Whiteness in USAmerican Culture

ENGL 1270w / Vanderbilt University / Spring 2017



This blog is a component of two sections of ENGL 1270W at Vanderbilt University (Spring 2017) on the theme of “Whiteness in USAmerican Culture.” Our course asks: What does it mean to be white in the USA? What is the history of whiteness? Under what conditions did it emerge and under what conditions does it persist? How have diverse authors attempted to define, understand, and navigate it over time? What can Black writers see about whiteness that white folks cannot? Why is it so hard to describe “white culture,” and why do so many white folks identify more strongly with their European/USAmerican ancestry than with a “white identity”?

Want to read along? Syllabus available upon request: russell.j.boutelle@vanderbilt.edu