Category: history

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“Racially Inflicted Language” and the Archives

In Playing in the Dark, Toni Morrison highlights the ways that language obfuscates yet also illuminates he Africanist presence at the heart of American literature. Morrison delivered the lectures that would constitute Playing in the Dark in 1990, and she foresaw possible backlash from her ideas. She chose to risk backlash because the point she sought to make was vitally important. As she puts it, “for both … Read More “Racially Inflicted Language” and the Archives

Conversation with Rodney Barnes about “Killadelphia”

For my “Monsters, Race, and Comics” class I’m teaching the first two volumes of Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander’s Killadelphia. Recently, I spoke with Barnes about the series. We talked about the ways that the gothic works as both a “politically conservative” for and as a revolutionary form, the role that history plays within the series, the ways that the powerful weaponize fear to … Read More Conversation with Rodney Barnes about “Killadelphia”

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The Narratives of History in “Killadelphia”: Part II

In my last post, I started looking at the differing perspectives we get of Jupiter’s history in Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander’s Killadelphia. Specifically, I began to examine Jupiter’s description of his past in juxtaposition to the perspectives of Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson. After killing Blake Scott on stage during a concert, Jupiter turns himself in to the police so he can infiltrate the … Read More The Narratives of History in “Killadelphia”: Part II

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The Narratives of History in “Killadelphia” Part I

This semester, in my “Monsters, Race, and Comics” course, I’m teaching the first two volumes of Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander’s Killadelphia. Recently, I just reread both volumes, which contain the first 12 issues of the series. There is a lot within these issues that, combined with everything else we read this semester, I want to explore with students. Specifically, I want to have … Read More The Narratives of History in “Killadelphia” Part I

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Why we “read books”

During our trip to Washington D.C. a few weeks ago, I picked up a copy of Timothy Snyder and Nora Krug’s On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. The book is part history book, as the “lessons from the twentieth century” indicates, a part guide to how to work to preserve democracy when confronted with fascism or totalitarianism. Multiple things stand out to … Read More Why we “read books”