Presentation Title

From white privilege to white complicity pedagogy

Biographical Sketch

Savannah Wilcek, Anneliese Waalkes, and Jonah Jones-Stevens are students at DePauw University.

Type of Presentation

Individual presentation

Brief Description of Presentation

While critical media literacy has always been concerned with race, we seek to further nuance this literature by examining how white students' best intentions can reproduce racism.

Abstract of Proposal

When engaging white students in discussions about the racism and representation in the media, students can display a range of reactions. While "distancing strategies," which name the various ways students can distance themselves from racism (e.g., by focusing on progress, saying "it's culture not race," silence), have been considered in critical media literacy, we want to further nuance this conversation. We do so by acknowledging and addressing another, seemingly positive, response, which is when white students embrace critiques of white privilege. We show how this can further reproduce racism by re-centering white moral agency. To do this, we turn to Barbara Applebaum's philosophical work on whiteness and goodness. In doing so, we address the limitations of "white privilege pedagogy," and articulate her "white complicity pedagogy." In conclusion, we show the distinction between these two by engaging examples from media.

Start Date

2-24-2018 9:50 AM

End Date

2-24-2018 11:20 AM

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Feb 24th, 9:50 AM Feb 24th, 11:20 AM

From white privilege to white complicity pedagogy

When engaging white students in discussions about the racism and representation in the media, students can display a range of reactions. While "distancing strategies," which name the various ways students can distance themselves from racism (e.g., by focusing on progress, saying "it's culture not race," silence), have been considered in critical media literacy, we want to further nuance this conversation. We do so by acknowledging and addressing another, seemingly positive, response, which is when white students embrace critiques of white privilege. We show how this can further reproduce racism by re-centering white moral agency. To do this, we turn to Barbara Applebaum's philosophical work on whiteness and goodness. In doing so, we address the limitations of "white privilege pedagogy," and articulate her "white complicity pedagogy." In conclusion, we show the distinction between these two by engaging examples from media.