Reading, Writing, and the Rhetorics of Whiteness
Routledge – 2012 – 190 pages
In this volume, Ryden and Marshall bring together the field of composition and rhetoric with critical whiteness studies to show that in our "post race" era whiteness and racism not only survive but actually thrive in higher education. As they examine the effects of racism on contemporary literacy practices and the rhetoric by which white privilege maintains and reproduces itself, Ryden and Marshall consider topics ranging from the emotional investment in whiteness to the role of personal narrative in reconstituting racist identities to critiques of the foundational premises of writing programs steeped in repudiation of despised discourses. Marshall and Ryden alternate chapters to sustain a multi-layered dialogue that traces the rhetorical complexities and contradictions of teaching English and writing in a university setting. Their lived experiences as faculty and administrators serve to underscore the complex code of whiteness even as they push to decode it and demonstrate how their own pedagogical practices are raced and racialized in multiple ways. Collectively, the essays ask instructors and administrators to consider more carefully the pernicious nature of whiteness in their professional activities and how it informs our practices.
"Wendy Ryden and Ian Marshall's Reading, Writing, and the Rhetorics of Whiteness is a difficult book, but an important one for scholars interested in rhetoric, whiteness studies, and basic writing. It is an eclectic and intricate set of musings on writing pedagogy, culture, and race, and it is this eclecticism that both challenges the reader and opens new possibilities for dialogue about the discursive and material dominance of whiteness." --Timothy Barnett in Composition Forum
Contents Introduction: Where Has All the Whiteness Gone? Reading and Writing Race in a "Post-Race" Era, Wendy Ryden and Ian Marshall 1: Confessing Whiteness: Performing the Anti-Racist, Liberal Subject, Wendy Ryden 2: Whiteness (as) in Basic Writing, Ian Marshall 3: The Kitsch of Liberal Whiteness and Bankrupt Discourses of Race, Wendy Ryden 4: Whiteness, Composition, and Enthymemes of Institutional Discourse, Ian Marshall 5: Moving Whiteness: Rhetoric and Political Emotion, Wendy Ryden 6: Encountering Whiteness as Resistance: Dialogue and Authority in the Composition Classroom, Ian Marshall Afterword: "Washing the White Blood from Daniel Boone", Ian Marshall and Wendy Ryden
Ian Marshall is Assistant Professor of English at William Patterson University.
Wendy Ryden is Associate Professor of English at Long Island University--C.W. Post.