NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1014009
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 24
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Making Whites from the Dark Side: Teaching Whiteness Studies at San Francisco State University
Sueyoshi, Amy
History Teacher, v46 n3 p373-396 May 2013
While whiteness studies at most institutions aims to expose the persistence of white supremacy to a disbelieving audience, whiteness studies within the College of Ethnic Studies (COES) at San Francisco State University (SFSU) begins with the assumption that racism still exists. The course then traces how whiteness is constructed and fortified to point to its very instability. The author's goal is to give hope and strength to the predominantly left-leaning students curious about race in America. The course has radicalized white liberals, brought new consciousness to mixed-race students, and clarified how whiteness persists within communities of color even in the seeming absence of whites. Each year, the class leaves the author surprisingly inspired by students' earnest engagement. Making whites from what social conservatives might consider the dark side--teaching whiteness studies at a largely immigrant, working-class, student of color university in the queer capital of America from a queer feminist of color theoretical framework--sheds a different pedagogical light upon a field littered with harrowing war stories. In this article, the author discusses her experiences as a queer minority feminist teaching whiteness studies at the COES. She discusses whiteness studies as an academic field, cultural diversity at SFSU, and conflict concerning the teaching of whiteness studies. The article also discusses the curriculum of whiteness studies, particularly the study of power relations in the U.S. The essay concludes in noting that whiteness studies is not just about combating racial inequality, but all dimensions of injustice along gender, class, sexuality, and even ability. It means pushing back against white male heterosexual privilege and not accepting situations that reward misogyny, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia, in addition to racism and xenophobia. The author states that while she writes this essay largely for the instruction of future students who will enroll in a whiteness class,she also writes to remind people to support faculty of color who teach for social justice and remain for obvious reasons unable or unwilling to share their difficulties in the classroom. (Contains 63 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A