Nella Larsen’s Passing: A Watch Party & Panel Discussion

Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson playing the characters of Clare and Irene respectively in the film Passing from Netflix, based on the novel by Nella Larsen. They are wearing cloche hats sitting side by side with a staircase in the background. Close-up on their faces: Irene looking at Clare who has her eyes closed and is out of focus in the foreground. Text overlaid on image: "Virtual watch party & panel discussion. Nella Larsen's Passing. Wednesday, November 10, 6:15 - 9pm PST. Panelists Alexis McGee, Crystal Webster, Ervin Malakaj. Image from the trailer of Passing." UBC Public Humanities wordmark at lower left corner.

The Public Humanities Hub invites you to a watch party of Netflix’s new film Passing (dir. Rebecca Hall) based on Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel of the same name. Larsen’s novel has been read by scholars across intersections of race, class, sexuality, and gender. Post-screening we will host a discussion moderated by interdisciplinary scholars who work on projects related to the intersectional conversations around the novel.

Film Trailer


Poster for the film Passing. Split in two halves, Tessa Thompson as Irene on the left in profile facing left against a dark background, with dark clothes and dark hair. Ruth Negga as Clare on the right in profile against a light background looking to the right wearing a light lapelled coat with light curly hair. Credits and details are in text including "Passing. A film by Rebecca Hall. Nothing is Black and White."

Film poster from Wikipedia:


Tech Requirements

We will be using Teleparty to screen the film, so a Netflix account is required for viewing. Teleparty is only supported on Chrome, Opera, or Microsoft Edge web browsers and can only be used on a desktop or laptop (no mobile devices or Smart TVs, though one could use screen mirroring or bluetooth for a laptop to Smart TV connection if your devices are compatible). You will need to install Teleparty on your browser prior to screening. Instructions here:

Wednesday, November 10, 2021
6:15-9:00 PM (Pacific Time)
Online via Zoom & Teleparty



6:15 pm: Welcome + Teleparty setup

6:25 pm: Teleparty screening (run time for film is 1h 38m)

8:05 pm: Break

8:15 pm: Panel discussion + Q&A on Zoom

9:00 pm: END



Alexis McGee smiling wearing an emerald green top, in front of a navy blue studio backgroundAlexis McGee (Journalism, Writing, and Media)






Crystal Webster smiling, wearing a black jacket and red top with flowers, in front of a brick wall with vines growing across itCrystal Webster (History)






Ervin Malakaj smiling wearing a collared light blue shirt, in front of a tree with broad green leavesErvin Malakaj (Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies)





Optional pre-reading:

“Rebecca Hall on race, regret and her personal history: ‘In any family with a legacy of passing, it’s very tricky,’” an interview with Director Rebecca Hall and Ellen E. Jones at The Guardian

“Black and Queer Intersectionality in Nella Larsen’s Passing” by Chase Thomson in UBC’s Undergraduate English Journal The Garden Statuary