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Identity in Western culture is largely structured around visibility, whether in the service of science (Victorian physiognomy), psychoanalysis (Lacan's mirror stage), or philosophy (the Panopticon). As such, it is charged with anxieties regarding classification and social demarcation. Passing wreaks havoc with accepted systems of social recognition and cultural intelligibility, blurring the carefully-marked lines of race, gender, and class.
Bringing together theories of passing across a host of disciplines—from critical race theory and lesbian and gay studies, to literary theory and religious studies—Passing complicates our current understanding of the visual and categories of identity.
Contributors: Michael Bronski, Karen McCarthy Brown, Bradley Epps, Judith Halberstam, Peter Hitchcock, Daniel Itzkovitz, Patrick O'Malley, Miriam Peskowitz, María C. Sánchez Linda Schlossberg, and Sharon Ullman.
Author Biography: María C. Sánchez is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University. Linda Schlossberg is Lecturer and Assistant Director of Studies for the Women's Studies Program at Harvard University.
"Passing is a very useful contribution to the literature both on sexualities and the politics of identity generally...the analyses in Passing throw light not only on minority identities but also on more mainstream ones."
"Wigs, men's suits, and shocking posthumous disclosures: such are some stereotypical elements of passing lives. But this rich and stimulating collection maps a more varied territory of passing—with its invisible differences, sly performances, and ‘chameleonic blood,' its compelled betrayals, fears of infiltration, and deeply desired poses. Passing details the terrors of such border crossings and the threats they pose to ways of knowing, indeed to identity itself."
-Carolyn Dinshaw,Director of The Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at NYU
|Introduction: Rites of Passing||1|
|1||Telling Tales: Brandon Teena, Billy Tipton, and Transgender Biography||13|
|2||Passing Like Me: Jewish Chameleonism and the Politics of Race||38|
|3||Whiteness Invisible: Early Mexican American Writing and the Color of Literary History||64|
|4||Passing Lines: Immigration and the Performance of American Identity||92|
|5||From Victorian Parlor to Physique Pictorial: The Male Nude and Homosexual Identity||135|
|7||The "Self-Made Man": Male Impersonation and the New Woman||187|
|8||Mimesis in the Face of Fear: Femme Queens, Butch Queens, and Gender Play in the Houses of Greater Newark||208|
|9||"The Church's Closet": Confessionals, Victorian Catholicism, and the Crisis of Identification||228|
|10||Moses' Wilderness Tabernacle||260|