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Historicising Whiteness: Transnational Perspectives on the Construction of an Identity
The papers presented in this collection emerged from a conference on 'Historicising Whiteness' held at the University of Melbourne in November 2006. This gathering was inspired by a realisation that, while studies of whiteness have proliferated across numerous disciplines, there had not to date been a major scholarly meeting specifically devoted to a broad examination of the intersections between whiteness and history. The conference drew together a broad range of scholars interested in teasing out the promise, or otherwise, of this field for historians. Traversing a wide variety of theoretical concepts, countries, periods and methodologies, it explicitly set out to move beyond the North American focus which has been a feature of scholarship in this area. Thus this collection brings together historians from Australia, New Zealand, North America, South Africa, Europe and Asia to focus on the development of the concept of whiteness through time, tracing the emergence and disappearance of this figuration of identity and power through both the modern and non-modern periods, and its growth into the powerful, international concept that now has currency across the world. Publication of this work was assisted by a publication grant from the University of Melbourne.