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8 - Bad Brother Man: Black Folk Figure Narratives in Comics

Lovalerie King Indiana University Press ePub


Recent scholarship in Africana Studies has revisited the “badman” folk figure in African American culture. Much of this scholarship (Perry 2004, Cobb 2006, and Ogbar 2007) has reengaged this classic black folk figure in order to explicate similar characters emerging in the lyrics and music videos of Hip Hop culture. In this essay I will extend these new theoretical analyses to interpret the figure of the “badman” in comics and graphic novels. Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece's Incognegro: A Graphic Mystery, Derek McCulloch and Shepherd Hendrix's Stagger Lee, and Kyle Baker's Nat Turner all depict either fictional or historical outlaw figures derived directly from the rich reservoir of African American oral and folk culture. Incognegro, Stagger Lee, and Nat Turner each have intriguing and integral relationships with history, mythology, and the legendary narratives of black “badmen,” but also of interest here is the interstitial relationship between these comic (anti)heroes and the American justice system. Each of them is either an outlaw, a fugitive, or a vigilante at specific points in their narratives and each in turn emerges from a narratological set of experiences that embolden them as culturally aspirational outlaws.1 These Bad-Brother-Men narratives depict a complex twenty-first-century portrait of the black heroic outlaw; visually dense and verbally articulated as historic essays, each of these narratives suggest the untapped potential for comics to engage American history and the politics of identity.

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Appendix C. “A Strange Experience” / A. Almi, Translated by Gabriella Safran

Gabriella Safran Indiana University Press ePub

“A Strange Experience”


A. Almi, Momenten fun a lebn: Zikhroynes, bilder un epizodn (Buenos Aires: Tsentral farband fun poylishe yidn in argentine, 1948), 121–128.

A. Almi (Eliyahu Hayim Sheps, 1892–1963) was a Yiddish writer in multiple genres. As Almi notes at the end of this excerpt, the story of the folklorist’s misadventure in a brothel turned into folklore in its own right. It is often cited in scholarship on the Warsaw Yiddish folklorists. Both Safran and Werberger’s chapters in this volume discuss the episode at length. The original text showcases the folklorist’s use of dialect terms, here the language of the criminal underworld, set off with quotation marks, such as “araynfetsn” for “to stab.”

When I was gathering folklore—folksongs, stories, women’s Yiddish prayers, and, not to ignore the distinction here, material from the world of criminals—first just for myself, later for Noah Pryłucki’s1 folklore collections, I had a tough moment when I was sure I was about to die—as a victim of folklore. . . . It is a strange tale that really smells like a cheap thriller.

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Four Anne Frank: The Posthumous Years

Alvin H. Rosenfeld Indiana University Press ePub

To me she is one of the survivors.


It has been estimated that, among the almost six million Jews who fell victim to the Nazis during World War II, at least one million and perhaps as many as one and a half million were children. Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and other research institutions elsewhere have many of their names on record. To the world at large, however, these children all bear one name—that of Anne Frank. It is not that we lack information about the others, for more than a few of them were youthful authors and wrote diaries or other personal testimonies that have come down to us. For the most part, though, these other books remain relatively unknown while the diary of Anne Frank is almost certainly the most widely read book of World War II. It is as if the broad public has chosen to pay tribute to the memory of the others by remembering the one child who today stands for all the child victims of the Nazi era. To the million or more who perished we have given the collective name: Anne Frank.

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8. The Axioms of Intuition. After Kant

Peirce, Charles S. PDF

Axioms of Intuition, 1859 31


The Axioms of Intuition

After Kant

MS 50: May 1859

All Intuitions are Extensive Quantities.

An extensive quantity is that wherein the representation of parts renders possible (and therefore necessarily antecedes in the synthesis) the representation of the whole.

Axiom I

Space has three dimensions.

Proof. Space is the form of the external sense. Our knowledge of external things can only be of qualities; and since all knowledge is discrimination I can only know them by their difference of quality. And this difference of quality must exist at each moment of time. It cannot be a mere difference in quantity, because different quantities differing also in quality must be observable at the same time. And difference in quality necessitates the possibility of entire difference of quality; and this therefore must be expressed in the conditional form of intuition.

But since space and time are the only forms of intuition, there can be no difference in the universe except difference in space and difference in time. This entire difference in quality therefore is a difference in space not a difference in quantity—an entire difference in position with no difference in distance—in short is dimension.

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24. The Doctrine of Necessity Examined

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF


The Doctrine of Necessity Examined

5 November 1891

Morris Library

In the Monist for January, 1891, I endeavored to show what elementary ideas ought to enter into our view of the universe. I may mention that on those considerations I had already grounded a cosmical theory, and from it had deduced a considerable number of consequences capable of being compared with experience. This comparison is now in progress, but under existing circumstances must occupy many years.

I propose here to examine the common belief that every single fact in the universe is precisely determined by law. It must not be supposed that this is a doctrine accepted everywhere and at all times by all rational men. Its first advocate appears to have been Democritus the atomist, who was led to it, as we are informed, by reflecting upon the “impenetrability, translation, and impact of matter (ajntitupiva kai; fora; kai; plhgh; th`~ u}lh~).” That is to say, having restricted his attention to a field where no influence other than mechanical constraint could possibly come before his notice, he straightway jumped to the conclusion that throughout the universe that was the sole principle of action,—a style of reasoning so usual in our day with men not unreflecting as to be more than excusable in the infancy of thought. But Epicurus, in revising the atomic doctrine and repairing its defences, found himself obliged to suppose that atoms swerve from their courses by spontaneous chance; and thereby he conferred upon the theory life and entelechy. For we now see clearly that the peculiar function of the molecular hypothesis in physics is to open an entry for the calculus of probabilities. Already, the prince of philosophers had repeatedly and emphatically condemned the dictum of Democritus (especially in the

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