Contemporary Whiteness Interrupted

Leaning into Contradiction in the University Classroom
Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


In the United States, Canada, and much of Europe, white nationalism has emerged as a significant part of dominant political, cultural, and social discourse. While this renaissance of white supremacy is significant, with concrete impacts for women, people of color, LGBTQ2, and Indigenous folks, it can be read as a mark of the success of identity politics – specifically the activism, resistance, work, organizing, and scholarship – by these very groups. Conservative white nationalist discourse in mainstream social and other media offers a barometer of a broad and significant epistemic change and indeed heralds the end of certain forms of acceptable whiteness. This is a new white racial formation and requires a new conversation about whiteness and being. The chapter begins by identifying the political, theoretical, and academic project of this work and situates the arguments herein within anti-colonial and critical race theory. The chapter then offers a description of and reflection on the author’s teaching and classroom experiences in a large Canadian teacher education program. It discusses the ways in which white right voices are seeking and finding agency in university classroom spaces, while simultaneously, the experiences and perspectives of people of color, Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ2 folks, and women are increasingly validated and central to mainstream teacher education. The chapter then sketches the broader political context in which these emerging classroom dynamics are situated, suggesting a new moment in race politics.


Alt-right Whiteness Teacher education Racism White supremacy 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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