Gregory Vargo

4 St John’s Eve (1848)­– ­Ernest Jones Editor’s introduction In certain respects, Ernest Jones’s gothic melodrama St John’s Eve is atypical of Chartist drama. It is not explicitly political and neither concerns a historical event nor depicts a popular uprising. Furthermore, its use of stage technology and special effects evidence Jones’s intention of having the play performed at commercial venues rather than by amateurs (in the event, however, it was never staged). At the same time, the play, published in 1848 in the 6d. Chartist journal the Labourer, speaks to

in Chartist drama
Atheism and polygenesis
Nathan G. Alexander

Race in a Godless World 1 Were Adam and Eve our first parents? Atheism and polygenesis For much of the history of Christianity, it was taken as a fact that all humans descended from Adam and Eve about 6,000 years ago. This idea first came under threat upon the European discovery of the Americas and the previously unknown people who lived there. Since the Bible was silent about these mysterious people, various authors – the most important being Isaac La Peyrère (1596–1676) – rejected the orthodox view and instead speculated that there must have been men who

in Race in a Godless World
C. R. Cheney
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Open Access (free)
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
Open Access (free)
Intimacy, Shame, and the Closet in James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room
Monica B. Pearl

This essay’s close interrogation of James Baldwin’s 1956 novel Giovanni’s Room allows us to see one aspect of how sexual shame functions: it shows how shame exposes anxiety not only about the feminizing force of homosexuality, but about how being the object of the gaze is feminizing—and therefore shameful. It also shows that the paradigm of the closet is not the metaphor of privacy and enclosure on one hand and openness and liberation on the other that it is commonly thought to be, but instead is a site of illusory control over whether one is available to be seen and therefore humiliated by being feminized. Further, the essay reveals the paradox of denial, where one must first know the thing that is at the same time being disavowed or denied. The narrative requirements of fictions such as Giovanni’s Room demonstrate this, as it requires that the narrator both know, in order to narrate, and not know something at the same time.

James Baldwin Review
Abstract only
Notes on Ackroyd & Harvey ecocriticism and praxis
Eve Ropek

6 Nature matters: notes on Ackroyd & Harvey, ecocriticism and praxis Eve Ropek A small painting from the 1950s hangs on a friend’s wall. A Welsh landscape, little sky is visible; the bold black simplified shape of a train cuts across the painting, whooshing through the greens. One could describe the vigorous way the paint has been applied, or place the work in art-historical context. Considering what the work might reflect of Homo sapiens’s relationship to the land, sky and co-creatures – the ‘natural’ world we inhabit – brings another perspective. Ecocriticism

in Extending ecocriticism

This book considers how biblical women were read, appropriated and debated in a wide range of early modern texts. It traverses a range of genres and examines literature written by a variety of confessionally diverse writers. By considering literature intended for assorted audiences, the book showcases the diverse contexts in which the Bible's women were deployed, and illuminates the transferability of biblical appreciation across apparent religious divisions. The book has been split into two sections. Part One considers women and feminine archetypes of the Old Testament, and the chapters gathered in Part Two address the New Testament. This structure reflects the division of Scripture in early modern Bibles and speaks to the contemporary method of reading the Bible from the Old Testament to the New Testament. In spite of this division, the chapters regularly make cross references between the two Testaments highlighting how, in line with the conventions of early modern exegesis, they were understood to exist in a reciprocal relationship. Within each section, the chapters are broadly organised according to the sequential appearance of the women/feminine archetypes in the Bible. The biblical women studied extend from Eve in Genesis to the Whore of Babylon in Revelation. The chapters vary between those that examine dominant trends in appropriation to those that consider appropriations of a particular interest group or individual.

Making Sense of Hogg‘s Body of Evidence
Joel Faflak

This paper explores the occult relationship between modern psychoanalysis and the pre-Freudian psychoanalysis of James Hogg‘s 1824 Gothic novel, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. Haunted by the ghosts of Mesmerism and of Calvinisms rabidly contagious religious fervour, Hogg‘s novel explodes post-Lockean paradigms of the subject for a post-Romantic British culture on the eve of the Empire. Turning back to Scotland‘s turbulent political and religious history, the novel looks forward to the problems of Empire by turning Locke‘s sense-making and sensible subject into the subject of an unconscious ripe for ideological exploitation, a subject mesmerized by the process of making sense of himself.

Gothic Studies
A Focus on Community Engagement
Frédéric Le Marcis, Luisa Enria, Sharon Abramowitz, Almudena-Mari Saez, and Sylvain Landry B. Faye

perceived chiefs and customary law as closer to communities than central government, but they called for reform ( Fanthorpe, 2006 ). On the eve of the Ebola outbreak, therefore, chiefs maintained their power but it was not unchallenged. Historical divisions between Americo- and African-Liberians have marked the fight for power and socio-political identities in Liberia ( Ellis, 1999 ). During the political instability of the 1980s and the fourteen years of civil war (1989–2003), these

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs