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Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Open Access (free)
James Baldwin and the Ethics of Trauma
Mikko Tuhkanen

This essay proposes that we turn to James Baldwin’s work to assess the cost of, and think alternatives to, the cultures of traumatization whose proliferation one witnesses in contemporary U.S. academia. Beginning with some recent examples, the essay briefly places these cultures into a genealogy of onto-ethics whose contemporary forms arose with the reconfiguration of diasporic histories in the idioms of psychoanalysis and deconstructive philosophy in 1990s trauma theory. Baldwin speaks to the contemporary moment as he considers the outcome of trauma’s perpetuation in an autobiographical scene from “Notes of a Native Son.” In this scene—which restages Bigger Thomas’s murderous compulsion in Native Son—he warns us against embracing one’s traumatization as a mode of negotiating the world. In foregoing what Sarah Schulman has recently called the “duty of repair,” such traumatized engagement prevents all search for the kind of “commonness” whose early articulation can be found in Aristotle’s query after “the common good” (to koinon agathon). With Baldwin, the present essay suggests the urgency of returning to the question of “the common good”: while mindful of past critiques, which have observed in this concept’s deployment a sleight-of-hand by which hegemonic positions universalize their interests, we should work to actualize the unfinished potential of Aristotle’s idea. Baldwin’s work on diasporic modernity provides an indispensable archive for this effort.

James Baldwin Review
Anja-Silvia Goeing

Conrad Gessner (1516–65) was town physician and lecturer at the Zwinglian reformed lectorium in Zurich. His approach towards the world and mankind was centred on his preoccupation with the human soul, an object of study that had challenged classical writers such as Aristotle and Galen, and which remained as important in post-Reformation debate. Writing commentaries on Aristotles De Anima (On the Soul) was part of early-modern natural philosophy education at university and formed the preparatory step for studying medicine. This article uses the case study of Gessners commentary on De Anima (1563) to explore how Gessners readers prioritised De Animas information. Gessners intention was to provide the students of philosophy and medicine with the most current and comprehensive thinking. His readers responses raise questions about evolving discussions in natural philosophy and medicine that concerned the foundations of preventive healthcare on the one hand, and of anatomically specified pathological medicine on the other, and Gessners part in helping these develop.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Arjun Claire

-driven fundraising and communications and reason-oriented advocacy, before being largely abandoned by advocacy altogether. But efforts to bring meaningful change require striking a balance between efficiency and humanity; reason and emotion, or as Aristotle would have put it, striving for ‘the virtue of golden mean’ between two extremes. Reason The shift to a more evidence-based témoignage in MSF coincided with a gradual favouring of advocacy

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Revaluations

William Trevor is one of the most accomplished and celebrated contemporary prose writers in the English language. This book offers a comprehensive examination of the oeuvre of one of the most accomplished and celebrated practitioners writing in the English language. Trevor is very interested in popular literature and how certain genres run through people's lives like tunes or family memories. His characters are often 'turned in on themselves', strange, extreme, at odds with the world. The various betrayals, manipulations and acts of cruelty that constitute the representative events of The Old Boys are typical of Trevor's England. The book also explores the ways in which Trevor's liberal humanist premises condition his response to issues of historical consciousness, ideological commitment and political violence. Trevor's short story, 'Lost Ground', from After Rain, conforms to Aristotle's vision of tragedy because it depicts a truly horrendous situation inside a family in Northern Ireland. Notable screen fictions illustrating long-term migrant themes include Attracta, Beyond the Pale and Fools of Fortune. Trevor's short story 'The Ballroom of Romance' evokes memories of dancehall days, partly explains this public appeal, which was enhanced by the BAFTA award-winning film adaptation of the story by Pat O'Connor. Love and Summer is a lyrical, evocative story of the emotional turbulence based on a critical variety of nostalgia that recognises both the stifling limitations of a small-town environment and the crucial connection between ethics and place.

The theoretical justification for citizen involvement
Matt Qvortrup

anyone outside these . . . but when the debate involved political excellence, which must proceed entirely from justice and temperance, they accept advice from anyone, and with good reason, for they think that this particular civic or political virtue is shared by all, or there would not be any cities.6 These justifications for democracy may be neat and inspiring and even poetic, but they are not theoretically convincing. To find the more convincing argument for the inherent – or utilitarian – value of direct democracy, we need to turn to Aristotle. In his book

in Direct democracy
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Gwilym Jones

modern England were largely derived from the work of classical philosophers. Of these works, the first to attempt to unify a theory of the weather into one system was Aristotle’s Meteorologica . 3 In the Meteorologica , Aristotle explains atmospheric phenomena in a way which is recognisable to any reader of similar texts from Elizabethan and Jacobean England: a system of ‘exhalations’ and ‘vapours

in Shakespeare’s storms
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The mingled yarn of Elizabethan tragedy
Jonathan Bate

called tragedies . 2 Puttenham would have read in Horace’s Ars poetica that Thespis invented tragedy (hence ‘thespian’) and that Aeschylus was the first to teach the actors to talk big and wear high boots. The ultimate source for his key definition of tragedy as the fall of a person of high estate from good fortune to bad was the Poetics of Aristotle. Puttenham regarded Aristotle as the

in Doing Kyd