Teaching How to Read Racial Identity


Last week, we wrote about Junot Diaz‘s thoughts on the silence around racial identity that he experienced during his MFA in the ‘90s.

Salon tracked down the syllabi of two undergrad courses the writer teaches at MIT, in the Comparative Media Studies/Writing Department. Informed of this, Diaz said the following:

“I teach classic Gothic texts which are themselves not very diverse by our standards,” he said, “but the critical lens I deploy helps my students understand how issues of race, gender, coloniality etc. are never far and how these problematics in fact underpin even what what would be considered a ‘white text.’” Sharing just a list of books, he feared, “feels like a shortcut—like throwing out Sterling from the NBA.”

Guia Cortassa was born, lives, and works in Milan, Italy. After working as a Contemporary Art curator, she went back to writing. She is a contributing editor for Ondarock and her writing has appeared on Rivista Studio, Flair and the Quietus. She compulsively tweets @gcmorvern. More from this author →