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postcolonial and African-American theory often focus on representations of the
“other” (racial, subaltern, non-European) whereas the representation
of white, European characters goes unremarked, since it is the norm.
a text you have studied in one of the required courses.* From the text, pick a
character whose ethnicity/race/nationality is taken for granted. Carefully
close read the text and show how the whiteness of this character (or several
characters) is constructed in the text, how it is presented as transparent, or
normal. What are the attributes of this whiteness? Does it need an
“other” against which it is defined? How does this whiteness function
in the text? Why does it matter?
sure that you’re not just describing the character or the text but show how
their race or ethnicity is constructed or performed (or simply assumed) in the
text, and why this is important. You’re probably better off choosing texts that
are not obviously African-American or postcolonial, or that are not centrally