Chaotic whiteness: Race, narrative, and the erotics of fear
Jamieson, Lauren Elizabeth
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This thesis is an exploration of the ways in which whiteness, race, and racism are maintained and perpetuated through the use of narratives. I forward four main understandings of chaos as they relate to whiteness and argue that chaos, when applied to racialized narratives, offers a unique lens for addressing whiteness and racism. First, I examine common narratives of race and racism and argue that they inhibit comprehending racism as an institutional, rather than individual phenomenon. I address the importance of emotion as it relates to both whiteness and narratives of race and racism and argue that emotions are both individual and collective aspects of whiteness. I then examine works by black women writers and insist that they employ epistemologies that offer a valuable model for imagining new and healing narratives. Finally, I expose the ways in which ghost stories surrounding a southern plantation are deeply connected to past and present racialized and sexualized narratives of whiteness and blackness. Ultimately, I insist that whiteness is already in a state of chaos, but that alternative meanings of chaos may offer a new way of thinking about whiteness and moving toward a whiteness that does not perpetuate racism through narrative acts.