Date of Award

11-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

English

Program

English

First Advisor/Chairperson

Amy Hamilton

Abstract

In American society, race is a determining factor when realizing a salient identity. Social engagements, relationships, and the perception has of one’s self are all effected and choreographed by race. Deeply ingrained within our social structure race aims to categorize humanity into easily identifiable, yet reductive, categories. However, an issue arises when the addition of the mixed-race subject throws the sorting machine into a frenzy. Unable to categorize the racially ambiguous, American society chooses to conflate their physicality to another ethnic group or race or write them off as Other. The late Gloria Anzaldua’s investigation into the limitless possibilities present within biracial/multiethnic individuals which ran perpendicular to 20th century assumptions on the condition of the biracial subject. Therefore, in tandem with Anzaldua’s theory, will concern itself with that of the Other and how biracial subjects adapt or perish in a racialized system. To accomplish this goal, this work will draw upon personal experiences through autobiography and deconstruct the racial mechanisms at work. Then apply the reading of self to the reading of Danzy Senna Caucasia, which chronicles the coming of age story of Birdie Lee and her journey to self conceptualization. This dual reading of the self and text aim to emphasize the experiences that inform the ideal I of biracial individuals.

Access Type

Open Access

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