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Whitewash: white privilege and racialized landscapes at the University of Georgia

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This paper examines racialized landscapes at the University of Georgia to better understand the ways that whiteness—or more specifically white privilege—is positioned in and uses landscapes. Given a history of segregation, violently contested desegregation, and a contemporary student body that is disproportionately white (compared to the population of the entire state of Georgia), we investigate the meanings and contradictions of the University's historic 'North Campus'. Using a multi-method qualitative approach—including open-ended interviews and 'roving focus groups'—we argue that privileged, white landscapes operate through a kind of whitewashing of history, which seeks to deploy race strategically to create a progressive landscape narrative pertaining to 'race'.

Keywords: landscape studies; landscapes of memory; place identity; race; roving focus group; white privilege

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geology and Geography, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA 2: School of Geography, Clark University, Worcester, MA, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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