CFP: Racial Passing Since 1990 (9/15/06; NEMLA, 3/1/07-3/4/07)
Racial Passing Since 1990
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 FX network series /Black.
White./ As did their literary and cinematic predecessors, these texts
explore how racial identity is constructed and how that process 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 with a bi-racial individual, and the absurdity of a
system based on divisions of blood.
This panel seeks papers that 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. Papers 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 papers on the panel will lead to a discussion of the
exclusionary boundaries that continue to demarcate racial identity, the
potential means of deconstructing those boundaries, and the consequences
of such deconstruction.
Presentation of papers should be 18-20 minutes. 300-word abstracts
should be emailed in text to juliecarynerad_at_racescholar.net no later
than Sept. 15, 2006. Also, please provide a brief bio (including
academic affiliation and contact information) in your email.
All participants must be NEMLA members and registered for the convention
by Nov. 30. A late fee of $10 will be added to membership/registration
after Dec. 1. No one may deliver more than one paper. Members may
present a paper at a paper session and still present a paper at a
creative session, participate in a roundtable, or be a respondent at
Julie Cary Nerad, Ph.D.
Morgan State University
Department of English
Baltimore, MD 21251
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Received on Wed Aug 23 2006 - 17:13:16 EDT