Teaching Texts Materially: The Ends of Nella Larsen’s Passing

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Young, John K.
college; English; African American Studies; Arts and Humanities; Literature in English, North America; Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority
article description
The author suggests that attending to the publishing history of Larsen’s novel and the resulting indeterminacy of its ending(s) offers a concrete example of a materially oriented pedagogy that can illuminate the racial politics behind textual production and its relation to particular historical and cultural moments. He suggests that such a pedagogy offers both another way of understanding the textual contingency emphasized in contemporary theory and a way of further opening up questions of textuality and meaning for students.