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Fall 2017 Ethnicity and Race, Center for Study of UN4701 section 001

Call Number 15557
Day & Time
W 2:10pm-4:00pm
401 Hamilton Hall
Points 4
Approvals Required None
Instructor Karl Jacoby
Course Description 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.
Web Site CourseWorks
Department Ethnicity and Race, Center for
Enrollment 13 students (25 max) as of 7:07PM Saturday, December 16, 2017
Subject Ethnicity and Race, Center for Study of
Number UN4701
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Open To Barnard, Columbia College, Engineering and Applied Science: Undergraduate, General Studies
Campus Morningside
Section key 20173CSER4701W001

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