Neo-Passing: Performing Identity after Jim Crow

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2018-03-14 16:57Z by Steven

Neo-Passing: Performing Identity after Jim Crow

University of Illinois Press
March 2018
296 pages
6 x 9 in.
11 black & white photographs
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-04158-7
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-08323-5
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-252-05024-4

Edited by:

Mollie Godfrey, Assistant Professor of English
James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Vershawn Ashanti Young, Associate Professor of Drama and Speech Communication
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Crossing old boundaries to create new identities

African Americans once passed as whites to escape the pains of racism. Today’s neo-passing has pushed the old idea of passing in extraordinary new directions. A white author uses an Asian pen name; heterosexuals live “out” as gay; and, irony of ironies, whites try to pass as black.

Mollie Godfrey and Vershawn Ashanti Young present essays that explore practices, performances, and texts of neo-passing in our supposedly postracial moment. The authors move from the postracial imagery of Angry Black White Boy and the issues of sexual orientation and race in ZZ Packer’s short fiction to the politics of Dave Chappelle’s skits as a black President George W. Bush. Together, the works reveal that the questions raised by neo-passing—questions about performing and contesting identity in relation to social norms—remain as relevant today as in the past.

Gale Wald offers a foreword and Michele Elam an afterword.

Contributors: Derek Adams, Christopher M. Brown, Martha J. Cutter, Marcia Alesan Dawkins, Alisha Gaines, Jennifer Glaser, Allyson Hobbs, Brandon J. Manning, Loran Marsan, Lara Narcisi, Eden Osucha, and Deborah Elizabeth Whaley

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Jeff Chang in conversation with Adam Mansbach

Posted in Arts, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-26 02:08Z by Steven

Jeff Chang in conversation with Adam Mansbach

Kepler’s Books
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, California 94025-4349
Tuesday, 2015-01-26, 19:30 PST (Local Time)

It’s hard to express just how cool and important Who We Be is with words alone. Jeff seems to share this sentiment when it comes to a cultural history of the idea of racial progress because Who We Be remixes comic strips and contemporary art, campus protests and corporate marketing campaigns, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Trayvon Martin.

Now you can join the conversation too: How do Americans see race now? How has that changed – and not changed – over the half-century? After eras framed by words like “multicultural” and “post-racial,” do we see each other anymore clearly? Join us for a timely discussion with journalist, music critic, and Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University, Jeff Chang. He will be interviewed by the author of Go the F**k to Sleep, Adam Mansbach, to celebrate the paperback release of Who We Be.

Jeff Chang co-founded and ran the indie hip hop label, then known as SoleSides, but now known as Quannum Projects, and helped launch the careers of DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, Lyrics Born, and Lateef the Truth Speaker. The anti-apartheid and the anti-racist movement at UC Berkeley politicized Chang and he worked as a community laborer and student organizer; Chang was an organizer of the inaugural National Hip-Hop Political Convention. In 2007 Chang interviewed Barack Obama, for the cover of Vibe Magazine. He’s the author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop and has written for The Nation, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Believer, Foreign Policy, Salon, Slate, and Buzzfeed, among others.

Adam Mansbach is the author of Angry Black White Boy, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2005 and The End of the Jews (for which he won the California Book Award for fiction in 2008). Mansbach was the founding editor of the 1990s hip-hop journal Elementary. He lives in Berkeley and co-hosts a radio show, “Father Figures.”…

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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Presents Race, Hip-Hop & The American Future: A Conversation with Adam Mansbach

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2015-09-28 00:58Z by Steven

Presents Race, Hip-Hop & The American Future: A Conversation with Adam Mansbach

The John Hope Franklin Center
Duke University
2204 Erwin Road
Durham, North Carolina 27708-0402
Monday, 2015-09-28, 18:30 EDT (Local Time)

Mark Anthony Neal, Professor of African & African American Studies

The Center for Arts + Digital Culture + Entrepreneurship (CADCE) Presents Race, Hip-Hop & The American Future: A Conversation with Adam Mansbach on Monday, September 28, 2015 at 6:30 pm at the John Hope Franklin Center for International & Interdisciplinary Studies (2204 Erwin Road).

Mansbach’s 2013 novel, Rage is Back, was named a Best Book of the Year by NPR and the San Francisco Chronicle and is currently being adapted for the stage; his previous novels include the California Book Award-winning The End of the Jews and the cult classic Angry Black White Boy, taught at more than eighty schools, including at Duke, this semester.

Mansbach is also the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Go the Fuck to Sleep, which has been translated into 40 languages, and was Time Magazine’s 2011 “Thing of the Year.” The sequel, You Have to Fucking Eat, was published in November of 2014 and is also a New York Times bestseller.

For more information, click here.

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Left of Black S2:E33 | Race, Writing and the Attack on Black Studies with Adam Mansbach and La TaSha Levy on Season Finale of Left of Black

Posted in Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2012-12-10 06:16Z by Steven

Left of Black S2:E33 | Race, Writing and the Attack on Black Studies with Adam Mansbach and La TaSha Levy on Season Finale of Left of Black

Left of Black
John Hope Franklin Center
Duke University

Mark Anthony Neal, Host and Professor of African & African American Studies
Duke University

Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by writer Adam Mansbach, the author of several books including Angry Black White Boy (2005), The End of the Jews  (2008) and the New York Times Bestseller Go the Fuck to Sleep.  Mansbach discusses the inspiration for Macon Detornay—the protagonist of Angry Black White Boy—the surprise success of his “adult children’s book” and his new graphic novel Nature of the Beast.  Finally Neal and Mansbach discuss race in the Obama era and the legacy of the Beastie Boys

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Angry Black White Boy or The Miscegenation of Macon Detornay: A Novel

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2012-12-07 04:00Z by Steven

Angry Black White Boy or The Miscegenation of Macon Detornay: A Novel

Random House
352 pages
Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4000-5487-9

Adam Mansbach

From the acclaimed author of Shackling Water comes the first great race novel of the twenty-first century, an incendiary and ruthlessly funny satire about violence, pop culture, and American identity.

Macon Detornay is a suburban white boy possessed and politicized by black culture, and filled with rage toward white America. After moving to New York City for college, Macon begins robbing white passengers in his taxicab, setting off a manhunt for the black man presumed to be committing the crimes. When his true identity is revealed, Macon finds himself to be a celebrity and makes use of the spotlight to hold forth on the evils and invisibility of whiteness. Soon he launches the Race Traitor Project, a stress-addled collective that attracts guilty liberals, wannabe gangstas, and bandwagon riders from all over the country to participate in a Day of Apology—a day set aside for white people to make amends for four hundred years of oppression. The Day of Apology pushes New York City over the edge into an epic riot, forcing Macon to confront the depth of his own commitment to the struggle.

Peopled with all manner of race pimps and players, Angry Black White Boy is a stunning breakout book from a critically acclaimed young writer and should be required reading for anyone who wants to get under the skin of the complexities of identity in America.

Read Chapter One here.

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In the Middle, In Between: Cultural Hybridity, Community Rejection, and the Destabilization of Race in Percival Everett’s “Erasure”, Adam Mansbach’s “Angry Black White Boy”, and Danzy Senna’s “Caucasia”

Posted in Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2011-09-01 23:54Z by Steven

In the Middle, In Between: Cultural Hybridity, Community Rejection, and the Destabilization of Race in Percival Everett’s “Erasure”, Adam Mansbach’s “Angry Black White Boy”, and Danzy Senna’s “Caucasia”

Howard University
84 pages
Publication Number: AAT 1495397
ISBN: 9781124728568

Laura R. Perez

A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Howard University In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in the Department of English

Cultural hybridity, a term first introduced by post-colonial theorist Homi Bhabha, has been a shifting and difficult to define concept within academic discourse. My thesis will focus on cultural hybridity as the embodiment of a pluralistic identity that encompasses the characteristics or attributes of more than one culture or race. I will examine three contemporary literary works of racial satire—Percival Everett’s Erasure, Adam Mansbach’s Angry Black White Boy, and Danzy Senna’s Caucasiathat present culturally hybrid protagonists and explore the ways in which these protagonists are utilized to destabilize race. Furthermore, I will demonstrate the tensions that this destabilization creates through community rejections of each protagonists’ hybridity – tensions that become inherent to hybridity itself.

My exploration will include an analysis of the protagonists’ hybridity—the ways in which they do not fit into the existing notions of what blackness or whiteness is—and how this hybridity is marginalized by their communities. Following this, I will explicate the protagonists’ responses to their marginalization—their creation of dual identities or alter egos and the racial/psychoanalytic significance of this process. I will draw upon post-colonial and critical race theory writings, as well as Freudian and Lacanian theory, to frame my analysis. But most importantly, I will draw upon the work of scholars—including Marwan Kraidy, Jopi Nyman, Sabrine Broeck, Pnina Werbner, Peter Burke, and Robert Young—to theorize hybridity within my analysis.

Finally, I will examine the novels’ conclusions, during which the protagonists’ dual identities are forcefully merged, and demonstrate the lack of resolution that this merging creates. This examination will reveal that the community rejections of hybridity in each novel are, in themselves, impossible to mediate. Thus, I will prove that each protagonist’s hybrid positioning not only destabilizes race by challenging the concreteness of racial categorizations, but that this positioning, and the community’s response to it, also demonstrates the tensions inherent to hybridity itself. In this way, each text undermines the black-white binary, while also affirming the tensions that result from not willfully engaging in it.

Table of Contents

  • Thesis Committee
    • Background to the Problem
    • Statement of the Problem
    • Review of Literature
    • Theoretical Framework and Methodology
    • Plan of Research
    • Definition of Terms

Purchase the dissertation here.

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