Required Texts

Twain, Mark. Pudd'nhead Wilson [1894]. New York, NY: Bantam Classics, 1984. ISBN: 9780553211580. The e-text is available from Project Gutenberg.

Chesnut, Charles. The Marrow of Tradition [1901]. New York, NY: Penguin Classics, 1993. ISBN: 9780140186864. The e-text is available from Project Gutenberg.

Johnson, James Weldon. Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man [1912]. New York, NY: Vintage, 1989. ISBN: 9780679727538. The e-text is available from Project Gutenberg.

Larsen, Nella. Passing [1929]. New York, NY: Penguin Classics, 2003. ISBN: 9780142437278.

Schuyler, George. Black No More [1931]. New York, NY: Modern Library, 1999. ISBN: 9780375753800.

Griffin, John Howard. Black Like Me [1961]. New York, NY: NAL Trade, 2003. ISBN: 9780451208644.

Jones, LeRoi. (Baraka, Amiri.) "Dutchman" [1964]. In Dutchman and The Slave: Two Plays. New York, NY: Harper Perennial, 1971. ISBN: 9780688210847.

Parks, Suzan-Lori. "The America Play" [1994]. In The America Play and Other Works. New York, NY: Theatre Communications Groups, 1995. ISBN: 9781559360920.

Derricotte, Toi. The Black Notebooks [1997]. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 1999. ISBN: 9780393319019.

Roth, Philip. The Human Stain [2000]. New York, NY: Vintage, 2001. ISBN: 9780375726347.

Readings by Session



In-class TV clip: "When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong"

Chapelle, Dave. "When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong." In Episode 20 of Chapelle's Show, 2004.
2 Herman Melville Melville, Herman. "Benito Cereno." [1856] In The Piazza Tales and other Prose Pieces, 1839-1860. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1987. ISBN: 9780810105515. The e-text is available from Project Gutenberg.
3 Mark Twain Pudd'nhead Wilson, chapters 1-12.
4 Pudd'nhead Wilson, chapters 13-end.
5 Suzan-Lori Parks The American Play, read all.
6 Charles Chesnutt The Marrow of Tradition, chapters 1-16.
7 The Marrow of Tradition, chapters 17-end.

Interracial identity

In-class film: Cross-Over King

Cross-Over King. Directed by John Leguizamo.

Sollors. "Passing; or, Sacrificing a Parvenu."


Toni Morrison

In-class film: Mr. White

Morrison, Toni. "Recitatif." In Women and Race in Contemporary U.S. Writing: From Faulkner to Morrison. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan, 2007. ISBN: 9781403972385.
10 James Weldon Johnson Autobiography of an Ex-Colured Man, chapters 1-7.
11 Autobiography of an Ex-Colured Man, chapters 8-end.
12 Nella Larsen

Passing, read all.

Goffman, Erving. Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York, NY: Anchor, 1959. ISBN: 9780385094023.

13 Being Indian

Deloria. Playing Indian. New Haven, NJ: Yale University Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780300080674.

Riley. "Adventures of an Indian princess." In Native American Literature: An Anthology. Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Publishing Group, 1998. ISBN: 9780844259857.

14 Philip Roth The Human Stain, chapters 1-3.
15 The Human Stain, chapters 4-5.
16 John Howard Griffin Black Like Me, pp. 1-101 or 10/28-11/21.
17 Black Like Me, pp. 102-end or 11/24-8/17.


In-class film: Paris is Burning

Paris is Burning. Directed by Jennie Livingston, 1990.

Butler, Judith P. "Gender is Burning: Questions of Appropriation and Subversion." In Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex. New York, NY: Routledge, 1993. ISBN: 9780415903660.


LeRoi Jones



Lipsitz, George. The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics. Revised and expanded ed. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2006. ISBN: 9781592134946.

Hooks, Bell. "Representing whiteness: Seeing wings of desire." In Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1990. ISBN: 9780896083851.

20 Library instruction (no readings)
21 Toi Derricotte The Black Notebooks, Introduction to "Blacks in the U."
22 The Black Notebooks, "Among School" to the end.
23 George Schuyler Black No More, chapters 1-6.
24 Black No More, chapters 7-end.
25 In-class film: Six Degrees of Separation Six Degrees of Separation. Directed by Fred Schepisi, 1993.
26 Student presentations (no readings)