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Whitening Race

Essays in social and cultural criticism

Whitening Race by Aileen Moreton-Robinson
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With its focus on Australia, Whitening Race engages with relations between migration, Indigenous dispossession and whiteness. It creates a new intellectual space that investigates the nature of racialised conditions and their role in reproducing colonising relations in Australia.

Aileen Moreton-Robinson has brought together scholars from a range of disciplines: philosophy, cultural and gender studies, education, social work, sociology and literary studies. All engage critically with the location of the social and discursive construction of whiteness.

‘Whitening Race collects a range of new contributions to questions of immigration and Indigenous dispossession from the perspective of the recently developing field of whiteness studies. This is a challenging and useful collection, which aims at nothing less than remaking contemporary Australian understandings of the cultural construction of race.’

Graeme Turner, Director, Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Queensland

‘This book is an important and inspirational addition to the critical writings on race…historically in Australian scholarship on race, the object for study has been the other, in particular the non-white other. The privileged subject position of the white Australian and the structural location and cultural practices of whiteness are rarely examined…The essays provide rigorous scholarly material that is accessible and useful for students coming freshly to whiteness studies and for researchers engaging with the fraught field of race relations. The collection extends existing material in the field and challenges and inspires everyone to rethink and reconsider.’

Maryrose Casey, Australian Studies Centre, University of Queensland

Aboriginal Studies Press; November 2004
320 pages; ISBN 9780855755782
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: Whitening Race
Author: Aileen Moreton-Robinson


Preface vii

Acknowledgements x

Contributors xi

Part I. Whiteness and Knowing 1

1. Anxieties of dispossession: whiteness, history, and Australia’s war in Viet Nam 3

Alison Ravenscroft

2. Reconciliation in and out of perspective: white knowing, seeing, curating and being at home in and against Indigenous sovereignty 17

Fiona Nicoll

3. Racism, foreigner communities and the onto-pathology of white Australian subjectivity 32

Toula Nicolacopoulos and George Vassilacopoulos

4. Thoughts on a politics of whiteness in a (never quite post)
colonial country: abolitionism, essentialism and incommensurability 48

Jane Haggis

5. Racial positioning, privilege and public debate 59

Gillian Cowlishaw

6. Whiteness, epistemology and Indigenous representation 75

Aileen Moreton-Robinson

7. Destabilising or recuperating whiteness? (un)mapping ‘the self ’ of agentic learning discourses 89

Sue Shore

8. Social work theory and practice: the invisibility of whiteness 104

Susan Young

9. Decentring white men: critical reflections on masculinity and white studies 119

Bob Pease

Part II. Whiteness and Nation 131

10. Frontier theory: displacement and disavowal in the writing of white nations 133

Kate Foord

11. ‘A lovely land … by shadows dark untainted’?: whiteness and early Queensland women’s writing 148

Belinda McKay

12. False whiteness: ‘passing’ and the stolen generations 164

Maureen Perkins

13. Terrains of migrancy and whiteness: how British migrants locate themselves in Australia 176

Susanne Schech and Jane Haggis

14. Differentiating whiteness: white Australia, white masculinities and Aboriginal reconciliation 192

Ben Wadham

15. Whiteness in constructions of Australian nationhood: Indigenes, immigrants and governmentality 208

Catriona Elder, Cath Ellis and Angela Pratt

16. Borderline anxieties: what whitening the Irish has to do with keeping out asylum seekers 222

Jon Stratton

17. Refugees and the coloniality of power: border-crossers of postcolonial whiteness 239

Sonia Tascón

Notes 254

Bibliography 267

Index 298