Fake Identity?

The Impostor Narrative in North American Culture

Edited by Caroline Rosenthal and Stefanie Schäfer

Fake Identity?

Edited by Caroline Rosenthal and Stefanie Schäfer

Distributed for Campus Verlag

230 pages | 25 color plates | 5 1/2 x 8 3/8 | © 2014
Paper $56.00 ISBN: 9783593501017 Published August 2014
In North America, where the sociocultural history and national mythologies of the United States and Canada are especially fertile ground for the invention of identities both fake and “real,” impostor narratives of all kinds abound. From ethnic impersonation to racial passing, going native, and confidence tricks, when it is discovered, imposture incites fascination and scandal—yet it also showcases how identities are made. The essays in this book examine both real and fictional renditions of North American imposture, placing these narratives in historical context even as they shed light on larger currents such as identity as performance and the cultural value attributed to authenticity in Western societies. From the narrator of colonial travelogues to postmodernist author and narrator voices, and from the urban con game to trickster shamanism, fake identities are shown to be a negative lens through which the performance of self is revealed.




Caroline Rosenthal and Stefanie Schäfer


Faking It: Real Imposters and the Fabrication of Identities


The Message Becomes the Messenger: Jonathan Carver’s Travels between Imposture and Nationalist Self-Fashioning

Ramin Djahazi


‘The Wish to be a Red Indian’: The Canadian Dream of Grey Owl

Caroline Rosenthal


The Curious Case of Asa Carter and The Education of Little Tree

Laura Browder


The Imposter as Trickster as Innovator: A Re-Reading of Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan Cycle

Stefan Löchle


Making the Fake: Fake Identities in Literature, Film, and TV


“You Do an Awfully Good Impression of Yourself”: Authorial Imposters in Contemporary American Fiction

Jan D. Kucharzewski


Reading Fiction under False Assumptions? Emma Dunham Kelley-Hawkins and her Posthumous Passing for Black

Yulia Kozyrakis


Unwilling Imposters, Willing Victims: Passing in Two Nineteenth-Century Cuban Novels

Victor Goldgel


From Rinehartism to Capgras: Imposture and the American Dream

Christian Knirsch


Watch Me If You Can: The Return of the Imposter in Contemporary Film

Wieland Schwanebeck


The Con Man and the Close-Up: Imposture in Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood

Martin Holtz


“A Man is Whatever Room He’s In”: Identity, Home, and Nostalgia in AMC’s Mad Men

Stefanie Mueller


AlterNatives? – A Coda


Identifying Joyriding with the Trickster in Drew Hayden Taylor’s Motorcycles & Sweetgrass

Maryann Henck


Pretending to Be an Imposter

Drew Hayden Taylor






For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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