Critical Whiteness Symposium September 23 & 24, 2010. Call for abstracts deadline March 12, 2010

full name / name of organization: 
The University of Iowa, Project on the Rhetorics of Inquiry (POROI)
contact email: 

September 23 & 24, 2010
University of Iowa

Keynote Speakers:
David Roediger, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Karyn McKinney, Penn State Altoona

This two-day symposium examines the social, cultural and historical production of whiteness, particularly in the age of Obama. The symposium takes up a critical race theory paradigm to engage whiteness and whiteness studies in conversation with the humanities and social sciences. Questions of importance include: How can we interrogate and employ whiteness studies in ways that do not re-center or reify whiteness? Should whiteness studies take an increasingly critical stand in the wake of an Obama Presidency? In other words, how do we maintain a focus on social justice in the face of complacency around institutionalized oppression? We are particularly interested in engaging these and other questions about whiteness in an historical context, thinking through the particular shapes of whiteness, privilege and oppression in the contemporary moment while debunking the ideological lure of a "postracial" America.

We seek abstract submissions that address but are not limited to:

• Whiteness and sexualities
• Whiteness, class and labor struggle
• Whiteness, Orientalism and the Occidental Gaze
• Social movements
• Postracism, postfeminism and post-identity formations
• Homonormativity
• American exceptionalism and Homonationalism
• Mixed race whiteness and white ethnicity
• Whiteness, food culture and "eating the Other"
• Whiteness and regionalism; Midwestern critical whiteness
• Neoliberalism, whiteness and global capitalism
• Representing and consuming whiteness (e.g., visually, aurally, performatively)
• Whiteness and digital culture
• Whiteness, critical pedagogies and the classroom

The symposium will consist of two public lectures featuring David Roediger and Kathryn McKinney, performances, visual installations and scholarly panels that critically examine whiteness. Panel submissions, as well as submissions of individual papers and creative performances are welcome.

Please submit abstracts for papers, panels, or roundtables, accompanied by one-page vitas. Include any AV needs you may have. Submit materials online at by March 12, 2010.

Critical Whiteness Studies Symposium is organized by the Project on Rhetoric of Inquiry (POROI) at the University of Iowa. POROI is an interdisciplinary program dedicated to the exploration of how scholarship and professional discourses are conducted through argument, how paradigms of knowledge are sensitive to social-political contexts, and how the presentation of scholarly and professional findings involve the recognition and negotiation of audiences. Contact POROI at or visit our website, for more information.