CFP: Race and Class Consciousness: Contradictions, Resolutions, and
Reconciliation in the Ethical Consumption and Eco-SustainabilityMovements
jancius at ohio.edu
Sun Sep 30 14:18:59 EDT 2007
Call for Papers for Book:
Race and Class Consciousness:
Contradictions, Resolutions, and Reconciliation in the Ethical Consumption
and Eco-Sustainability Movements
Edited by Amie Breeze Harper
Abstract Deadline: Accepting abstracts until January 1, 2008
Full Chapter Deadline: September 1, 2008
Approximate Date of Book Publication: Summer 2009
The alternative foods, ethical consumption, and environmental sustainability
movements in the USA, have grown exponentially in the past decade. The
fusion of white racialized consciousness, 1st Worldism, and middle/upper
class experience drives the formulation of "ethics", "morality", and
"sustainability" that the "status quo" dominating these movements espouse.
Rarely, if ever, has the status quo of these movements written about how
[white] racialized consciousness and class status impact their philosophies
and advocacy of animal rights, veganism, fair trade, eco-sustainable living,
etc., in the USA. Deeper investigations by academic scholars have found that
collectively, this "privileged" demographic tends to view their ethics as
"colorblind", thereby passively discouraging reflections on white and class
privilege within alternative food movements (Slocum 2006) and animal rights
activism (Nagra 2003; Poldervaart 2001). Consequently, academic scholars
such as Dr. Rachel Slocum feel that rather than fostering equality,
"alternative food practice reproduces white privilege in American society".
(Slocum 2006, 13). This oversight deserves critical redress if the goals of
these movements are to be globalized and accessible to people of color and
In addition, this dynamic within these movements leads people of color in
the U.S. to perceive the animal rights/ethical consumption movement as being
"elitist," "racist" and insensitive to the experiences and struggles of
racial minorities and working class people. One of the clearest and most
recent examples of movement-initiated acts that encourage this perception by
people of color has been communicated through ethical consumption campaigns.
PETA's 2005 use of images of lynched black men, Holocaust victims, and
Native American genocide to parallel non-human animal suffering was
perceived as most offensive by people of color. Complaints about these
images by people of color are often collectively viewed by white middle
class animal rights activists as "speciesist" or "selfish" ; people of color
view such advertisements as "racist". Neither "wrong" nor "right", such
responses deserve deeper understanding and analysis of the complexities and
clashes of race, racialized consciousness, and speciesism within all
communities in the USA and beyond.
Simultaneously, one can see contradictions within certain pockets of
communities of color that uphold anti-racism and anti-poverty practices from
an anthropocentric praxis, espousing philosophies of "freedom" and
"equality" that do not take non-human animals rights, holistic health
practices, or eco-sustainable living into mind. Such an example can be seen
from the 2007 NFL player Michael Vick dogfighting case, in which many of his
supporters defend him and dogfighting as "cultural"-- exempt from scrutiny
from white middle class society.
Because these misalignments of interests and differing perceptions of
"justice" and "equality" are real and cannot be taken lightly, this is a
call for papers to address the contradictions and clashes of "ethics" and
"equality" within white middle class dominated ethical consumption,
alternative foods and eco-sustainability movements as well as within
communities of color that often focus solely on antiracist and antipoverty
rhetoric without incorporating the effects of over-consumption, non-human
animal rights, encouragement of healthier eating, and eco-sustainability
into their liberation and equality strategies. It is also a call for papers
to begin to resolve and reconcile these contradictions and clashes on all
sides; particularly for those with racial privilege and middle/upper class
status in the 1st World, who do not acknowledge the impact of racialized
consciousness and 1st World perception on the production of knowledge, power
and policy; and view the movement as "colorblind", a concept Law Professor,
Jerry Kang, theorizes as equaling "default whiteness" (Kang 2000).
Through lenses such as whiteness studies, critical race theory, humane
education, decolonization, critical race feminism, ecological literacy,
womanism and working class studies, this anthology welcomes voices from
people who support the concept of eco-sustainability, alternative foods, and
ethical consumption philosophy, regardless of the challenges they may
present. All disciplines are welcomed. Interdisciplinary approaches, voices
from people of color, working class folk, and activists from the Third World
are strongly encouraged.
The book will tentatively have these sections:
1. White or Right? Comparing ethnic minority suffering to non-human animal
suffering by "cruelty-free" consumption organizations.
2. "Healthy" as Skinny, White, and Vegan: How whiteness shapes the concept
of "healthy alternative food practices" and the "healthy" body in the USA.
3. Culture or Cruelty Argument: Analysis of creating ethnically-based
cultural identity and solidarity around ecocidal and non-human animal
4. The Unbearable Whiteness of Being [Green]: Analyzing the impact of white
racialized consciousness and class privilege on the eco-sustainability
movement in the USA and globally.
5. "It's a White Thing, Not Our Thing": Consequences of eco-sustainability,
"health" foods, and "cruelty-free" consumption perceived strictly as a
"white thing" by people and communities of color engaged in anti-racist and
6. "The Only Color We Care About is Green": Reproductions of systemic and
institutionalized racism and classism within literature, "colorblind"
organizations, etc., dedicated to "cruelty-free" consumption or
7. Resolutions and Reconciliation: Ideas on successfully dismantling these
challenges and clashes.
Citation: Footnotes: CMS or MLA. Avoid creating a bibliography.
Document Format: Margins: 1". Spacing: 2 Font Size: 12
Word Processing File Format: MicroSoft Word or Apple Works accepted. Please
DO NOT send a .pdf (Adobe Acrobat file) of your materials.
Pages: Minimum: 15 pages
Maximum: 30 pages
Email abstract to Breeze Harper at breezeharper at gmail.com
Clark, Dylan. "The Raw and the Rotten: Punk Cuisine." Ethnology 43, no. 1
Farr, Arnold. "6 Whiteness Visible." In What White Looks like:
African-American Philosophers on the Whiteness Question, edited by Yancy,
George, 143-158. New York: Routledge, 2004.
Kang, Jerry. "Cyber-Race." Harvard Law Review 113, no. 5 (2000): 1131-1209.
Nagra, Narina. "Whiteness in Seattle: Anti-GlobalizationnActivists Examine
Racism within the Movement." Alternatives Journal, Wntr 2003, 27+.
Poldervaart, Saskia. "Utopian Aspects of Social Movements in "Postmodern
Times: Some Examples of DIY Politics in the Netherlands." Utopian Studies
12, no. 2 (2001): 143+.
Slocum, Rachel. "Anti-racist Practice and the Work of Community Food
Organizations." Antipode 38.2 (2006) 327-349.
breezeharper at post.harvard.edu
Email: breezeharper at post.harvard.edu
Visit the website at http://www.breezeharper.com
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