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James Baldwin and Malcolm X
Mikko Tuhkanen

Taking its cue from recent scholarly work on the concept of time in African American literature, this essay argues that, while both James Baldwin and Malcolm X refuse gradualism and insist on “the now” as the moment of civil rights’ fulfillment, Baldwin also remains troubled by the narrowness assumed by a life, politics, or ethics limited to the present moment. In his engagement with Malcolm’s life and legacy—most notably in One Day, When I Was Lost, his screen adaptation of Malcolm’s autobiography—he works toward a temporal mode that would be both punctual and expansive. What he proposes as the operative time of chronoethics is an “untimely now”: he seeks to replace Malcolm’s unyielding punctuality with a different nowness, one that rejects both calls for “patience,” endemic to any politics that rests on the Enlightenment notion of “perfectibility,” and the breathless urgency that prevents the subject from seeing anything beyond the oppressive system he wants overthrown. Both thinkers find the promise of such untimeliness in their sojourns beyond the United States.

James Baldwin Review
James Baldwin’s American South
Jeff Fallis

James Baldwin has frequently been written about in terms of his relationship to geographical locations such as Harlem, Paris, St. Paul-de-Vence, Istanbul, and “the transatlantic,” but his longstanding connection to the American South, a region that served as a vexed and ambiguous spiritual battleground for him throughout his life and career, has been little discussed, even though Baldwin referred to himself as “in all but no technical legal fact, a Southerner.” This article argues that the South has been seriously underconsidered as a major factor in Baldwin’s psyche and career and that were it not for the challenge to witness the Southern Civil Rights movement made to Baldwin in the late 1950s, he might never have left Paris and become the writer and thinker into which he developed. It closely examines Baldwin’s fictional and nonfictional engagements with the American South during two distinct periods of his career, from his first visit to the region in 1957 through the watershed year of 1963, and from 1963 through the publication of Baldwin’s retrospective memoir No Name in the Street in 1972, and it charts Baldwin’s complex and often contradictory negotiations with the construction of identity in white and black Southerners and the South’s tendency to deny and censor its historical legacy of racial violence. A few years before his death, Baldwin wrote that “[t]he spirit of the South is the spirit of America,” and this essay investigates how the essential question he asked about the region—whether it’s a bellwether for America’s moral redemption or moral decline—remains a dangerous and open one.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
James Baldwin, Teju Cole, and Glenn Ligon
Monika Gehlawat

This essay uses Edward Said’s theory of affiliation to consider the relationship between James Baldwin and contemporary artists Teju Cole and Glenn Ligon, both of whom explicitly engage with their predecessor’s writing in their own work. Specifically, Baldwin’s essay “Stranger in the Village” (1953) serves a through-line for this discussion, as it is invoked in Cole’s essay “Black Body” and Ligon’s visual series, also titled Stranger in the Village. In juxtaposing these three artists, I argue that they express the dialectical energy of affiliation by articulating ongoing concerns of race relations in America while distinguishing themselves from Baldwin in terms of periodization, medium-specificity, and their broader relationship to Western art practice. In their adoption of Baldwin, Cole and Ligon also imagine a way beyond his historical anxieties and writing-based practice, even as they continue to reinscribe their own work with his arguments about the African-American experience. This essay is an intermedial study that reads fiction, nonfiction, language-based conceptual art and mixed media, as well as contemporary politics and social media in order consider the nuances of the African-American experience from the postwar period to our contemporary moment. Concerns about visuality/visibility in the public sphere, narrative voice, and self-representation, as well as access to cultural artifacts and aesthetic engagement, all emerge in my discussion of this constellation of artists. As a result, this essay identifies an emblematic, though not exclusive, strand of African-American intellectual thinking that has never before been brought together. It also demonstrates the ongoing relevance of Baldwin’s thinking for the contemporary political scene in this country.

James Baldwin Review
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector
Kevin O’Sullivan and Réiseal Ní Chéilleachair

-making at home and in the field? Could a more robust engagement with humanitarianism as an historical phenomenon help us to better navigate the contemporary aid environment? If so, what steps can we take to translate the lessons of the past into future policy? This article outlines the results of a pilot project conducted by Trócaire and National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway on using history as a tool for policy-making in the humanitarian sector. It begins

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Response to the Journal of Humanitarian Affairs Special Issue on Innovation in Humanitarian Action (JHA, 1:3)
Anna Skeels

the humanitarian sector. We set out our own ‘responsible ambition’ ( Elrha, 2018b ) for humanitarian innovation in 2018 with ethics, participation and local engagement as areas of key concern. The articles by Hunt et al. and Sandvik (Innovation Issue) refer to ethical concerns with the introduction of new actors, practices and technologies along with innovation to the humanitarian sector and the risks involved, particularly for communities affected by crises. As Sandvik notes: Experimental innovation in the testing and application of new technologies and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Rethinking Digital Divides by Linda Leung
Antonio Díaz Andrade

southern Europe has attracted global attention, Australia also receives a sizeable number of refugees, who are the focus of the book. Since it is not clear why and how individuals from refugee backgrounds engage in digital-technology use, Leung presents pertinent questions. How do individuals from refugee backgrounds interpret digital technology? What actions describe their engagement in digital-technology use? How do they negotiate the restrictions imposed during displacement, especially in detention

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Matthew Hunt, Sharon O’Brien, Patrick Cadwell, and Dónal P. O’Mathúna

concerns in humanitarian action. They are linked to justice in information distribution and the capacity for two-way communication among crisis responders, and between local populations and responders. As well as avoiding various harms, linguistic mediation supports other values held to be important by humanitarian actors, including inclusivity, accountability, dignity, community engagement and respect ( Crack et al. , 2018 ). The ethics of crisis translation also

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Fernando Espada

Engagement in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States’ sheds light on the complexity of working in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. However, complexity is not just an assessment of the reality that leads to a positive action. As the global and national response to the sequence of Covid-19 outbreaks has shown, complexity often triggers an opposite reaction – sometimes unconscious, sometimes deliberate – not to fully engage with reality and the individual and collective responsibility of tackling the challenges in front of us. Cochrane’s synthesis identifies a

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa

core text for final-year undergraduate students reading International Development Studies and International Relations at the University of Portsmouth. My module on ‘Rethinking Aid and Development’ explores the implications of decolonial engagement with ideas and practices of international solidarity. Students have said: ‘We should be assigned readings like this from year one.’ So I ask the question here: ‘What if we were to start our humanitarian conversation with Sabaratnam?’ Of course, other works have questioned the value of international

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings and Lauren Harris

Introduction The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea) is well known in the media and amongst policymakers in relation to its cult of personality surrounding the Kim family, abuses of human rights, and nuclear weapons programme. In recent years, the DPRK’s relationship with the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK, or South Korea) has seen both flickers of engagement and periods of increased animosity. In 2017, US President Donald Trump was threatening the DPRK with ‘fire and fury’, but less than a year later met with North

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs