Adamkiewicz, Ewa A. (2016):
"White Nostalgia: The Absence of Slavery and the Commodification of White Plantation Nostalgia." Eds. Becker, Carlo; Blanchard, Robert C.; Ewens, David R.; Habermann, Christin; Rabe, Julia; Özdemir, Elif. aspeers 9: 13-31.
Journal Article

Since the 1960s, the United States has experienced a rise in heritage and plantation tourism that plays a significant role in passing on cultural narratives and constructing memories. In cases of plantation tourism, some narratives are constructed that deny the history of slavery or mention it only as a side effect. This absence of critical engagement commodifies a specific type of nostalgia: white nostalgia. White nostalgia exemplifies an attempt to escape issues of race by downplaying their implications and rejecting the legacy of slavery. Plantation tourism sites tend to celebrate personal narratives depicting the antebellum South as a time and place of union and jauntiness despite the fact that their histories are inseparably connected with slavery. Refusing to engage in critical discussions on slavery, these historical plantation sites can be regarded as comfortable spaces of refuge longing for an uncritical and colorblind—yet unrealistic—past. In this essay, the commodification of white nostalgia will be investigated by looking at seven plantation websites, thereby examining how white nostalgia not only distorts the history of the antebellum South but also how it sells history without racism and performs memory that distances itself from emotional legacies of slavery.