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Book-signing Feb. 27 for Halley, Eshleman, authors of ‘Seeing White’

A wine and cheese reception will be held on Monday, Feb. 27 at 4:30 p.m. in the Union Atrium for professors Amy Eshleman (Psychology) and Jean Halley (Sociology), who will be signing copies of their book, “Seeing White: An Introduction to White Privilege and Race.”

“Seeing White” focuses on examining “whiteness” as the line of demarcation between a dominant group whose members enjoy a set of cultural, social and economic privileges — and everyone else, for whom access to those privileges is either denied or restricted.

The concept for the book arose from an interdisciplinary course for freshmen (in Wagner terminology, a First-Year L.C.) that Halley and Eshleman have taught for the last 8 years, currently titled “Making Privilege Visible: Seeing Power in Race, Class and Gender.”

When Halley and Eshleman began introducing the concept of whiteness as a race in their L.C., the common response from their mostly white students was, “What does that have to do with me? I don’t have a race — race is only for people of color!”

It was that response which inspired the book, “Seeing White.”

“Seeing White” was co-authored by Wagner College sociology professor Jean Halley and psychology professor Amy Eshleman and Stockton College economics professor Ramya Mahadevan Vijaya. (Before joining the Stockton economics faculty, Vijaya was a visiting professor at Wagner.)


JEAN HALLEY is an associate professor of sociology at Wagner College. Her book, “Boundaries of Touch: Parenting and Adult-Child Intimacy” (2007) is a cultural study and social history of adult-child touch and parenting in white, middle-class United States. Halley has numerous other publications, including four articles involving the study of whiteness in the journal Qualitative Inquiry. She assisted Patricia Ticineto Clough in editing, and has an essay in, “The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social” (2007), and she is currently completing her next book, “The Parallel Lives of Women and Cows: Meat Markets,” a mix of memoir and social history of cattle ranching and the U.S. beef industry (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2012). Halley holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a master’s degree in theology from Harvard University.

AMY ESHLEMAN, an associate professor of psychology at Wagner College, regularly teaches courses on race, class, gender and sexuality in which she shares her research on expressions of prejudice with students. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.

RAMYA VIJAYA is an associate professor of economics at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. At Stockton, besides courses in economics, she also teaches interdisciplinary courses on gender, inequality and diversity issues. Her research is in the area of labor markets, globalization and feminist political economy. She has published multiple articles on the impact of globalization on labor and on feminist perspectives in economics. Vijaya holds a Ph.D. in economics from American University.

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