Passing and Performing Identity

Posted in Course Offerings, Forthcoming Media, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Passing, United States on 2017-04-12 01:51Z by Steven

Passing and Performing Identity

Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio
Fall 2017

Jennifer McFarlane Harris, Assistant Professor of English

In this course, we will read novels that investigate the phenomenon of racial passing in the United States, whereby “black” persons light-skinned enough to appear “white” cross the color line to live as white people. Along the way, we will read a smattering of cultural theory on the social construction of race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic class, etc., and what it means to “perform” identity.

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Asian Am 251/Af Am 251: The Mixed Race Experience

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Course Offerings, Media Archive, Passing, Social Science, United States on 2017-03-21 01:56Z by Steven

Asian Am 251/Af Am 251: The Mixed Race Experience

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
Spring 2016

Nitasha Sharma, Associate Professor of African American Studies, Asian American Studies, and Performance Studies; Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence

Growing numbers of interracial marriages and children of mixed racial descent have contributed to the increasing diversity of 21st century America. In this course, we will evaluate the experiences of self-identified multiracials. This class will explore the interracial and inter-ethnic marriage trends in various Asian communities in the U.S. Additionally, we will compare the experiences of multiracials representing a range of backgrounds, including those of Asian/White and Asian/Black ancestry as well as Asian/Black heritage. Some of the specific topics that will be covered in this course include: racial and ethnic community membership and belonging; passing; the dynamics of interracial relationships; identity, authenticity, and choice; and the gender identities of the mixed race individuals.

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Racial Passing: Masking Culture and Identity in America (HUM-596)

Posted in Course Offerings, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-03-07 01:49Z by Steven

Racial Passing: Masking Culture and Identity in America (HUM-596)

San Diego State University
San Diego, California
Spring 2017

Michael Caldwell, Lecturer

New Course This Spring in Humanities!

It is a curious fact that in contemporary culture African Americans are often imitated by non-African Americans. Yet there was a time in American history when African Americans who could, chose to pass as white. What historical and social circumstances made such a choice possible? What does that choice suggest about the nature of identity: is it inherited or can we literally make of ourselves what we wish? What are the limits to self-construction? Though this course begins by looking at instances of African American passing, it moves forward to consider other assimilationist stances in American history, as well as more recent, strident efforts to resist assimilation. Throughout the course our goal will be to think hard about the factors that go into making and refining one’s identity.

For more information, click here.

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ENLS 4012-01 Lit: Cross-Dressing and Racial Passing

Posted in Course Offerings, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-02-10 11:42Z by Steven

ENLS 4012-01 Lit: Cross-Dressing and Racial Passing

Tulane University
New Orleans, Louisiana
Spring 2017

Lauren Heintz, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of English

The genre and literary trope of passing, most commonly expressed in characters who are “legally” black but who are able to pass for white, is a popular narrative that runs throughout American fiction from the mid-nineteenth to late-twentieth century. The importance of the passing narrative rests is in its ability to expose how race is a social construct, set down in legal codes like “one-drop-rules.” Alongside narratives of racial passing also runs narratives of cross dressing and gender passing (man for woman or woman for man). This course will examine why and how racial passing is often aided and abetted by gender passing. Taking an intersectional approach, this course will continuously think through how race, gender, class, and sexuality are social constructs. We will begin with foundational texts of racial passing and the discourse of blackface, and we will build on this by moving to texts in which race and gender passing converge. We will come to better understand these constructs through the language of fiction, metaphors of race, performances of gender, and the visual strategies of film. Literary selections will include works by Mark Twain, Kate Chopin, Ellen and Willian Craft, Pauline Hopkins, Billy Tipton, Nell[a] Larso[e]n, Patricia Powell, Toni Morrison. Films may include A Florida Enchantment and Boys Don’t Cry.

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ASTD 693 – Racial Crossings

Posted in Course Offerings, History, Media Archive, United States on 2016-11-27 22:56Z by Steven

ASTD 693 – Racial Crossings

Saint Louis University
St. Louis, Missouri
Fall 2014

Heidi Ardizzone, Associate Professor of American Studies

This course examines race in American history and culture primarily through the lens of racial ambiguities, intersections, and intimacies. With attention to major theoretical frameworks for interpreting racial identity and structures, we examine historical and contemporary experiences of race, focusing primarily but not exclusively on black-white contexts. Topics covered include interracial relationships, people of mixed ancestry, and shifting or ambiguous racial identities.

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CSER W4701 Troubling the Color: Passing, Inter-racial Sex, and Ethnic Ambiguity.

Posted in Course Offerings, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-09-09 17:23Z by Steven

CSER W4701 Troubling the Color: Passing, Inter-racial Sex, and Ethnic Ambiguity.

Barnard College
New York, New York
2016-17 Catalogue

Karl Jacoby, Professor of History
Columbia University, New York, New York

Passing, remarked W.E.B. Du Bois in 1929, “is a petty, silly matter of no real importance which another generation will comprehend with great difficulty.”  Yet passing and related phenomena such as intermarriage continue to raise profound challenges to the U.S.’s racial hierarchy.  How does one differentiate the members of one race from another?  What happens when an individual’s background combines several supposed races?  What do such uncertainties suggest as to the stability of race as a concept?  How might racial passing intersect with other forms of reinvention (women passing as men, queers passing as straight, Jews passing as gentiles)?  Is passing, as Langston Hughes once put it, an ethical response to the injustices of white supremacy: “Most Negroes feel that bigoted white persons deserve to be cheated and fooled since the way they behave towards us makes no moral sense at all”?  Or are passers turning their backs on African-American notions of community and solidarity?  Such dilemmas rendered passing a potent topic not only for turn-of-the-century policy makers but artists and intellectuals as well.  The era’s literature and theater referenced the phenomenon, and celebrated cases of racial passing riveted the public’s attention.  This class will address the complex historical, artistic, and cultural issues that passing has raised in American life.

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Race and Medicine in America (AMST 256 – 01)

Posted in Course Offerings, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, United States on 2016-07-11 15:41Z by Steven

Race and Medicine in America (AMST 256 – 01)

Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut
Fall 2016

Megan H. Glick, Assistant Professor of American Studies

This course will trace ideas of race in American medical science and its cultural contexts, from the late 19th century to the present. We will explore how configurations of racial difference have changed over time and how medical knowledge about the body has both influenced, and helped to shape, social, political, and popular cultural forces. We will interrogate the idea of medical knowledge as a “naturalizing” discourse that produces racial classifications as essential, and biologically based.

We will treat medical sources as primary documents, imagining them as but one interpretation of the meaning of racial difference, alongside alternate sources that will include political tracts, advertisements, photographs, newspaper articles, and so on.

Key concepts explored will include slavery’s medical legacy, theories of racial hierarchy and evolution, the eugenics movement, “race-specific” medications and diseases, public health politics and movements, genetics and modern “roots” projects, immigration and new technologies of identification, and intersections of race and disability.

For more information, click here.

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Afro-Latin America

Posted in Anthropology, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Course Offerings, History, Media Archive, Mexico, United States on 2016-03-09 22:08Z by Steven

Afro-Latin America

State University of New York, Albany
Summer 2016
Course Info: ALCS 203

Luis Paredes

Analysis of blackness in Latin America with a focus on the representations of peoples of African descent in national identities and discourses. The course examines some of the “myths of foundation” of Latin American nations (e.g. The “cosmic race” in Mexico, “racial democracy” in Brazil, etc.), and how these myths bring together ideas of nation, gender, race, blackness, whiteness, and mestizaje (racial and cultural mixture).

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ASA 115: Mixed Race Expeiences

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Course Offerings, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-02-21 22:05Z by Steven

ASA 115: Mixed Race Expeiences

University of California, Davis
2012-2016

Kieu-Linh Caroline Valverde, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies

“Even after our first ‘black’ president ushered in a so-called ‘post racial America,’ we understood that there is much more to the race issue than what has been presented.”

Using the theme of Race Traitors, this quarter’s Mixed Race Experiences course serves to complicate and even question the meaning, importance, and value of race constructions. Why have those in interracial unions and their offsprings been targets of oppression, cooptation, and even veneration in the Americas and globally? How have these same groups also threatened and challenged race categorizations? There will be no midterm or final but instead students will participate in the process of curating and creating an art exhibit.

For more information, click here.

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128 RACE MIXTURE POLTCS

Posted in Course Offerings, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Slavery, Social Science, United States on 2015-11-27 02:58Z by Steven

128 RACE MIXTURE POLTCS

University of California, Irvine
School of Humanities
Winter Quarter 2016

Jared Sexton, Associate Professor of African American Studies and Film & Media Studies

This course explores the politics of race, class, gender, and sexuality in the United States from the antebellum period to the post-civil rights era, paying specific attention to interracial sexuality as a fulcrum of power relations shaped by racial slavery and historical capitalism. We will address the emergence of the multiracial identity movement since the 1990s and discuss its relation to the legacies of white supremacy and the black freedom struggle. We will read for quality not quantity, with a premium on engaged class participation. Several short writing assignments, a midterm and a final exam are required.

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