Thomas Morgan, Ph.D.
Race is epistemological. It shapes worldviews, conceptions of self, and interactions with society. It defines who belongs in the national community and who counts as fully human. The myth of whiteness as a homogenizing and nativist identity creates false personas around and within racialized others. These personas define non-white populations according to exclusionary stereotypes. These stereotypes, in turn, separate populations based on appearance and cultural practice. This thesis applies Critical Race Theory and comparative racialization tools to examine the historical implications of race on the conception of an authentic, or internally true, identity. These implications are illustrated by the dynamics of choice and racial identification for multi-racial and multi-cultural individuals in literature. By comparing African-American and Asian-American racialization in relation to the homogenizing white presence, this thesis explores the performance of race as social legibility in post-civil rights-era discourse.
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English Language and Literature
Landers, William E., "Misreading the Hybrid Face: The Alienation of Performed and Authentic Self in Danzy Senna’s Caucasia and Chang-Rae Lee’s Native Speaker" (2019). Honors Theses. 219.