Faculty Publications & Research

Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date



Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | Literature in English, British Isles


My presentation is titled, “Twins in Blood Only: Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and the Failure of Foils”. I initially conceived of this to be a conference paper, but as I jumped into the novel with a class of high school juniors and seniors last spring, I realized that it was the germ of a conference paper, but also a truly dynamic teaching text. What follows is my experiences teaching the novel, as well as how my students and myself worked through some of the more complex and troubling aspects of the plot. I’m retaining my focus on the role of the twins in the novel, and I would also claim that Smith’s entire novel contains a multitude of colliding Third Spaces that form, intersect, interact, dissolve, and re-form as something new. This, as I will explain shortly, is an action that the students at my school also constantly engage in.



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