ONLINE CLASS: Passing through the Veil: Black Characters and White-passing  from the Antebellum Period to the Jim Crow Era (20107)

Four Wednesdays: October 7, 14, 21, 28, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Price: 
$120.00 (10% off for members)

Racial differences are, in theory, one of the easiest identities to distinguish in the United States, due in part to the Jim Crow-era adoption of the "one drop rule" after the Civil War and Reconstruction. Codified into law in several states during the 1910s-30s, the one drop rule institutionalized the fiction of racial purity that more easily segregated Whiteness from Blackness, the American from the foreigner, and one who belonged from one who must be excluded. 

Those designated as White by their European ancestry maintained social and economic supremacy over those they deemed non-white based on disclosures or discoveries of non-European heritage. The one drop rule hardened the color line so that people with “one drop” of Sub-Saharan African blood were considered Black. These racial binaries affect racial classifications to this day.

However, the novels in this discussion-based seminar probe the origins of and dismantle this assumed fixity of racial identity. In the first week, we will read William Wells Brown's Clotel, or the President's Daughter (1853). The second week will examine Jim Crow era novels such as Mark Twain’s The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson and James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912). In the third and fourth class, respectively, we will take a closer look at Nella Larsen’s Passing (1929) and George S. Schuler’s Black No More (1931).

Four Wednesdays: October 7, 14, 21, 28, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Online Class.

Reading Schedule:

October 7: Clotel, or The President's Daughter

October 14: The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson and/or The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

October 21: Passing

October 28: Black No More

Required Texts:

Clotel, or The President's Daughter, by William Wells Brown

The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson, by Mark Twain and/or The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, by James Weldon Johnson

Passing, by Nella Larsen

Black No More, by George S. Schuler

Kimberly Clarke is a writer, independent scholar and educator based in Alexandria, Virginia where she pursues her research interests in 19th century Transatlantic studies, Classical studies, and Caribbean Literature. She is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the education sector. Dr. Clarke has over a decade of experience engaging in outreach programs and initiatives that pursue cross-cultural partnerships with diverse populations. 

REFUND POLICY: Please note that we can issue class refunds up until seven (7) days before the first class session.

$120.00
SKU: 9787000008229
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Clotel: or, The President's Daughter Cover Image
By William Wells Brown, M. Giulia Fabi (Introduction by)
$14.00
ISBN: 9780142437728
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Classics - December 30th, 2003

Pudd'nhead Wilson (Vintage Classics) Cover Image
$13.00
ISBN: 9781101873113
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - February 3rd, 2015

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man Cover Image
$12.00
ISBN: 9780140184020
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Classics - February 1st, 1990

Passing Cover Image
By Nella Larsen, Emily Bernard (Introduction by), Thadious M. Davis (Notes by)
$14.00
ISBN: 9780142437278
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Classics - February 4th, 2003

Black No More Cover Image
By George S. Schuyler, Danzy Senna (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143131885
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Classics - January 16th, 2018