Titled after Don DeLillo’s White Noise, in which identity politics reaches its reductio ad absurdum in a Hitler Studies department, our second AFTER 1989 installment explores the curious phenomenon of white ethnic identity in the 1990s. Think back to a time when Bill Clinton was called the “first African American President,” when Samuel Huntington claimed we were in a “Clash of Civilizations,” when the militia movement erupted in the Waco shootout and the Oklahoma City bombings–and when Asian Americans were positioned as “honorary whites” in the affirmative action debates. We’ve asked influential US labor historian and pioneer of critical whiteness studies, David Roediger (Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class, University of Illinois), to join Christian Lander, the mind behind the meme and NY Times bestselling book Stuff White People Like, and National Review Contributing Editor Reihan Salam to talk about white racial formation. Dan Charnas explains what Vanilla Ice can tell us about race. American Book Award-winner Neela Vaswani, a multiracial author of Indian and Irish descent, talks about her white ethnic heritage. Jamia Wilson (CSPAN, CBS News, Good Magazine) talks Sassy Magazine and Negin Farsad (Nerdcore Rising, The Watch List on Comedy Central) talks about doing stand-up for white audiences. See www.aaww.org/1989 for more details.
Exhibits: Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby,” Grunge, Sassy Magazine, Multiracial White Identity, The White Audience
Free and open to the public
A project of The Asian American Writers’ Workshop, where we’re inventing the future of Asian American intellectual culture.
Dan Charnas, Christian Lander, David Roediger, Reihan Salam, Neela Vaswani, Jamia Wilson, Negin Farsad
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