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"The Thing Became Real": New Materialisms and Race in the Fiction of Nella Larsen

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title
"The Thing Became Real": New Materialisms and Race in the Fiction of Nella Larsen
author
Parkinson, Laure Adams
abstract
My project explores the tension between materiality and textuality in the fiction of Nella Larsen, using new materialist and affect theories as frameworks for reading her short stories, “The Wrong Man” and “Freedom” (1926), and her novels, Quicksand (1928) and Passing (1929). I argue that Larsen mobilizes concepts of misrecognition and misrepresentation through characters’ encounters with materiality in order to challenge ideologies of race and gender. Significantly, Larsen’s stories and novels form an intertextual relationship not only with each other as a fictional body of work, but with biographical documents by and about Larsen, suggesting the tenuous relationship between fiction and reality. I aim to explore not only how Larsen thematizes these tensions in her own work through acts of passing and desire, but how she provides readers with new ways of thinking about identity politics in the twenty-first century.
subject
Harlem Renaissance
Modernism
Nella Larsen
Passing
Quicksand
contributor
Madera, Judith I (committee chair)
Still, Erica (committee member)
Bowie, Rian (committee member)
date
2015-06-23T08:35:57Z (accessioned)
2015-06-23T08:35:57Z (available)
2015 (issued)
degree
English (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/57166 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
type
Thesis

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