Documentary & Discussion: Not Quite White, Sept. 30

Jamil Khoury, Artistic Director of the Chicago-based theatre company Silk Road Rising has been appointed playwright-in-residence by Knox.

On Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. in Harbach Theatre, Ford Center for the Fine Arts, Khoury will introduce the film, Not Quite White: Arabs, Slavs, and the Contours of Contested Whiteness, then lead a discussion of it and of the issues it raises.

Not Quite White is a documentary film that explores the complicated relationship of Arab and Slavic immigrants to American notions of whiteness. It is dedicated to a vision of whiteness that is anti-racist and rooted in economic justice.

The presentation seeks to expand the American conversation on race by zeroing in on whiteness as a constructed social and political category, a slippery slope that historically played favorites, advantaging Northern and Western European immigrants over immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe and the Middle East. Participants will be asked to reflect upon contested and probationary categories of whiteness, the use of anti-Black racism as a “whitening” dye, and the ways in which immigrants “achieved” whiteness in order to qualify as “fully American.” Diverse meanings ascribed to whiteness and efforts at redefining whiteness will also be addressed.

For further information, contact Neil Blackadder (nblackad@knox.edu) or Anna Karwowska (akarwows@knox.edu).