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James Baldwin and the "Closeted-ness" of American Power
David Jones

This article reads the work of James Baldwin in dialogue with that of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. Taking its cue from Baldwin’s claim that Americans “live […] with something in [their] closet” that they “pretend […] is not there,” it explores his depiction of a United States characterized by the “closeted-ness” of its racial discourse. In doing so, the article draws on Sedgwick’s work concerning how the containment of discourses pertaining to sexuality hinges on the closeting of non-heteronormative sexual practices. Reconceptualizing Sedgwick’s ideas in the context of a black, queer writer like Baldwin, however, problematizes her own insistence on the “historical gay specificity” of the epistemology she traces. To this end, this article does not simply posit a racial counterpart to the homosexual closet. Rather, reflecting Baldwin’s insistence that “the sexual question and the racial question have always been entwined,” I highlight here the interpretive possibilities opened up by intersectional analyses that view race, sexuality, and national identity as coextensive, reciprocal epistemologies.  

James Baldwin Review
James Baldwin’s Radicalism and the Evolution of His Thought on Israel
Nadia Alahmed

This article traces the evolution of James Baldwin’s discourse on the Arab–Israeli conflict as connected to his own evolution as a Black thinker, activist, and author. It creates a nuanced trajectory of the transformation of Baldwin’s thought on the Arab–Israeli conflict and Black and Jewish relations in the U.S. This trajectory is created through the lens of Baldwin’s relationship with some of the major radical Black movements and organizations of the twentieth century: Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam, and, finally, the Black Power movement, especially the Black Panther Party. Using Baldwin as an example, the article displays the Arab–Israeli conflict as a terrain Black radicals used to articulate their visions of the nature of Black oppression in the U.S., strategies of resistance, the meaning of Black liberation, and articulations of Black identity. It argues that the study of Baldwin’s transformation from a supporter of the Zionist project of nation-building to an advocate of Palestinian rights and national aspirations reveals much about the ideological transformations of the larger Black liberation movement.

James Baldwin Review
Ernest L. Gibson III

James Baldwin might be imagined as reaching his greatest level of popularity within this current decade. With the growth of social media activist movements like Black Lives Matter, which captures and catalyzes off a Baldwinian rage, and the publishing of works directly evoking Baldwin, his voice appears more pronounced between the years of 2013 and 2015. Scholars in Baldwin studies, along with strangers who were turned into witnesses of his literary oeuvre, have contributed to this renewed interest in Baldwin, or at least have been able to sharpen the significance of the phenomenon. Publications and performances highlight Baldwin’s work and how it prefigured developments in critical race and queer theories, while also demonstrating Baldwin’s critique as both prophetic and “disturbingly” contemporary. Emerging largely from Baldwin’s timelessness in social and political discourse, and from the need to conjure a figure to demystify the absurd American landscape, these interventions in Baldwin studies follow distinct trends. This essay examines the 2013–15 trends from four vantages: an examination of a return, with revision, to popular work by Baldwin; identifying Baldwin’s work as a contributor to theoretical and critical methodology; Baldwin and intertextuality or intervocality; and a new frontier in Baldwin studies.

James Baldwin Review
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‘“I have not finished”’
Jeffrey Wainwright

Something here even so. Our well dug-in language pitches us as it finds – I tell myself don’t wreck a good phrase simply to boost sense – granted its dark places, the fabled burden; its loops and extraordinary progressions, its mere conundrums forms and rites of discourse; its bleak littoral swept by bursts of sunlight; its earthen genius auditing the spheres. In this closing passage of ‘Discourse: For Stanley Rosen’ 1 I want to dwell on the penultimate line: ‘its bleak littoral

in Acceptable words
Marie Helena Loughlin

of ‘homosexuality’ and ‘lesbianism’ has been the relationship between the early modern discourses of sodomy and tribadism and notions of early modern sexual identity. Sodomy constitutes the single most prevalent early modern discourse concerning male same-sex sexual acts, and tribadism the single most prevalent concerning female same-sex sexual acts.2 As a result, until very recently sodomy and as I do, more ‘neutral’ descriptors, such as ‘female and male same-sex relationships’, and are as careful as possible when delimiting the meanings of such vexed terms as

in Same-Sex Desire in Early Modern England, 1550–1735
The sexual and financial afterlives of Jane Eyre
Louisa Yates

titled ‘Reader, I Spanked Him…’ (Anon., 2012). Crucially for my analysis, the publisher’s press release specifically referenced the ‘dramatic revival’ in erotic romance as a result of ‘the rising popularity of e-​readers and record-​breaking success of “mummy porn” novel Fifty Shades of Grey’ (Anon., 2012). 259 260 Textual legacies This chapter’s argument concerns differing discourses of appropriation that substantiate the revisionist principles of both neo-​V ictorian novels and erotic makeovers. These discourses emerge from the texts themselves (including their

in Charlotte Brontë
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Laura Peters

reason that, as Nandy intimates in The Intimate Enemy, the experience of empire-building profoundly affected not only the family – as has been argued in the previous chapters – but also the nation and discourses of national identity. New discourses of cosmopolitanism contested older nationalistic discourses as the constituent population of England, more specifically London, started to diversify with an

in Orphan texts
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Epistemelancholia in David Hume and Henry James
Andrew Bennett

melancholia. But I also want to suggest that the pervasive literary discourse of melancholy – one that in some ways haunts literature from classical times to the present – is linked to ignorance and to the discourses of scepticism and agnoiology. The monstrous tree, in that sense, may be said to stand in for a kind of cognitive block or (un)natural outgrowth, a convoluted branching of thinking in which thinking, and knowing, cease. But first we need to establish the pervasiveness of the connection between melancholy and the (figure of the) tree

in Ignorance
Laura Peters

to represent a marginalised ‘otherness’ and difference within replicates the same workings of the very colonial discourse and power used against its external ‘Others’ in the form of colonial subjects of foreign threats to imperial supremacy. It is a powerful discourse which not only constructs notions of civilisation and savagery but also reinforces them. One area where this discourse is easily

in Orphan texts
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Tradition, translation,and the global market for Native American literatures
David Stirrup

‘American experience in all its diversity’ (qtd in Ruoff 1999: 184). This latter of course is one degree of separation from the tribal nationalists, who also resist the notion that Native authors are involved first and foremost in acts of writing back to colonial centres – a feature, admittedly, of several of the readings in this book. Nevertheless Erdrich’s work engages, even if it doesn’t necessarily ‘promote’, the issues this discourse establishes. Weaver argues that many Native texts work towards asserting an autonomous and distinct Native

in Louise Erdrich