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5. Understanding Discourse: Beyond Couplets and Calendrics First

Kerry M. Hull University Press of Colorado ePub

Beyond Couplets and Calendrics First


This chapter is dedicated to Kathryn Josserand,
a pioneer in the study of discourse in Mayan hieroglyphic texts.

The study of discourse structure lies somewhere between grammar and meaning.1 It concerns devices such as topics, fronting, parallel phrases (couplets), highlighting, and narrative genres. These devices are used to signal what a text or a discourse is about and what the reader or listener can expect to learn. They are used to divide a text into sections, to emphasize, and to contrast. They can also signal elegance and formality. If we are responsive to the discourse structure of Mayan alphabetic and glyphic texts, we discover how content relates to major text divisions (“paragraphs” or “sections”). We can understand texts far beyond a word-for-word glossing. Such a glossing is sometimes called a literal translation, but in fact it is not a translation at all (Anderson 2008; Nida 1964). This chapter will show that we can use discourse structure to radically change the way we understand normal Mayan texts (for example, by subtracting a ruler from Tikal Stela 31). We can also use it as a tool to decipher sentence structures and bits of meaning in writing systems that are not yet readable. Examples of the latter will include “Isthmian” (illustrated here by the Tuxtla Statuette) and the Cascajal Block.

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He Can’t Say That, Can He?

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

black, white, and shades of gray in the films of Tarantino

Chris Vognar

LAST WINTER, ABOUT halfway through a press screening of Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino’s garishly entertaining slavery revenge epic, I turned to a fellow critic and whispered, half facetiously, “Spike Lee isn’t going to like this one bit.” Sure enough, he didn’t.

By now it’s a rite of pop culture passage: Tarantino makes a fetish of the word “nigger” in a movie or otherwise rankles Lee’s sense of blackness. Lee gets mad. Tarantino gets defensive. The pattern commenced with the release of Tarantino’s blaxploitation tribute Jackie Brown in 1997: “Quentin is infatuated with that word,” Lee quipped after seeing the film. “What does he want to be made—an honorary black man?” Fifteen years later Lee didn’t even bother to see Django before condemning it. Both directors have their parts in the debate down pat; the ongoing conflict has become its own predictable media sideshow, almost as engaging as the movies in question.

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10 The East African Coast

Roman Loimeier Indiana University Press PDF

10 The East African Coast

Historical and Thematic Patterns

Whereas seas of sand connect the northern and southern shores of the Sahara, the

Indian Ocean and annual monsoon winds connect the East African coast with the shores of India and Arabia. The regional orientation toward India and southern Arabia also informed the development of East Africa’s Muslim societies. The Shāfiʿī school of law came to predominate in eastern Africa, whereas the Muslims in sub-Saharan

West Africa joined the Mālikī school of law. In contrast to the bilād al-maghrib, the

Sahara and the bilād al-sūdān, as well as the Nile Sudan and even Ethiopia, Islam in

East Africa remained confined for almost one thousand years to the littoral zones, the sawāhil, where a Muslim culture developed, characterized by a common language


(Kiswahili) and a culture of seafaring and long-distance trade. In the East African interior, Islam started to spread, again through Muslim traders, in the nineteenth century only. The possible emergence of Muslim states, as in Buganda, was stopped by encroaching colonial rule. We have to understand thus the historical development of Muslim East Africa as two separate histories: the long history of the Muslim societies on the coast which were oriented toward the Indian Ocean; and the short history of the Muslim populations of the East African interior, upcountry Kenya, Uganda, mainland Tanzania, and also eastern Congo, where small Muslim communities started to develop from the late nineteenth century. While the history of Islam in the

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Conclusion: Disaster(s) without Content

Thomas Stubblefield Indiana University Press ePub

These are the days after.


Falling Man

Terrorism and the “war on terror” are parts of [the] new media regime, but they are not its basis, not even its primary focus. At most, they are catalysts: they intensify and speed up the emergence of new media forms, and of their corresponding new modes of subjectivity.


Post-Cinematic Affect




While the immediate aftermath of 9/11 saw Hollywood pull virtually anything from distribution that vaguely resembled the experience of that day, five years later in 2006 the event would be front and center in films such as United 93 and World Trade Center. Writing in February of the same year, Julian Stallabrass noted, “There is . . . a vast outpouring of 9-11 merchandise that surely seeks to heal the image wound: posters of heroic firemen against the backdrop of the fallen towers, badges, caps, T-shirts, magnets and memorial candles.”1 The cries of “too soon” seemed to have rescinded and the concomitant return of the image appeared to form something of a bookend to the reconstitution of the visible that took place in the wake of the disaster. As W. J. T. Mitchell observes, “the spectre of 9-11” was supplanted by the global financial crisis and the killing of Osama bin Laden. For Mitchell, the latter is especially important, as the sense of closure it enacted was the product of a kind of double negative within the spectacle which canceled out the power of invisibility: “It is significant that the War on Terror that began with a massive spectacle of erasure on 9-11 should end with the erased image of someone who had been reduced to little more than a hollow icon of a widely discredited movement.”2 In these terms, the killing of bin Laden not only redresses the constellations of invisibility outlined in this book, but also recuperates an earlier image of absence which would mark the beginning of the “war on terror.”3 A similar symbolic transference was performed in almost ritualistic fashion in a press conference held on the eve of the invasion of Iraq.

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Appendix I – Resource List

Jorge Antonio Renaud The University of North Texas Press ePub


Resource List

Following is a list of some organizations that offer services and assistance to prisoners and their families. Many of them offer other resource lists, generally in an area related to what services they extend. By asking them for resource lists, you can build a network of organizations suited to your particular needs.

Texas Inmate Families Association


P.O. Box 181253

Austin, TX 78718-1253

(512) 695-3031


Advocacy group that provides support and resources for families of Texas prisoners. This organization works directly with prisoners’ family members, not prisoners. Has chapters throughout Texas and lobbies for change in the legislature, and often meets with top prison officials.

Info, Inc.

Inmate Families Organization, Inc.

P.O. Box 788

Manchaca, TX 78652


Advocacy group similar to TIFA, although newer.

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