Christine Goding

I am a dual degree PhD Candidate in African American Studies at Northwestern and in Philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure, Paris. In my dissertation, “Virtually White: Racial Rule, the Crisis of Whiteness, and Affect in the Digital Age,” I argue that the digital age has brought with it a crisis of white hegemony in which the tools taking shape to buttress white supremacy threaten the foundations of its power. This crisis is fueled by what I identify as a discourse of white decline that insists on a newly weakened position of whiteness across the West, and makes charges of increased discrimination against whites and the systematic erasure of white national heritage. The claim that whiteness is under siege is negotiated in the public sphere most visibly through the cultural production of the internet as the viral memes of the alt-right and popular hashtags like #WhiteGenocide, only manifesting belatedly, if ever, in “real world” demonstrations like the recent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. While digital media has cultivated radical forms of protest against racial violence, it also provides a fertile site for the articulation of new, if not paradoxical, notions of whiteness because it offers an uninhibited techno-frontier in which to extend and reformulate the colonial fantasy into the postcolonial era. My project theorizes the modes and sites through which whiteness is attempting to rewrite the logics of its own power to include racial disenfranchisement and to perform victimization in order to reassert its dominance.