Saturday, June 22, 2024

Join the Discussion of Nella Larsen's "Passing," June 26



Black Americans, Jewish Americans:

Racial and Ethnic "Passing" in Literature and the Struggle to Belong


Virtual Book Club


Presented in partnership with the New Brunswick Free Public Library, the

New Brunswick African American Heritage Committee, and the

Rutgers University Libraries–New Brunswick


Free and open to the public



Wed., June 26, 7:00 p.m.

Passing by Nella Larsen


Clare Kendry is living on the edge. Light skinned and married to a racist white man who is unaware of her African American heritage, she has decided to "pass" as a white woman and has severed ties to her past. Tensions mount when she reunites with childhood friend Irene Redfield, who is also light skinned but has chosen to remain within the African American community.



Donavan L. Ramon, assistant professor of English at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the fall 2023 Bildner Visiting Scholar, will lead a discussion of key themes in this important novel and also highlight connections between Passing and The Human Stain by Philip Roth.




Presented in conjunction with the 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.