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Full-Text Articles in African American Studies

The Sellout By Paul Beatty: “Unmitigated Blackness” In Obama's America, John E. Davies Jan 2018

The Sellout By Paul Beatty: “Unmitigated Blackness” In Obama's America, John E. Davies

ETD Archive

Visibility and invisibility are long-standing tropes in the African-American literary tradition. Frequently they are presented in satiric language. I argue that Paul Beatty's Mann Booker Award-winning novel The Sellout now holds an important role in this tradition. Specifically, The Sellout hearkens specifically to Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man and to Paul Beatty's earlier novel The White Boy Shuffle. Further, The Sellout exposes the ongoing presence and function of racism in an America that has elected its first African-American president, Barack Obama, and that now claims to be "post-racial," even as its spectral reproduction and commodification of blackness persist ...


Providential Capitalism: Heavenly Intervention And The Atlantic’S Divine Economist, Ian F.P. Green Jun 2017

Providential Capitalism: Heavenly Intervention And The Atlantic’S Divine Economist, Ian F.P. Green

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Providential capitalism names the marriage of providential Christian values and market-oriented capitalist ideology in the post-revolutionary Atlantic through the mid nineteenth century. This is a process by which individuals permitted themselves to be used by a so-called “divine economist” at work in the Atlantic market economy. Backed by a slave market, capital transactions were rendered as often violent ecstatic individual and cultural experiences. Those experiences also formed the bases for national, racial, and classed identification and negotiation among the constellated communities of the Atlantic. With this in mind, writers like Benjamin Franklin, Olaudah Equiano, and Ukawsaw Gronniosaw presented market success ...


Locked In: Melancholia In The Modern American Prison Literature Of R. Dwayne Betts And Jarvis Jay Masters, Johnna Scrabis Feb 2016

Locked In: Melancholia In The Modern American Prison Literature Of R. Dwayne Betts And Jarvis Jay Masters, Johnna Scrabis

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This thesis explores the theme of melancholia in the writing of currently and formerly incarcerated African American men during the late 20th and early 21st century. Melancholia, with its rich history in literature from ancient times to the present, is discernable in the works of many people with prison experience. In their writing, melancholia is expressed primarily as a loss and as a disconnection with time, as well as an empowering creative force. The work of Jarvis Jay Masters and R. Dwayne Betts reflects the paradox of melancholia: just as it shows the depressive element of the condition ...


Reconstructing The Nation: African American Political Thought And America's Struggle For Racial Justice, Alex Zamalin Oct 2014

Reconstructing The Nation: African American Political Thought And America's Struggle For Racial Justice, Alex Zamalin

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation examines how twentieth-century African American intellectuals engaged American political cultural beliefs central to American identity. A prominent argument of American political thinkers has been that the liberal-democratic ideals of freedom, equality, representative government, the rule of law, tolerance and civic obligation are what make Americans a unique people. From the immediate aftermath of the Second World War to the late twentieth-century such an argument provided American politicians, social movements and intellectuals a strong justification for divergent political claims, from Cold War warriors calling for the containment of Soviet Communism, to Civil Rights activists calling for racial integration to ...


The Influence Of Literacy On The Lives Of Twentieth Century Southern Female Minority Figures, Laura Leighann Dicks Aug 2014

The Influence Of Literacy On The Lives Of Twentieth Century Southern Female Minority Figures, Laura Leighann Dicks

Theses and Dissertations

The American South has long been a region associated with myth and fantasy; in popular culture especially, the region is consistently tied to skewed notions of the antebellum South that include images of large plantation homes, women in hoop skirts, and magnolia trees that manifest in television and film representations such as Gone With the Wind (1939). Juxtaposed with these idealized, mythic images is the hillbilly trope, reinforced by radio shows such as Lum and Abner, and films such as Scatterbrain (1940). Out of this idea comes the southern illiteracy stereotype, which suggests that southerners are collectively unconcerned with education ...


Unmasking The Protester: The Meanings And Myths Of Collective Civil Resistance Movements In African American And Polish Postresistance Prose Fiction, Agnieszka Herra Jan 2014

Unmasking The Protester: The Meanings And Myths Of Collective Civil Resistance Movements In African American And Polish Postresistance Prose Fiction, Agnieszka Herra

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

My contention is that the narrative framework of social movements, especially the ones deemed “successful” such as the American Civil Rights Movement and the Polish Solidarity Movement, reflects unity and collectivity within collective memory. During the period of the movements’ duration, this provides a clear rhetorical purpose: to give the appearance of unity in order to give effective voice to the demands. I argue that the voices that did not fit into the collective movements emerge subsequently to question this monologic language in literary form. This dissertation uses Bakhtin’s notion of dialogic language to argue that novels in the ...


Who We Are: Incarcerated Students And The New Prison Literature, 1995-2010, Reilly Hannah N. Lorastein May 2013

Who We Are: Incarcerated Students And The New Prison Literature, 1995-2010, Reilly Hannah N. Lorastein

Honors Projects

This project focuses on American prison writings from the late 1990s to the 2000s. Much has been written about American prison intellectuals such as Malcolm X, George Jackson, Eldridge Cleaver, and Angela Davis, who wrote as active participants in black and brown freedom movements in the United States. However the new prison literature that has emerged over the past two decades through higher education programs within prisons has received little to no attention. This study provides a more nuanced view of the steadily growing silent population in the United States through close readings of Openline, an inter-disciplinary journal featuring poetry ...


The Strange Life And Stranger Afterlife Of King Dick Including His Adventures In Haiti And Hollywood With Observations On The Construction Of Race, Class, Nationality, Gender, Slang Etymology And Religion, Alan Thomas Lipke Jan 2013

The Strange Life And Stranger Afterlife Of King Dick Including His Adventures In Haiti And Hollywood With Observations On The Construction Of Race, Class, Nationality, Gender, Slang Etymology And Religion, Alan Thomas Lipke

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Richard "King Dick" or "Big Dick" Crafus, Cephas, or Seaver(s) first attracted attention by his size, strength and the authority he exercised as leader of U.S. African American Prisoners of War in Britain during the War of 1812. After the War he was celebrated as a boxing pioneer, ceremonial King of Boston's black community and almost certainly auxiliary law officer. Very little has been known about his life, and much of that obscured by his black working-class status; his true standing within his own community remains mysterious. Yet paradoxically he's been made much of, in academic ...


Race, Class, And Herman Melville, Joan A. De Santis May 2009

Race, Class, And Herman Melville, Joan A. De Santis

Master's Theses, Dissertations, Graduate Research and Major Papers Overview

Analyzes two of the short stories in Herman Melville's The Piazza Tales, "Bartleby the Scrivener: a Story of Wall Street" and "Benito Cereno" and argues that these stories are highly critical of the bourgeois class structure of American society that inform Wall Street, as well as the slave trade, in mid-Nineteenth-Century America. Posits that in these works Melville addresses the questions of hierarchical power in the workplace and the effects of racism and slavery in the colonization of America.