Black and White Both Cast Shadows: Unconventional Permutations of Racial Passing in African American and American Literature

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/241972
Title:
Black and White Both Cast Shadows: Unconventional Permutations of Racial Passing in African American and American Literature
Author:
Adams, Derek
Issue Date:
2012
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation proposes to build upon a critical tradition that explores the formation of racial subjectivity in narratives of passing in African-American and American literature. It adds to recent scholarship on passing narratives which seeks a more comprehensive understanding of the connections between the performance of racial norms and contemporary conceptions of "race" and racial categorization. But rather than focusing entirely on the conventional mulatta/o performs whiteness plot device at work in passing literature, a device that reinforces the desirability of heteronormative whiteness, I am interested in assessing how performances of a variety of racial norms challenges this desirability. Selected literary fiction from Herman Melville, Mary White Ovington, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, and ZZ Packer provides a rich opportunity for analyzing these unconventional performances. Formulating a theory of "black-passing" that decenters whiteness as the passer's object of desire, this project assesses how the works of these authors broadens the framework of the discourse on racial performance in revelatory ways. Racial passing will get measured in relation to the political consequences engendered by the transgression of racial boundaries, emphasizing how the nature of acts of passing varies according to the way hegemonic society dictates racial enfranchisement. Passing will be situated in the context of various modes of literary representation - realism, naturalism, modernism, and postmodernism - that register subjectivity. The project will also explore in greater detail the changing nature of acts of passing across gendered, spatial, and temporal boundaries.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
passing; postracial; English; african-american; black-passing
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; English
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Scruggs, Charles; LeSeur-Brown, Geta

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleBlack and White Both Cast Shadows: Unconventional Permutations of Racial Passing in African American and American Literatureen_US
dc.creatorAdams, Dereken_US
dc.contributor.authorAdams, Dereken_US
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation proposes to build upon a critical tradition that explores the formation of racial subjectivity in narratives of passing in African-American and American literature. It adds to recent scholarship on passing narratives which seeks a more comprehensive understanding of the connections between the performance of racial norms and contemporary conceptions of "race" and racial categorization. But rather than focusing entirely on the conventional mulatta/o performs whiteness plot device at work in passing literature, a device that reinforces the desirability of heteronormative whiteness, I am interested in assessing how performances of a variety of racial norms challenges this desirability. Selected literary fiction from Herman Melville, Mary White Ovington, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, and ZZ Packer provides a rich opportunity for analyzing these unconventional performances. Formulating a theory of "black-passing" that decenters whiteness as the passer's object of desire, this project assesses how the works of these authors broadens the framework of the discourse on racial performance in revelatory ways. Racial passing will get measured in relation to the political consequences engendered by the transgression of racial boundaries, emphasizing how the nature of acts of passing varies according to the way hegemonic society dictates racial enfranchisement. Passing will be situated in the context of various modes of literary representation - realism, naturalism, modernism, and postmodernism - that register subjectivity. The project will also explore in greater detail the changing nature of acts of passing across gendered, spatial, and temporal boundaries.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectpassingen_US
dc.subjectpostracialen_US
dc.subjectEnglishen_US
dc.subjectafrican-americanen_US
dc.subjectblack-passingen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorScruggs, Charlesen_US
dc.contributor.advisorLeSeur-Brown, Getaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGallego, Carlosen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSoto, Sandraen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberScruggs, Charlesen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLeSeur-Brown, Getaen_US
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