Minding Whiteness: The Racial Imaginaries of Our Time


Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society Fellowships




The Racial Imaginary Institute


With Shakespeare and premodern critical race studies as its scholarly entry points, “Minding Whiteness” aims to collapse the boundary that often silos the antiracist public engagement happening in the humanities and higher education, public engagement that would undoubtedly benefit from more consistent exposure to the perspectives of brilliant creative minds and non-academics who are also critiquing—through other means such as poetry, filmmaking, studio art and performance art—fundamentally important questions about race, racism, whiteness and anti-blackness. As a collaboration with The Racial Imaginary Institute, a “cultural laboratory” Claudia Rankine founded to foster intellectual creativity and engagement across disciplinary lines, “Minding Whiteness” maintains a race-conscious, social justice-oriented mission centered on interrogating the shifting meanings, and shifty ways, of whiteness. Ultimately, this project will reimagine the kinds of professional opportunities that can enable PhD candidates to use their unique skill sets, within and outside of academia, in the fight against racism, white supremacy and pervasive global anti-blackness.