I am posting a short segment from the first chapter of my book, On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life, which was published by Duke University Press last year (https://www.dukeupress.edu/Open-to-the-Public-49485/). As the new academic year approaches, and events and workshops are being announced, I keep noticing how easily whiteness gets reproduced. Below is one example of coming up against whiteness….
What does it mean to talk about whiteness as an institutional problem or as a problem of institutions? When we describe institutions as being white, we are pointing to how institutional spaces are shaped by the proximity of some bodies and not others: white bodies gather, and create the impression of coherence. When I walk into university meetings that is just what I encounter. Sometimes I get used to it. At one conference we organize, four Black feminists arrive. They all happen to walk into…
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