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From Daniel Boone to Captain AmericaPlaying Indian in American Popular Culture$
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Chad A. Barbour

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496806840

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2018

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496806840.001.0001

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(p.3) Introduction
From Daniel Boone to Captain America

Chad A. Barbour

University Press of Mississippi

The introduction discusses the connection between Native activism and popular culture as an entry into considering the recurring trope of playing Indian in American culture, especially focusing on comics. Comics provide a representative body of work for American popular culture, demonstrating how playing Indian circulates and is transmitted throughout American culture. A theoretical consideration of visual rhetoric, including Charles Peirce's semiotics, helps establish the unique nature of playing Indian in comics because of the visual nature of the medium. A consideration of whiteness and control of racial identity illustrates the contradictory dynamic of playing Indian.

Keywords:   popular culture, playing Indian, comics, semiotics, racial identity

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