Perpich News

Dr. Kevin Lally, English Instructor, Writes Book on Whiteness and Antiracism

Dr. Kevin Lally, English Instructor

March 23, 2022

Dr. Kevin Lally, English Instructor, has his first book coming out this spring from Teachers College Press. Whiteness and Antiracism – Beyond White Privilege Pedagogy will be published on April 29, 2022.

Teachers College Press catalog says “this book examines why and how many progressive White people are stuck when it comes to race. By locating contemporary Whiteness in its historical context, this book rethinks some of the foundational aspects of White attitudes and approaches to antiracism, including empathy, resistance, and privilege. Lally argues that the antiracism of most liberal White educators is bound within notions of White privilege that leave them caught up in feelings of guilt and shame. As one of those White liberal teachers, the author explores Whiteness with 10 of his White high school students in an effort to make sense of and move beyond unhelpful and counterproductive models of White privilege pedagogy. Using classroom examples and the insightful language of today’s students, this text challenges common assumptions about antiracism and interpretations of White anxiety and inaction. By working through critical histories of race in the United States, decades of classroom teaching, and the lived experiences of White students, Whiteness and Antiracism proposes new ways of fostering White engagement with a commitment to antiracism.”

“The book feels like a big accomplishment,” said Kevin. “It feels like the culmination of a decade of classroom work trying to get smarter about Whiteness with the help of some really extraordinary young people. I’m thrilled that it will finally be out in the world, and I feel so lucky to be able to build on the justice and equity work at Perpich.”

Lally will be presenting on his work at MnWE on April 7, 2022. MnWE is “Minnesota Writing and English,” a consortium of Upper Midwest college and university writing and English faculty and staff centered in Minnesota. Their annual two-day conference each spring attracts up to 200 attendees. He has also presented at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and at the Hamline Summer Literacy Institute.


Praise for Lally’s work:

“Kevin’s work to make the history of white supremacy and contemporary evocations of whiteness visible to white people is timely to say the least…. White people need to live differently, and we need teachers to show us how. We need to come unstuck so that we might become something new. Something healthier. I think Kevin’s book helps, so I hope you’ll get unstuck as you read it.”
– From the Foreword by Samuel Jaye Tanner, associate professor, The Pennsylvania State University

“There are more than enough difficulties inherent to working with white students on race and racism; we don’t need to add extraneous ones. Unfortunately, white privilege approaches to antiracist work do just that. Kevin Lally has written a beautiful and crucial book. He helps us understand and avoid the unnecessary difficulties so that we can grapple with the necessary ones.”
– Timothy J. Lensmire, professor, University of Minnesota, and author of White Folks: Race and Identity in Rural America

“Kevin Lally takes up whiteness, antiracism, and education in ways few others have before. This text should be considered the latest primer for all teachers and communities that wish to do the messy and complicated work of dealing with white supremacy and antiracism inside our nation’s schools and classrooms.”
– Christina Berchini, teacher, writer, and editor of Whiteness at the Table: Antiracism, Racism, and Identity in Education


Dr. Kevin Lally joined Perpich in 2021, having taught English in the Twin Cities for two decades. Kevin earned his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 2020. He has presented his work on Whiteness nationally and conducts workshops on Whiteness in education for teachers through the Minnesota Writing Project. His first book, Whiteness and Antiracism, will be published in 2022. In addition to teaching at Perpich, Kevin teaches education courses at Augsburg University. Kevin lives in south Minneapolis with his partner, Corinne (’00 Perpich graduate!), and their two kids. He teaches AP Literature & Composition and College Prep Writing.

For over a century, Teachers College Press has been committed to addressing the ideas that matter most to educators. Their list of publications includes books and materials of interest in all areas of education from infant/toddler to adult learning. They also publish works in related subjects like psychology, sociology and culture, history, philosophy, and women’s studies. Their authors include seasoned practitioners and scholars as well as fresh new talent from around the world.