Teaching Whiteness in a Multicultural Context and Color-blind Era

September 27, 2007

12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Ponderosa Centre, Cedar Room

Dr. Zeus Leonardo, University of California, Berkeley

Organized by the Centre for Culture, Identity and Education, and the David Lam Chair in Multicultural Education.

This presentation centered around the critical theme of whiteness. Since the innovation of whiteness studies within the multicultural literature in the late 1980s, the question of “What to do with whiteness?” has been posed. There are two principal strategies for dealing with the politics of whiteness: White reconstructionism and White abolitionism. White reconstructionism is arguably a strategy of reinventing whiteness in hopes of rescuing its anti-oppressive dimensions. In white abolitionism, there is no hope in whiteness and the strategy is to locate it, insist that whites disidentify with it, and thereby commit race treason. This presentation appraised the conceptual and strategic understanding of whiteness through the prisms of white reconstructionism and abolitionism.


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