ENG 2654 – Fictions of Identity in American Literature

A study of American literature in relation to the phenomenon of passing, exploring the complex connections among race, gender, class, and power. The primary readings will be supported by an examination of legal essays, ethnographic studies, and films that develop a context for understanding how Americans culturally and legally defined as black took on white identity and how passing now extends to class, ethnic, and sexual identities. Writers may include James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, William Faulkner, Americo Paredes, and Danzy Senna. IV