What is "passing" and why is it such a persistent obsession of great literature and film? Why does the act of changing one's identity fascinate, excite, and repel us? At once a universal phenomenon and the most intensely personal of experiences, passing is a site where history, culture, law and society collide with individual identity and desire. This course examines narratives from the African-American, Jewish-American, and LGBTQ contexts in order to explore the idea of passing through the lenses of race, ethnicity, and gender. We will consider both the promise and the limits of comparison in working in and between these multiple frames.