In this volume, Ryden and Marshall bring together the field of composition and rhetoric with critical whiteness studies to show that in our post race era whiteness and racism t only survive but actually thrive in higher education. As they examine the effects of racism on contemporary literacy practices and the rhetoric by which white privilege maintains and reproduces itself, Ryden and Marshall consider topics ranging from the emotional investment in whiteness to the role of personal narrative in reconstituting racist identities to critiques of the foundational premises of writing programs steeped in repudiation of despised discourses. Marshall and Ryden alternate chapters to sustain a multi-layered dialogue that traces the rhetorical complexities and contradictions of teaching English and writing in a university setting. Their lived experiences as faculty and administrators serve to underscore the complex code of whiteness even as they push to decode it and demonstrate how their own pedagogical practices are raced and racialized in multiple ways. Collectively, the essays ask instructors and administrators to consider more carefully the pernicious nature of whiteness in their professional activities and how it informs our practices.
Ian Marshall is Assistant Professor of English at William Patterson University. Wendy Ryden is Associate Professor of English at Long Island University--C.W. Post.