Gonzaga hosting famed author who compared white privilege to an 'invisible knapsack' full of provisions

Campus Reform Reporter

Total Shares
This is the CRO SBAR

  • Peggy McIntosh, Ph.D., penned influential analysis on "white privilege" in the late 1980s.
  • Says the 'invisible weightless' knapsack includes passports, codebooks, blank checks.
  • The author of the analysis and essay that set forth the concept of "white privilege" is scheduled to speak at Gonzaga University Tuesday evening.

    Peggy McIntosh, Ph.D., associate director of Wellesley Centers for Women, will speak tonight on race, inclusion, privilege, and gender in a lecture titled “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.”

    “White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks.”   

    The title of the talk comes from her 1989 essay, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” the shortened version of a longer analysis, “White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences through Work in Women’s Studies.”

    “White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks,” according to “Knapsack.”

    “Knapsack” lists twenty-six daily effects of white privilege, including purchasing “posters, postcards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys, and children's magazines featuring people of my race,” and “chose blemish cover or bandages in flesh color that more or less matches my skin.”

    “My hope is that everyone who attends these events will find meaningful support for living their own lives and for following their own deepest trains of thought,” McIntosh says on the event’s webpage. “The modes of diversity are already in all of us, in our varied experience of everything that has ever deeply touched us. The psyche is plural, and can be our teacher.”

    Her presentation is sponsored by Gonzaga Unity Multicultural Education Center and co-sponsored by nine other organizations.

    McIntosh’s theories are influential in anti-racism activism and other circles. According to the event’s webpage, “Knapsack” and its longer form set forth the concept of “white privilege,” and were “instrumental in putting the dimension of privilege into discussions of gender, race and sexuality.”

    In addition to her teaching career at a number of universities, McIntosh is also a founding member and co-director of Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity Project on Inclusive Curriculum (SEED), co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute in Colorado, and has been consulting editor to Sage: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women.

    Gonzaga spokeswoman Mary Joan Hahn said that university chose to host McIntosh because she is “a highly renowned lecturer and consultant” whose goals match the university’s mission and “commitment to multicultural diversity.”

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter@SteveLarson

    LATEST TWEETS

    Ignatz Laird
    @IgnatzLaird - 6 hours ago

    @CalebBonham @2ANow @campusreform Of course he has an agenda! Keep 'em poor, dependent on welfare and pulling the D lever!

    Gary Beals
    @FanaticBlue - 9 hours ago

    @campusreform Hard to comprehend that when Pat Brown was Governor that UC had no tuition. Then...along came Ronald Reagan. Ruined so much :)

    Leonardo Gomez
    @LeonardoGomezR2 - 12 hours ago

    @campusreform Debe ser el Campus de la UNAM, Segun yo

    856 days
    @BryonWine - 12 hours ago

    @CalebBonham @campusreform Obama's agenda is to weaken America and lessen our world influence. He doesn't give a rat's about anything else.

    Caleb Bonham
    @CalebBonham - 12 hours ago

    @ColoradoStateU makes an appearance...did not expect that @Playboy top party schools in the country http://t.co/s2I41a9RHf via @campusreform

    DUOMediaProductions
    @DUO_Media - 12 hours ago

    @campusreform thanks for the follow. We like one of the cool kids now

    A Daughter's Hero
    @jkaytorres - 13 hours ago

    @campusreform Please share the story of a Vietnam Veteran #PTSD, A Daughter’s Hero ~ Read http://t.co/coKD5gAwGg http://t.co/Tnk6zJZFpN

    Caleb Bonham
    @CalebBonham - 13 hours ago

    Princeton prof slams Obama for ‘non-existent agenda’ for black America http://t.co/GGfYTOsAXt via @campusreform