Vol. 17, No. 1 (2021): Reading Yee’s Intersectionality as an Intervening Counterdiscourse to Whiteness – Gregory L. Cuéllar

Reading Yee’s Intersectionality as an Intervening Counterdiscourse to Whiteness – Gregory L. Cuéllar

Abstract

This article offers a critical reading of Gale A. Yee’s presidential address to the Society of Biblical Literature in 2019 that—in its focus on her contestations of whiteness—yields an intervening counterdiscourse. I argue that Yee’s counterdiscourse comes in the form of an intersectionalizing strategy that renders whiteness visible as a culturally constructed and socio-historically produced racial category. It is the contestatory potential of this strategy, particularly in terms of stimulating an ethical and political critique of whiteness, that allows us to use it as an intervening counterdiscourse. Though her discussion of whiteness and visible renderings are brief in her presidential address, Yee bravely sets up a series of intersectional sites of whiteness for future interrogation. Among the most provocative include investigating “the ideologies of white privilege and white supremacy and the structures that legitimate and sustain them” (Yee 2020, 13).

Key Words

intersectionality, race, whiteness, orientalism, biblical studies, minoritized biblical criticism

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