Laughter, Civility, and Shifting Social Climates in Advice to Freedmen Books

Diego Millan

Brown University

Diego A. Millan is a Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University’s Pembroke Center. His research gathers at the intersection of Black studies and Humor studies. He is completing his first book, tentatively titled Laughter’s Fury: The Double-Bind of Black Laughter, which examines how enduring legacies of racism inform sociocultural understandings and practices of laughter. Work from this project appears in a special issue on Black Transnationalism in South Atlantic Review. His introduction to a relatively unknown article by Chester Himes can be found in PMLA.


This paper begins with Isaac Brinckerhoff’s Advice to Freedman (1865) and his curious expression “to make you happy,” which he offers his audience as a combination promise/justification for his text. What does making his... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Diego Millan (Brown University)

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S8 » Seminar 8: In/Civility (08:00 - Saturday, 24th March, Boardroom East)

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