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Mel Chin, “Aileen” (2015) (courtesy of the artist)

As many have argued, the essential work of dismantling white supremacy involves not only centering the voices of those who have been historically marginalized, but also of critically examining and deconstructing whiteness itself. This will be the focus of a rich symposium presented by the Racial Imaginary Institute and the Kitchen on Saturday, June 30. The event’s three keynote speakers alone would make for a fascinating program, with Princeton University professor-turned-artist Nell Painter speaking in the morning, Hunter College philosophy professor Linda Martín Alcoff (whose new book The Future of Whiteness symposium attendees may want to pick up) in the afternoon, and legal scholar Patricia J. Williams toward the end of the day.

The symposium boasts a pair of major panels, with the first focusing on the limits of diversity in a context of pervasive whiteness, featuring Jeff Chang, Aruna D’Souza, Daniel Borzutsky, Sarah Lewis, and Doreen St. Felix (with Chris Chen moderating). Participants in the afternoon’s panel will seek to diagnose the symptoms of whiteness and the challenges to empathy; participants include Lauren Berlant, Sadhana Bery, Jane Caflish, Lori Gruen, and Saidiya Hartman (with Rizvana Bradley moderating). Between events, be sure to pop upstairs to the Kitchen’s gallery, which is hosting the companion group exhibition organized by the Racial Imaginary Institute, On Whiteness.

(Registration for the On Whiteness symposium has reached full capacity, and though there is a wait list, the entire symposium will also be livestreamed on the Kitchen’s website.)

When: Saturday, June 30, 10am–6pm
Where: The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

Ken Gonzales-Day, “The Wonder Gaze (St. James Park)” (2007–13), C-print mounted on aluminum and framed with UV museum acrylic, 40 × 80 in (courtesy the artist)

More info at the Kitchen.

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Benjamin Sutton

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...