Below, we are collecting pieces that we feel reflect Exploring Race's mission. We are constantly looking for recommendations- please feel free to suggest your pieces (these can take the form of an article, but also a podcast, video, etc) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jess Row, “White Flights: Race, Fiction, and the American Imagination.”
*We were unable to find a free pdf of this, but we believe this is crucial reading*
In this essay collection published in 2019, Row undertakes a crucial exploration of whiteness. Row argues that America has erased and denied its history. As a writer and scholar, Row traces a persistent "language of whiteness" that permeates canonical American works such as the writing of Annie Dillard and David Foster Wallace; this "language of whiteness" is an unconscious way of engaging with race. Row believes this is connected to "racial melancholia"- the desire for white Americans to confront their own history and identity. But because America has been unable to reconcile with its history, America doesn't understand its history and so doesn't understand its identity. A few questions to consider while reading the piece: How do we learn to think counter-institutionally? And how do we recognize racial melancholia?