Rafael Walker

Rafael Walker is assistant professor of English and, by courtesy, of Black and Latino Studies at Baruch College. His essay, “Nella Larsen Reconsidered: The Trouble with Desire in Quicksand and Passing,” was awarded the 2016 Crompton-Noll Prize for Best Article in LGBTQ Studies from the Modern Language Association’s Gay and Lesbian Caucus. He is now finishing a new critical edition of Larsen’s Passing for Broadview Press.


Passing into Film: Rebecca Hall’s Adaptation of Nella Larsen

Director Rebecca Hall’s recent adaptation of Nella Larsen’s exquisite second novel, Passing (1929), is visually stunning. I had the pleasure of seeing the film on the big screen, during its limited theatrical run and before its Netflix release. It was the ideal atmosphere for absorbing this cinematic rendering of Larsen’s eerie, anxiety-ridden plot: ensconced with a sparse audience (my companion and I comprising two of the four patrons for the 5:10pm showing) in a small independent theater in Manhattan, just a few miles from where the story is set, and with Halloween everywhere looming on this late-October evening.