. 67:2 (Summer 1997): 285-320.

Hall, Kim. "Beauty and the Beast of Whiteness: Teaching Race and Gender." Shakespeare Quarterly. 47:4 (Winter 1996): 461-76.

Hartigan, John. "Establishing the Fact of Whiteness." American Anthropologist. 99:3 (Sep. 1997): 495-506.

*hooks, bell. "Representations of Whiteness." In Hooks, Black Looks: Race and Representation.

Ignatiev, Noel. Interview, "Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to Humanity." Utne Reader. No. 66 (Nov./Dec. 1994): 82-87.

Keating, AnnLouise. "Interrogating 'Whiteness,' (De)constructing 'Race'. College English. 57:8 (Dec. 1995): 901-18.

Kincheloe, Joe L. "The Struggle to Define and Reinvent Whiteness: A Pedagogical Analysis." College Literature. 26:3 (1999). 162-95.

Kolchin, Peter. "Whiteness Studies: The New History of Race in America." The Journal of American History. 89:1 (2002). 154-73.

*Lipsitz, George. "The Possessive Investment in Whiteness." American Quarterly. 47:3 (Sep. 1995): 369-86.

Lott, Eric. "White Like Me: Racial Cross-Dressing and the Construction of American Whiteness." In Cultures of United States Imperialism, ed. Donald E. Pease and Amy Kaplan. 474-95.

*Mazie, Margery et al. "To Deconstruct Race, Deconstruct Whiteness." American Quarterly. 45:2 (June 1993): 281-95.

Martin, Judith et al. "Exploring Whiteness: A Study of Self-Label for White Americans." Communication Quarterly 44:2 (Spring 1996): 125-45.

*McIntosh, Peggy. "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack." Independent School. 49:2 (1990): 31-36.

Nakayama, Thomas and Robert Krizek. "Whiteness: A Strategic Rhetoric." Quarterly Journal of Speech. 81 (1995): 291-309.

*Rich, Adrienne. "Notes toward a Politics of Location." In Rich, Blood, Bread, and Poetry.

Talbot, Margaret. "Getting Credit for Being White." New York Times Magazine. Vol. 147 (Nov. 30 1997).

Transition, no. 73: "The White Issue".

the minnesota review, "The White Issue," vol. 47 (1996)

Wiegman, Robyn. "Whiteness Studies and the Paradox of Particularity." Boundary 2. 26:3 (1999): 115-150.

Winant, Howard. "Behind Blue Eyes: Whiteness and Contemporary U.S. Racial Politics." New Left Review. No. 225 (Sep./Oct. 1997): 73-89.

IV.  Films, Videos, Documentaries

*Blue-Eyed. Dir. Bertram Verhaag (1996) (documentary on Jane Elliott, inventor of the blue-eyed/brown-eyed classroom experiment on prejudice; includes powerful footage of a workshop done with teachers).

The Color of Fear. Dir Lee Mun Wah (1995). Explosive dialogue among white, black, and asian men about the color lines that divide them.

*Ethnic Notions. Dir. Marlon Riggs (1986) (classic documentary graphically exposing the history of racist stereotyping from the 1830s to 1970s).

Family Name. Dir. Macky Alston (1998) (see

Imitation of Life. Based on the novel of the same name by Fannie Hurst (1932), this story of black-white dependency and passing was twice made into a Hollywood blockbuster. The 1934 version preserves the novel's story of the "Aunt Jemima" stereotype while the 1959 update makes the "tragic mulatta" tale into a contemporary story of sexualized tragedy.

Jefferson's Blood. Produced by Thomas Lennon; narrated by Shelby Steele (2000) ( )
PBS learning site based on their video about Thomas Jefferson's offspring by his slave Sally Hemings, including interviews with "white" and "black" relatives today who are struggling with the question of their own racial identity).

Pinky (1949). dir. Elia Kazan. Modern "tragic mulatta" tale updated by white Hollywood liberals as a statement against Southern racism; features a great performance by Ethel Waters.

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