Literature, the White Gaze, and the Possibility of Conversation

  • Tim Jung


After school one day, Tim Jung, a high school English teacher, and his students were discussing how Muslim American representation in literature courses in the United States is nearly non-existent. Moreover, attempts to negotiate boundaries of whiteness and non-whiteness in K-12 contexts can fail dramatically. In this chapter, Jung explores this flashpoint—a crisis of representation—by examining the consequences of Fanon’s phenomenological approach, while also exploring the reality of a lack of diversity in the literary canon using Mill s’ The Racial Contract . Jung concludes that conversation with and recognition of diverse perspectives are essential in addressing issues of representation in the classroom.


  1. Fanon, F. (1952). Black skin, White masks. New York, NY: Grove Press.Google Scholar
  2. Merleau-Ponty, M. (1945). Phenomenology of perception. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Mills, C. W. (1997). The racial contract. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Peperzak, A. T. (2006). Thinking: From solitude and dialogue to contemplation. New York, NY: Fordham University Press.Google Scholar

Related Further Reading

  1. Hooks, B. (2014). Teaching to transgress. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Husserl, E. (2015). Ideas: General introduction to pure phenomenology. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Peperzak, A. T. (2013). Trust: Who or what might support us? New York NY: Fordham University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Scheler, M. (1979). The nature of sympathy. London, UK: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim Jung
    • 1
  1. 1.Northside College Preparatory High SchoolChicagoUSA

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