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James Baldwin, William F. Buckley, Jr., and the 1965 Cambridge Debate

The 1965 debate at Cambridge University between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley, Jr., posed the question: “Has the American Dream been achieved at the Expense of the American Negro?” Within the contours of the debate, Baldwin and Buckley wrestled with the ghosts of settler colonialism and slavery in a nation founded on freedom and equality. Framing the debate within the longue durée, this essay examines the deep cultural currents related to the American racial paradox at the height of the Civil Rights movement. Underscoring the changing language of white resistance against black civil rights, the essay argues that the Baldwin and Buckley debate anticipated the ways the U.S. would address racial inequality in the aftermath of the civil rights era and the dawn of neoliberalism in the 1970s.

James Baldwin Review
James Baldwin and Fritz Raddatz

When James Baldwin in No Name in the Street discusses the case of Tony Maynard, who had been imprisoned in Hamburg in 1967, he emphasizes that his efforts to aid his unjustly imprisoned friend were greatly supported by his German publishing house Rowohlt and, in particular, by his then-editor Fritz Raddatz (1931–2015). While the passages on Maynard remain the only instance in Baldwin’s published writings in which Raddatz—praised as a courageous “anti-Nazi German” and a kindred ally who “knows what it means to be beaten in prison”—is mentioned directly, the relation between Baldwin and Raddatz has left traces that cover over fifty years. The African-American writer and Rowohlt’s chief editor got to know each other around 1963, when Baldwin was first published in Germany. They exchanged letters between 1965 and 1984, and many of Raddatz’s critical writings from different periods—the first piece from 1965, the last from 2014—focus of Baldwin’s books. They also collaborated on various projects—among them a long interview and Baldwin’s review of Roots—which were all published in the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit, where Raddatz served as head of the literary and arts sections from 1977 to 1985. Drawing on published and unpublished writings of both men, this article provides a discussion of the most significant facets of this under-explored relationship and its literary achievements. Thereby, it sheds new light on two central questions of recent Baldwin scholarship: first, the circumstances of production and formation crucial to Baldwin’s writings of the 1970s and 1980s, and secondly, Baldwin’s international activities, his transcultural reception and influence.

James Baldwin Review
Economy, exchange and cultural theory

an outside – an object of critical study or a prior discipline – or an inside – in the form of the very structure of a system of exchange that interdisciplinarity would appear to institute or name. In a similar vein, patterns of consumption within contemporary writing on ‘culture’ can be understood as the categorised items of an authoritative and knowledgeable critical

in Rethinking the university

still lingers, death has become (the figure of the) interdisciplinary. 5 In a way, as Derrida in Aporias puts it, ‘death does not know any border’. 6 Indeed, to borrow terms from Baudrillard’s Symbolic Exchange and Death , interdisciplinary work might be viewed as staging the scene of the academic unconscious (itself the unconscious of a modern

in Rethinking the university

Chapter 6 Mary Wroth and hermaphroditic circulation Paul Salzman I want to begin by rehearsing a story about Mary Wroth’s publication of Urania that will be familiar to many people, but that I recount here in order to set the scene for an analysis of the circulation and recirculation of her vituperative poetic exchange with Edward Denny. Among a number of thinly veiled depictions of Jacobean court scandals in Urania, Wroth gave an account of the violent responses of Edward Denny to accusations that his daughter Honora, married to James Hay, Viscount Carlisle

in Early modern women and the poem
Leverage and deconstruction

This book explores key critical debates in the humanities in recent times in the context of the legitimation crisis widely felt to be facing academic institutions, using Derrida's idea of leverage in the university. In particular, it concerns an account for the malaise in the university by linking critical developments, discourses and debates in the modern humanities to a problem of the institution itself. The book finds within these discourses and debates the very dimensions of the institution's predicament: economic, political, ideological, but also, inseparably, intellectual. It looks at some of the recurring themes arising in the early key texts of new historicism and cultural materialism. The book also argues that these approaches in a number of ways orient their critical strategies according to certain kinds of logics and structures of reflection. It instances disorientation and leverage in the university by exploring the problematic doubleness of economics as indeterminately both inside and outside contemporary cultural theory. The book also argues that the interdisciplinary approach of cultural analysis has a certain amount of difficulty positioning economics as either simply an outside or an inside. The orientation and leverage within the university apparently offered by the development of cultural studies and by certain forms of interdisciplinarity comes at the cost of an irresolvable disorientation between the object and the activity of criticism.

Paul Blackburn reads Olson’s ‘Maximus, to Gloucester: Letter 15’

, ‘one or two longish things would be best’.2 There is other news: Blackburn has been asked to teach creative writing at Black Mountain College by Robert Creeley; Blackburn can get the people at Caedmon to come to Olson to do the recording; he’s trying to complete a review for the New Mexico Review. Details crowd in in the order of the moment, on the fly, there is a sense of urgency, of the necessity to get things done – ‘do answer this soon – need all assistance I can get to finish things up with any show of adequacy’.3 What follows through 1953 is an exchange of

in Contemporary Olson
Abstract only
The sense of an ending

– to everybody – to you.’11 Notably for Hervey it is his wife’s refusal to enter into dialogue, her disavowal of language, that drives him from his house. Of course it is the recognition that words mean something ‘to everybody’ that identifies language as a process of exchange in which access to some fundamental meaning finds itself replaced by a dialogic model in which the very transmittability of language guarantees its dislocation from the individual instance. This determination of narrative as a dialogic act is central to the Marlow texts which place, in both their

in Conrad’s Marlow

and reading well into the eighteenth century, there were viable and competing means for sharing one’s literary work among a select circle of readers and establishing a literary reputation without venturing into print publication. These more recent studies, particularly of the literary text as a gift, suggest a multitude of functions that authorship based on mutual exchange of handwritten items among writers and readers might permit; as Helen Hackett convincingly demonstrates in chapter 7, the acts of exchanging of verses, collecting them and circulating them could

in Early modern women and the poem
Abstract only

oasis, trading legends as if it is the exchange of seeds, consuming everything without suspicion, piecing together a mirage. ‘This history of mine’, Herodotus says, ‘has from the beginning sought out the supplementary to the main argument’. What you find in him are cul-de-sacs within the sweep of history – how people betray each other for the sake of nations, how people fall in love … ( EP , 118-19) Known as both the ‘father of history’ and the ‘father of lies’, Herodotus offers, in his anti-imperialist account of the conflict between the

in Michael Ondaatje