This seminar is designed to investigate how the concept of race has been represented in cinema historically, with a particular focus on representations of race when blackness is masqueraded. Its intent is to launch an investigative inquiry into how African Americans are represented on screen in various time periods, how we as spectators are manipulated by these cinematic constructions of race, and how race is marked or coded other than through visual representation. Students will view films that deal with “passing” from the various historical periods and will utilize theoretical concepts introduced in class to read these visual representations. Films selected for viewing include the pre-World War II Era, the Civil Rights Era, and the “Post-Racial” era. Students will be required to write three papers that reflect their ability to apply theoretical concepts to reading racialized representations on screen in these three historical periods to demonstrate their understanding of how racial masquerades have evolved over time and continue to persist in contemporary culture.