Blaagaard, Bolette ‘European Whiteness? A Critical Approach’. (2008) [PDF]

Blaagaard, Bolette ‘European Whiteness? A Critical Approach’. Kvinder, Køn & Forskning, no. 4, 4, Dec. 2008.

Born out of the United States’ (U.S.) history of slavery and segregation and intertwined EUROPEAN WHITENESS? 21 with gender studies and feminism, the field of critical whiteness studies does not fit easily into a European setting and the particular historical context that entails. In order for a field of European critical whiteness studies to emerge, its relation to the U.S. theoretical framework, as well as the particularities of the European context need to be taken into account. The article makes a call for a multilayered approach to take over from the identity politics so often employed in the fields of U.S. gender, race, and whiteness studies.



Blaagaard, Bolette. Journalism of Relation. Social Constructions of’whiteness’ and Their Implications in Contemporary Danish Journalistic Practice and Production. (2009) [PDF]

Blaagaard, Bolette. Journalism of Relation. Social Constructions of’whiteness’ and Their Implications in Contemporary Danish Journalistic Practice and Production. Dissertation. Utrecht University, 2009,

This dissertation is focused on the journalistically practiced and mediated self-other relation in the contemporary cultural and postcolonial context of Denmark. As part of the ‘western’ world Denmark’s journalistic endeavours and explorations reflect and engage the cultural memory and thus the hegemonic self-image, the social imaginary, of the country and to some extent of its ‘western’ neighbours. Positioning myself in a European tradition of what may be called philosophies of experience – that is, philosophies that place emphasis on the embodiment of knowledge and the subjectivity of experience – I pay particular attention to the practice and production, in Raymond William’s use of the word, of journalistic participation in re- and de-constructing cultural memories and feelings of national, cultural, ethnic and religious belonging. The dissertation sets up a theoretical framework of references by presenting a number of debates that challenge the claimed universality and objectivity of white ‘western’ culture and politics. This critique emerge from African-American scholars and ‘white’ feminists alike, however the two have difficulties combining their respective positions and knowledge claims. Moreover, African-American women have called for recognition of the particularities of their situation of belonging to both categories. I employ a post-phenomenological approach to develop a theoretical framework which is based on the argument that though perception is at the core of a phenomenological approach to difference, perception should not be understood as interchangeable with visualisation. It is rather an understanding that creates strong ties to consciousness and experience. Drawing in the whole of personal experience and consciousness of difference phenomenology presents a theory of the self-other relation which is simultaneously personal and political. Secondly, the dissertation relates the phenomenological ‘race’ and gender debates to the societal and productive context of contemporary European and ‘western’ globalised and mediated culture and politics. Journalism is re-defined as theory and practice of production of cultural memory and social imaginaries of gendered, ethnic, religious, national and ‘racial’ differences. At the core of the argument here is a critique of the journalistic use of ‘objectivity’. This use hides the journalistic subjectivity by splitting the ethical accountability and relation from journalistic training and practices whereby a ‘white’ and homogeneous social imaginary is reproduced. I make a call for thinking about journalism as relation – in terms of technological mediations, but also in terms of subjectivities. In order to allow for this, a shift is needed in the understanding of an ‘us’ that forges a view of identity redefined in terms of intensities (Braidotti 2006), an ethics of difference (de Beauvoir 1976; Braidotti 2006) and a non-reductionist understanding of the other as part of the self (Glissant 1997). Following this framework the dissertation reworks ideas of cosmopolitanism from universal reproductions of sameness into creative productions of singular self-other relations based on the practiced and productive journalism. This is substantiated through case study analyses. The aim is to challenge the modern, rational journalistic subject referring back to the unified nation-state citizens. It is an undoing of journalism – a journalism as becoming and as excess of relation.


Bissenbakker, Mons, and Lene Myong. ‘Love Will Keep Us Together: Kærlighed og hvid transracialitet i protester mod danske familie- sammenføringsregler’. (2012) [PDF]

Bissenbakker, Mons, and Lene Myong. ‘Love Will Keep Us Together: Kærlighed og hvid transracialitet i protester mod danske familie- sammenføringsregler’. Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning, vol. 36, no. 03–04, Universitetsforlaget, 2012, pp. 188–202.

De danske familiesammenføringsregler blev i 2010 genstand for kritik fra et borgerinitiativ, som i kærlighedens navn kæmpede for en lempelse af loven. Som politisk mobiliserende affekt lover kærligheden inklusion og frigørelse. Men risikerer den også at gentage racialiserede og seksuelle hierarkier? På hvilke præmisser kan seksualpolitiske kritikker udfordre disse hierarkier? Denne artikel søger at tage affekt alvorligt som politisk og analytisk fænomen, og den introducerer begrebet om hvid transracialitet som betegnelse for de underliggende magtformer, der informerer kærlighed som politisk protestform.

Denmark has imposed some of the strictest immigration laws in Europe since 2000. Consequently, family reunification in the country has become increasingly difficult for both immigrants and Danish nationals. This article looks at a political initiative called «Love without Borders» (LwB) and its attempt to mobilize the Danish public in a push to overturn the laws. LwB has generated momentum around the ideal of transraciality (straight, white subjects oriented towards reproduction and romantic love). At the same time, queer activists have offered  a political rebuke by pointing out how the laws (and in turn LwB’s critique) are built on heteronormative assumptions that ignore homosexuality. In both cases, however, love seems to promise affective ties to the nation, to the future, and to the political system in ways that sustain white hegemony. Building on Sara Ahmed’s reflections on love as cultural politics and Jasbir Puar’s notion of homonationalism, the article analyzes posters, viral videos and newspaper debates in its discussion of the promises and pitfalls of love as an affective political tool.


Andreassen, Rikke, and Kathrine Vitus. Affectivity and Race: Studies from Nordic Contexts. (2016)

Andreassen, Rikke, and Kathrine Vitus. Affectivity and Race: Studies from Nordic Contexts. Routledge, 2016.

This book presents new empirical studies of social difference in the Nordic welfare states, in order to advance novel theoretical perspectives on the everyday practices and macro-politics of race and gender in multi-ethnic societies. With attention to the specific political and cultural landscapes of the Nordic countries, Affectivity and Race draws on a variety of sources, including television programmes, news media, fictional literature, interviews, ethnographic observations, teaching curricula and policy documents, to explore the ways in which ideas about affectivity and emotion afford new insights into the experience of racial difference and the unfolding of political discourses on race in various social spheres. Organised around the themes of the politicisation of race through affect, the way that race produces affect and the affective experience of race, this interdisciplinary collection sheds light on the role of feelings in the formation of subjectivities, how race and whiteness are affectively circulated in public life and the ways in which emotions contribute to regimes of inclusion and exclusion. As such it will appeal to scholars across the social sciences, with interests in sociology, anthropology, media, literary and cultural studies, race and ethnicity, and Nordic studies.


Introduction: affectivity as a lens to racial formations in the Nordic countries, Kathrine Vitus and Rikke Andreassen.

Part I How is Race Politicised through Affects?:

Politics of irony as the emerging sensibility of the anti-immigrant debate, Kaarina Nikunen;

If it had been a muslim: affectivity and race in Danish journalists’ reflections on making news on terror, Asta Smedegaard Nielsen;

The racial grammar of Swedish higher education and research policy: the limits and conditions of researching race in a colour-blind context, Tobias Hübinette and Paula Mählck.

Part II How Does Race Produce Affects?

‘And then we do it in Norway’: learning leadership through affective contact zones, Kirsten Hvenegård-Lassen and Dorthe Staunæs;

Nordic colour-blindness and Nella Larsen, Rikke Andreassen; Disturbance and celebration of Josephine Baker in Copenhagen 1928: emotional constructions of whiteness, Marlene Spanger.

Part III How is Race Affectively Experienced?

Feeling at loss: affect, whiteness and masculinity in the immediate aftermath of Norway’s terror, Stine H. Bang Svendsen;

The affectivity of racism: enjoyment and disgust in young people’s film, Kathrine Vitus; Two journeys into research on difference in a Nordic context: a collaborative auto-ethnography, Henry Mainsah and Lin Prøitz;

Doing ‘feelwork’: reflections on whiteness and methodological challenges in research on queer partner migration, Sara Ahlstedt.