CFP: [African-American] Racial Passing Since 1990 (9/14/07; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Julie Cary Nerad

Much insightful scholarship has been published on the representation of
racial passing in American literature, especially in texts from the
antebellum period through the Harlem Renaissance and Jim Crow segregation.
Even in a “post Civil Rights era,” however, racial passing has continued to
interest writers as a means to explore identity and race relations in
America. Within the last decade and a half, authors as diverse as Elizabeth
Atkins Bowman, Wesley Brown, Alice Randall, Philip Roth, and Danzy Senna,
among others, have incorporated racial passing within novels. Perhaps the
most highly visible evidence of the continued relevance of racial passing
is Ice Cube’s recent FX network series "Black. White.", as well as episodes
of "Law & Order" and "Angel." As did their literary and cinematic
predecessors, these recent written and visual texts explore how racial
identity is constructed and how those processes can be subverted. Taken
together, they evidence a continuing belief in racial atavism, the
socio-economic consequences of being an “other,” the crisis that can occur
within a “bi-racial” individual, and the absurdity of a system based on
divisions of blood.

This collection of essays will investigate the trope of racial passing
within the last two decades. Essays may explore literary and/or
television/filmic representations of racial passing since 1990 in order to
understand how the trope of racial passing continues as a relevant strategy
used to understand race in America. Essays should contextualize a reading
of contemporary racial passing within the historical tradition of passing.
They might ask how the purpose or means of racial passing has changed in
contemporary texts or they might highlight continuities (or both). Ideally,
the essays will investigate the exclusionary boundaries that continue to
demarcate racial identity, suggest the potential means of deconstructing
those boundaries, and explore the possible consequences of such
deconstruction. Essays should not primarily focus on racial masquerade or
blackface/whiteface unless thoroughly embedded within a discussion of
racial passing.

The collection also actively seeks to include essays on racial passing
within various ethnic/racial groups that have been (or continue to be)
considered “non-white,” such as Native, Asian, Latino, Jewish, etc.

The collection will ideally include 8-10 essays. Finished papers should be
approximately 8,000 - 10,000 words and will be due in January 2008.

Please email 500 word abstracts in text (no attachments) to no later than September 14 2007. Also,
please provide a brief bio (including academic affiliation and contact
information) in your email. Notification of decisions will be sent by
September 21, 2007.

Julie Cary Nerad, Ph.D.
Morgan State University
Department of English and Language Arts
1700 E. Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore, MD 21251

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Received on Thu Aug 02 2007 - 11:21:26 EDT