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Civic reading practice in contemporary American and Canadian writing

Can reading make us better citizens? This book sheds light on how the act of reading can be mobilised as a powerful civic tool in service of contemporary civil and political struggles for minority recognition, rights, and representation in North America. Crossing borders and queering citizenship reimagines the contours of contemporary citizenship by connecting queer and citizenship theories to the idea of an engaged reading subject. This book offers a new approach to studying the act of reading, theorises reading as an integral element of the basic unit of the state: the citizen. By theorising the act of reading across borders as a civic act that queers citizenship, the book advances an alternative model of belonging through civic readerly engagement. Exploring work by seven US, Mexican, Canadian, and Indigenous authors, including Gloria Anzaldúa, Dorothy Allison, Gregory Scofield, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Erín Moure, Junot Díaz, and Yann Martel, the book offers sensitive interpretations of how reading can create citizenship practices that foreground and value recognition, rights, and representation for all members of a political system.

liberal humanitarian institutions, which have depended on the financial and political capital of the US. Far from promoting a final and permanent peace, the new security strategy situates the US in an inter-state system in which war is possible at any time, in any location, with any rival, enemy or former ally. How might we explain this apparent shift in American strategy? A growing number of analysts, particularly North Americans, consider that we are seeing the end of the post-war liberal order. And they attribute liberal crisis to two fundamental factors

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector

Introduction In October 2016 the New York Review of Books published an article by International Rescue Committee President David Miliband titled ‘The Best Ways to Deal with the Refugee Crisis’. It began with a predictable target. US Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s claims about a ‘tremendous flow’ of Syrian refugees making their way to North America were based in ‘myth, not fact’, Miliband wrote ( Miliband, 2016 ). Not only that: they also openly belittled the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Why queer(y) citizenship?

citizenship. King’s short story highlights the relationship between citizenship, the state, and national borders, and, in particular, emphasises the erosion of Indigenous rights and sovereignty as they play out at North American borders, as suggested by one reporter who earnestly (but ignorantly) asks the young narrator ‘how it [feels] to be an Indian without a country’ (p. 142). The mother’s refusal to acknowledge any ‘side’ of the border undermines and ultimately rejects the idea that her citizenship can be bounded by either a figurative or literal modern nation state

in Crossing borders and queering citizenship

-driven and naturally exclusive of others. This in turn relates us back to the Aristotelian theme of the first chapter, giving a new twist to the history of the Janus-faced friendship of virtue and utility in the era of thriving international commerce. Friendship and English colonisation of North America from the 1640s onwards Equally overlooked is the role of friendship in a context closely related to ­commerce – the history of colonisation and the foundation of new states – despite the popularity and instrumentality of the term in early encounters with native peoples in

in Friendship among nations
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Yann Martel’s lonely book club

. Yann Martel publicly resists regressive and conservative cultural policies by encouraging public political figures to read more widely (or at all). Each advances a model for resistance against the exclusionary and marginalising work of contemporary citizenship in North America. Over the course of this book, I have argued that the civic act of reading works on and blurs the relationship between the status and performance of citizenship and can transform what I have called the ‘real conditions’ that spurred Gloria Anzaldúa, Dorothy Allison, Gregory Scofield, Guillermo

in Crossing borders and queering citizenship

. Like Scofield, Gómez-​Peña’s writing is concerned with survival and mediation, but from the perspectives of those whose lives are intersected by the US–​Mexico border. In the first poem from his ‘1992 Trilogy’, Guillermo Gómez-​Peña opens by consciously ‘choosing to remember’ Christopher Columbus’ ‘discovery’ of the Americas.1 The poem, entitled ‘1492 Performances’, and the trilogy allude to pivotal moments in North American history: Columbus made first landfall in Hispaniola in 1492, and in 1992 the United States celebrated its 500th ‘birthday’ (or more accurately

in Crossing borders and queering citizenship
Challenges and opportunities

This book explores the evolving African security paradigm in light of the multitude of diverse threats facing the continent and the international community today and in the decades ahead. It challenges current thinking and traditional security constructs as woefully inadequate to meet the real security concerns and needs of African governments in a globalized world. The continent has becoming increasingly integrated into an international security architecture, whereby Africans are just as vulnerable to threats emanating from outside the continent as they are from home-grown ones. Thus, Africa and what happens there, matters more than ever. Through an in-depth examination and analysis of the continent’s most pressing traditional and non-traditional security challenges—from failing states and identity and resource conflict to terrorism, health, and the environment—it provides a solid intellectual foundation, as well as practical examples of the complexities of the modern African security environment. Not only does it assess current progress at the local, regional, and international level in meeting these challenges, it also explores new strategies and tools for more effectively engaging Africans and the global community through the human security approach.

Andrew Carnegie’s dreamworld

Canada, before the United States absorbed Canada, whereupon the North American colossus would join with Britain to form ‘an indissoluble union of indestructible states’.50 Finally, the new English-​speaking Atlantic polity would divest itself of its imperial possessions throughout the world. The transition to a new world order would be peaceful, for ‘such a giant among pigmies would never need to exert its power, but only to intimate its wishes and decisions’, and as such, global disarmament would invariably follow, as it ‘would be unnecessary for any power to maintain

in American foreign policy

combine[s]‌with him or herself elements of both genders’.13 Elsewhere, the term berdache is said to have its origins in Persian, which spread to the Spanish through Arabic, and subsequently from Spain to France. Its passage to North America from there can be easily traced. The main critique lodged against the use of the term is that it signifies an imposition of non-​ Indigenous heteronormative discursive frameworks onto Indigenous socio-​ sexual traditions and relations in order to make the gender variances of certain members of Indigenous groups more familiar to non

in Crossing borders and queering citizenship