Whiteness is present everywhere and nowhere | Radio Moreeni 98,4 MHz

Whiteness is present everywhere and nowhere

The theme of the NordMedia 2017 conference, Mediated Realities – Global Challenges, must be approached piece by piece. Professor Jackie Stacey from the University of Manchester, did that by studying the pale whiteness of Tilda Swinton.

Jackie Stacey delivering her keynote speech: Feminism, Cultural Studies and Queer Theory: An Unfinished Conversation (Kuva: Riitta Yrjönen)

“Thinking about mediated realities is very politically important at the moment”, Jackie Stacey comments on the theme of the NordMedia 2017 conference.

For her, conceptualizing this theme is something that media researchers now have to consider.

“The way I tend to work is to find a text that I am particularly intrigued by and that condenses these broader political conceptual issues”, Stacey says.

Stacey contemplates the questions of cultural differences, racism and religious intolerance that are now present in the media. One of the four case studies on her keynote lecture was actress Tilda Swinton’s pale whiteness.

Stacey originally wrote her talk on tribute to Richard Dyer, who recently retired from King’s College London. Dyer’s book White, according to Stacey, is highly influential, covering the history of whiteness in the cinema. The book highlights the history of invisibility of whiteness in contrast to the visibility of marked categories of blackness and other non-white categories. Dyer argues that whiteness is hard to talk about compared with non-whiteness, which is much easier to define and to categorize.

“The challenge of the book is to think how whiteness has presented itself as universal”, Stacey says.


Listen to the full interview on SoundCloud, where Jackie Stacey tells more about the relationship between the political and the cultural.

The keynote lecture by Jackie Stacey: Feminism, Cultural Studies and Queer Theory: An Unfinished Conversation

 

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