Eudora Welty, Whiteness, and Race

Eudora Welty, Whiteness, and Race

Description

Faced with Eudora Welty's preference for the oblique in literary performances, some have assumed that Welty was not concerned with issues of race, or even that she was perhaps ambivalent toward racism. This collection counters those assumptions as it examines Welty's handling of race, the color line, and Jim Crow segregation and sheds new light on her views about the patterns, insensitivities, blindness, and atrocities of whiteness.

Contributors to this volume show that Welty addressed whiteness and race in her earliest stories, her photography, and her first novel, Delta Wedding. In subsequent work, including The Golden Apples, The Optimist's Daughter, and her memoir, One Writer's Beginnings, she made the color line and white privilege visible, revealing the gaping distances between lives lived in shared space but separated by social hierarchy and segregation. Even when black characters hover in the margins of her fiction, they point readers toward complex lives, and the black body is itself full of meaning in her work. Several essays suggest that Welty represented race, like gender and power, as a performance scripted by whiteness. Her black characters in particular recognize whiteface and blackface as performances, especially comical when white characters are unaware of their role play.

Eudora Welty, Whiteness, and Race also makes clear that Welty recognized white material advantage and black economic deprivation as part of a cycle of race and poverty in America and that she connected this history to lives on either side of the color line, to relationships across it, and to an uneasy hierarchy of white classes within the presumed monolith of whiteness.

Contributors: Mae Miller Claxton, Susan V. Donaldson, Julia Eichelberger, Sarah Ford, Jean C. Griffith, Rebecca Mark, Suzanne Marrs, Donnie McMahand, David McWhirter, Harriet Pollack, Keri Watson, Patricia Yaeger.


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Details

Author(s)
Harriet Pollack, Donnie McMahand, Jean Carol Griffith, Julia Eichelberger, Keri Watson, Mae Miller Claxton, Patricia Yaeger, Rebecca Mark, Sarah Ford, Susan V. Donaldson
Format
Hardback | 288 pages
Dimensions
152 x 229 x 21mm | 557.92g
Publication date
01 Jan 2013
Publisher
University of Georgia Press
Publication City/Country
Georgia, United States
Language
English
Illustrations note
8 black & white photographs
ISBN10
082034432X
ISBN13
9780820344324