Thursday, February 22, 2024

Belonging in America--Racial & Ethnic "Passing" in Fiction & Film



The Abram Matlofsky Memorial Program, funded by the Karma Foundation

Join us for a dynamic conversation and light refreshments

Monday, March 4, 7:30 p.m.

 Not Quite White in Fiction and Film:

Laura Z. Hobson's Gentleman's Agreement and Nella Larsen's Passing


Two acclaimed novels and their award-winning film adaptations offer a window onto racial and ethnic "passing" for Black and Jewish Americans and the struggle to belong in a white Christian society.

Watch the films in advance! Excerpts will be shown during the program.



Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

Director: Elia Kazan

Streaming on Dailymotion here (available to rent on Amazon Video and other sites.)


Passing (2021)

Director: Rebecca Hall

Streaming on Netflix here


Join the discussion with our distinguished panelists.



Prof. Donavan L. Ramon Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Author of Striking Features: Psychoanalysis and Racial Passing Narratives


Prof. Rachel Gordan

University of Florida

Author of

Postwar Stories: How Books Made Judaism American


Gene Seymour

Noted Film, Jazz, and Cultural Critic




Douglass Student Center, 100 George Street, New Brunswick

Free and open to the public; Free parking


This program is presented in conjunction with an interdisciplinary symposium, Black Americans, Jewish Americans: Historical Intersections, Collisions, and Passings, and made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.