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Whiteness: How We Can Render the Invisible Visible (and Why We Need To)


A lecture and workshop at the Austin Jung Society. Click here to visit their website.

What, exactly, is whiteness? Our contemporary conversation about race in America can be as confusing as it is necessary and overdue. Whiteness is largely invisible to those who are white, until they encounter someone who is nonwhite. 

The racial binary of white/black, or white/notwhite, ascended in the American imagination in the first half of the 20th century, when more complex, pseudoscientific racial classification systems collapsed as biological science disproved their foundations.  In this presentation, we will explore the construction of whiteness in America – why (and for whom) it was useful as a marker of difference, how it connotes normativity, and why it remains so persistently difficult for those who are white to see our whiteness. And we will explore the relative value of understanding whiteness from different depth psychological perspectives: as an avoidance of shadow, as an archetypal identification, and as a reflection of a fundamental resistance to acknowledging the unconscious.