This course examines claims and counter-claims of identity, a heated political and cultural concept over the past few decades. We will consider the ways in which theories of performance have offered generative discursive frameworks for the study of identities, variously shaped by vectors of race, gender, sexuality, religion, class, nation, ethnicity, among others. How is identity as a social category different from identity as a unique and personal attribute of selfhood? Throughout the course we will focus on the inter-locking ways in which certain dimensions of identity become salient at particular historical conjunctures. In addition, we will consider the complex discourses of identity within transnational and historical frameworks. Readings include Robin Bernstein, Ann Pellegrini, Tavia Nyong¿o, Jose Munoz, Michael Taussig, Wendy Brown, Talal Asad, Jasbir Puar, among others.