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Critical Whiteness and Rural Geographies III

Type: Paper
Theme: Ethnonationalism and Exclusion Around the World
Sponsor Groups: Rural Geography Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Black Geographies Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 4:55 PM / 6:10 PM (MDT)
Room: Virtual Track 4
Organizers: Gabriel Schwartzman, Gretchen Sneegas
Chairs: Gabriel Schwartzman


From electoral politics to popular culture, the relationship between 'Rural America' and whiteness is increasingly on display in media coverage and experienced through the resounding effects of nationalist politics. As an identity, ideology, politics, particularly as relationally produced through racializations of 'non-whites,' whiteness has been a useful analytic for geographers understanding the production and maintenance of rural spaces in and beyond white settler societies (Scott 2010; Lensmire 2017). Furthermore, theorizations of white supremacy have enabled scholars of race and racialization to examine the modalities of power that create regimes of racialized violence and uneven development across space (Bonds and Inwood 2016).

Looking to rural geographies, this session extends conversations occurring in Critical Whiteness Studies, Critical Race Studies and Rural Geography around the power of racialization and white supremacy to produce space. We consider that white supremacy "describes and locates white racial domination by underscoring the material production and violence of racial structures and the hegemony of whiteness in settler societies." (Bonds and Inwood 2016: 716). This session includes papers that examine the relations of whiteness, white supremacy and settler colonialism to processes of racialization in rural geographies of US, Canada and Argentina. Responding to calls to critically engage with the maintenance of whiteness in a 'white discipline' (Derickson 2017), these sessions will expand theorizations of whiteness and rural geography in relation to racialization, blackness, indigeneity, orientalism and white supremacy. We believe a relational approach to whiteness and its constitutive others may advance our understanding of the cultural and political economic geographies that produce and depend on oppression, rather than simply enumerating the effects of oppression(Woods 2002; McKittrick 2014; Williamson 2016). Additionally, we seek to train a focus of study away from the effects of violence enacted on Indigenous, Brown and Black people and onto the technologies of violence that constitute violent relations of power (Tuck and Yang 2015; Derickson 2017).

Building upon studies of race, racialization and whiteness in rural geography (e.g. Neal 2009; Scott 2010; Nelson et al 2015, Van Zandt and Bosworth 2017), these sessions engage multi-disciplinary approaches to understand whiteness and rural geographies, including from Rural Geography, Rural Studies, Black Geographies, Latinx Geographies, Critical Indigenous Studies, political economy, agrarian studies, political ecology, Critical Whiteness studies, Black Geographies, Latinx Geographies, Native Studies and/or Black Studies (e.g. see: McKittrick and Woods 2007; Tuck and Yang 2012; Glenn 2015; Eaves 2016; Sharpe 2016; Speed 2017; Bledsoe et al 2017; Cahaus 2018; Wright and Bledsoe 2019; as bodies of scholarship that extensively and relationally theorize whiteness). By examining whiteness not as an object onto itself, but in relation to white supremacy, settler colonialism, racialization and anti-blackness, this session intends to further develop the geographically situated ways in which white people benefit from whiteness in rural settings.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Gabriel Schwartzman University of Minnesota 5 4:55 PM
Presenter Kathryn Anderson*, University of California - Berkeley, White Supremacy, Polarized Politics, and ‘Voting Against Your Interests’ in Rural Agricultural Associations 12 5:00 PM
Presenter Ann Oberhauser*, Iowa State University, Rurality, Race, and the U.S. Presidential Election: Reflections from the Heartland 12 5:12 PM
Presenter Monica Stephens*, University At Buffalo, Algorithmic Chaos: Bots and the #Whitelivesmatter Movement 12 5:24 PM
Presenter John Hines*, , Rural Gentrification as White Flight: Race and Class in the Creation of the “New” West Archipelago 12 5:36 PM
Presenter Robin Lovell*, Manhattan College, Foodies and Food Citizens in the Hudson River Valley 12 5:48 PM

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