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Patricia Schneider
Biological Sciences and Geology
Queensborough Community College / City University of New York
The Case of Desiree's Baby: The Genetics and Evolution of Skin Color

This case is based on Kate Chopin’s short story “Desiree’s Baby,” a tragic tale of race and gender in antebellum Louisiana first published in 1893. Students read the story and then answer a series of questions about the genetics and evolution of skin color. The case was developed for a general biology course organized around the general theme of evolution. It could also be used in anthropology and biology courses for non-majors.