Lehrveranstaltungen im Sommersemester 2014

S Passing: An American Cultural and Literary Phenomenon

apl. Prof. Dr. Sabina Matter-Seibel

Kurzname: 06.008.0036
Kursnummer: 06.008.0036

Inhalt

This course will consider representations of passing (and thus also miscegenation) in nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. culture. While passing (light skinned “black” characters pass for white) has often been depicted as an act of racial betrayal, more recent criticism has suggested that we view these acts of racial transgression in more complex ways.

We will first analyze how 19th century African American authors challenged the segregationist logic of the "one drop" rule, subverting the ideology of racial essentialism and the color line and moving beyond the traditional “tragic mulatto” motif. We will examine various narratives centered on passing and miscegenation as sites through which we can better examine the construction of racial identities in particular historical and political contexts. We will ask whether or not these narratives about passing challenged the stability of racial categories.

Today, 20th and 21st century passing narratives are seen as a privileged field to study not only the persistence of race and class prejudice in a modern society, legally and culturally abiding by egalitarian and democratic principles, but also the individual inner struggles resulting from identity construction processes in a complex, multicultural environment. We will pay close attention to how such narratives also engage issues of class, ethnicity, and gender. Taking into account the theories of performativity as well as other perspectives on the issue of identity formation emanating from the social sciences, cultural studies and literary studies, three novels and some six short stories will be given a close reading.

By signing up for the seminar you agree to read six stories/excerpts that you will receive in class and the three novels listed below by June 3 (Your textual knowledge will be tested on this day so start reading now!):
James Weldon Johnson, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912)
Nella Larsen,  Passing (1929)
Danzy Senna, Caucasia (1998)

Used copies are available at low prices from various internet bookstores. 

Your work in this seminar will encompass these assignments:
• participation in class discussions (25% of grade)
• presentation in class including a handout summarizing the most important points (25% of the grade)
• a written paper on your individual topic to be submitted, at the latest, on August 15, 2014 (50% of the grade)

Empfohlene Literatur

By signing up for the seminar you agree to read six stories/excerpts that you will receive in class and the three novels listed below by June 3 (Your textual knowledge will be tested on this day so start reading now!):

James Weldon Johnson, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912)
Nella Larsen,  Passing (1929)
Danzy Senna, Caucasia (1998)

Used copies are available at low prices from various internet bookstores.

Secondary material will be made available on the reserved book shelf in the library.

Voraussetzungen / Organisatorisches

This is a seminar for advanced B.A. students (old B.A.) and students doing the English only B.A. (old and new). It is recommended for semester 4 to 6.

Your work in this seminar will encompass these assignments:
• participation in class discussions (25% of grade)
• presentation in class including a handout summarizing the most important points (25% of the grade)
• a written paper on your individual topic to be submitted, at the latest, on August 15, 2014 (50% of the grade)

Termine:

Datum (Wochentag)UhrzeitOrt
22.04.2014 (Dienstag)11.20 - 12.50 UhrN.105 Hörsaal
8512 - FAS Hörsaalgebäude
29.04.2014 (Dienstag)11.20 - 12.50 UhrN.105 Hörsaal
8512 - FAS Hörsaalgebäude
06.05.2014 (Dienstag)11.20 - 12.50 UhrN.105 Hörsaal
8512 - FAS Hörsaalgebäude
13.05.2014 (Dienstag)11.20 - 12.50 UhrN.105 Hörsaal
8512 - FAS Hörsaalgebäude
20.05.2014 (Dienstag)11.20 - 12.50 UhrN.105 Hörsaal
8512 - FAS Hörsaalgebäude
27.05.2014 (Dienstag)11.20 - 12.50 UhrN.105 Hörsaal
8512 - FAS Hörsaalgebäude
03.06.2014 (Dienstag)11.20 - 12.50 UhrN.105 Hörsaal
8512 - FAS Hörsaalgebäude
10.06.2014 (Dienstag)11.20 - 12.50 UhrN.105 Hörsaal
8512 - FAS Hörsaalgebäude
17.06.2014 (Dienstag)11.20 - 12.50 UhrN.105 Hörsaal
8512 - FAS Hörsaalgebäude
24.06.2014 (Dienstag)11.20 - 12.50 UhrN.105 Hörsaal
8512 - FAS Hörsaalgebäude
01.07.2014 (Dienstag)11.20 - 12.50 UhrN.105 Hörsaal
8512 - FAS Hörsaalgebäude
08.07.2014 (Dienstag)11.20 - 12.50 UhrN.105 Hörsaal
8512 - FAS Hörsaalgebäude
15.07.2014 (Dienstag)11.20 - 12.50 UhrN.105 Hörsaal
8512 - FAS Hörsaalgebäude
22.07.2014 (Dienstag)11.20 - 12.50 UhrN.105 Hörsaal
8512 - FAS Hörsaalgebäude

Semester: SoSe 2014