Eula Biss — Let's Talk About Whiteness

January 19, 2017

Could we learn to talk about whiteness? The writer Eula Biss has been thinking and writing about being white and raising white children in a multi-racial world for a long time. She helpfully opens up words and ideas like “complacence,” “guilt,” and something related to privilege called “opportunity hoarding.” To be in this uncomfortable conversation is to realize how these words alone, taken seriously, can shake us up in necessary ways — but also how the limits of words make these conversations at once more messy and more urgent.

Eula Biss is a professor in the English Department at Northwestern University. Her books include On Immunity: An Inoculation and Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays. This conversation was inspired by her New York Times essay, “White Debt.”