COD 2022 - D777

Webinar - Cultural Programme - Reading and Media Breakfasts: Biracial Subjectivity in Passing by Nella Larsen (1929)

Language and Literature teachers interested in questions of African American experience and identity

1 sessions, start: 10-Sep

Course detail

Year: 2022
Level: Distance
Language: English
Status: Postponed
Lugar: Distance
Facilitator/s: Martha Patricia De Cunto
Print course
ESSARP Schools
Free of charge
Exams Schools
ARS 2200.00
Non affiliate
ARS 2200.00


Sessions Dates Start Finish
1 10 September 2022 10:00 am 11:30 am


Martha Patricia De Cunto

She holds a Master of Arts in Literary Linguistics from the University of Nottingham, UK and is currently doing a PhD in Literature at the University of Buenos Aires. She is also pursuing a Master's Degree in Cultural Studies at UNR. She has been a lecturer in American Literature, Children's Literature, YAL Literature and Introduction to Literary Studies at I.E.S. Lenguas Vivas "Juan Ramón Fernández". She has also taught Creative Writing at ISP “Joaquín V. González”. She has been a teacher of Language and Literature in several schools in Buenos Aires for more than 30 years.
Language and Literature teachers interested in questions of African American experience and identity
Nella Larsen's Passing (1929) is about the relationship between two beautiful light-skinned mulatto friends, one of whom Clare Kendry, has lived as a white woman since she got married to a racist white man. However, her life is not the focus of the novel but she is the trigger of her friend Irene’s psychological trauma, a socialite who has remained faithful to her black ancestry with some qualms. Through her focal perspective, we get a glimpse of Irene’s thoughts of Clare’s life, her jealousy and repressed sexual desires for Clare. The setting is a romanticized fictional world of Harlem’s Sugar Hill in 1927, where a black high society lives a glamorous life. In spite of the fantasy world, the novel grapples with realistic issues of racism and segregation. The novel has been considered “a tragic mulatto narrative” in which biracial women suffer from anxiety when they abandon their black identity to pass as whites, only to end up tragically. Although the end is certainly tragic, Clare does not play the stereotypical role of the anxious-ridden mulatto. Her enigmatic character deconstructs the clear-cut binary line between the lives of blacks and whites.

In the course of the analysis, the facilitator will make some comparisons and contrasts between the novel and the homonymous 2021 drama film directed by Rebecca Hall. There will be a discussion of how the book was adapted and interpreted in the light of the contemporary context of production which involves #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo Movement, Gender Studies and Critical Race Theory.
The seminar will use an online copy of the novel Passing, which will be provided by the facilitator via email. Participants will also be able get it at (my Drive) (faltasubirla y subir el link)

The 2021 film Passing is on Netflix
The facilitator will help participants identify the author’s style and narratological techniques and will delve into some of the main themes such us racism and the media, motherhood, normative sexuality, faithfulness and betrayal, double-consciousness, ideology, among others.

Participants will be required to work on extracts in break-up rooms to explore moments of tensions such as when Irene struggles with desire and double identity.
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Du Bois, W. E. B. (1903) The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches. New York: Fawcett, 1961.
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Gates H. Jr & McKay, N. (eds.) (1997) The Norton Anthology: African American Literature. United States: W.W.Norton& - Company, Inc.
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Spikard, P. (1989). Mixed Blood: Intermarriage and Ethnic Identity in Twentieth Century America. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
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