Chinua Achebe and James Baldwin

The escalation of systematic, if random, violence in the contemporary world frames the concerns of the article, which seeks to read Baldwin for the present. It works by a measure of indirection, arriving at Baldwin after a detour which introduces Chinua Achebe. The Baldwin–Achebe relationship is familiar fare. However, here I explore not the shared congruence between their first novels, but rather focus on their later works, in which the reflexes of terror lie close to the surface. I use Achebe’s final novel, Anthills of the Savanah, as a way into Baldwin’s “difficult” last book, The Evidence of Things Not Seen, suggesting that both these works can speak directly to our own historical present. Both Baldwin and Achebe, I argue, chose to assume the role of witness to the evolving manifestations of catastrophe, which they came to believe enveloped the final years of their lives. In order to seek redemption they each determined to craft a prose—the product of a very particular historical conjuncture—which could bring out into the open the prevailing undercurrents of violence and terror.

James Baldwin Review

) ’, Boundary 2 , 20 : 3 , 65 – 76 . Dussel , E. ( 2008 ), Twenty Theses on Politics ( Durham, NC : Duke University Press ). Grosfoguel , R. and Cervantes-Rodriguez , A. M. ( 2002 ), ‘ Introduction: Unthinking Twentieth-century Eurocentric Mythologies: Universal Knowledge, Decolonization, and Developmentalism ’, in Grosfoguel , R. and Cervantes-Rodriguez , A. M. (eds), The Modern/Colonial/Capitalist World-System in the Twentieth Century: Global Processes, Antisystemic Movements, and the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Languages of colonial conflict after 1900

Stirring language and appeals to collective action were integral to the battles fought to defend empires and to destroy them. These wars of words used rhetoric to make their case. This book explores the arguments fought over empire in a wide variety of geographic, political, social and cultural contexts. Essays range from imperialism in the early 1900s, to the rhetorical battles surrounding European decolonization in the late twentieth century. Rhetoric is one of the weapons of war. Conquest was humiliating for Afrikaners but they regained a degree of sovereignty, with the granting of responsible government to the new colonies in 1907 and independence with the Act of Union of 1910. Liberal rhetoric on the Transvaal Crisis was thus neither an isolated debate nor simply the projection of existing political concerns onto an episode of imperial emergency. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's principles of intervention in response to crimes against civilization, constituted a second corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. The rhetorical use of anti-imperial demonology was useful in building support for New Deal legislation. The book argues that rhetoric set out to portray the events at Mers el-Kebir within a culturally motivated framework, drawing on socially accepted 'truths' such as historic greatness and broad themes of hope. Now, over 175 years of monarchical presence in New Zealand the loyalty may be in question, devotion scoffed, the sycophantic language more demure and colloquialized, the medium of expression revolutionized and deformalized, but still the rhetoric of the realm remains in New Zealand.

Lessons learned, lessons lost

This book explores the processes through which nation-building policy approaches originated and developed over the last seven decades as well as the concepts and motivations that shaped them. In the process, the book explores the question of how the US became involved in nation building overseas in the first place, and explores the persistent questions about the relationship between order, security and development in nation-building projects. At the same time, the book points out lessons that should have been retained from America's Cold War nation-building efforts in developing areas. At the cost of a great deal of treasure and no small amount of blood, the United States implemented nation building and other internal security programs in dozens of developing countries at the height of the Cold War. A generation after these policies peaked in scope and intensity, the US embarked on similar projects in a range of countries, the most ambitious in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, recent studies of America's experience with nation-building neglect these Cold War experiences in the developing world, ignoring costly lessons from efforts by which the US attempted to build functioning, cohesive state institutions in less developed contexts, including new states emerging from the decolonization process.

The Radcliffe boundary commission and the partition of Punjab

This book is the first full-length study of the 1947 drawing of the Indo-Pakistani boundary in Punjab. It uses the Radcliffe commission, headed by Sir Cyril Radcliffe , as a window onto the decolonisation and independence of India and Pakistan. Examining the competing interests that influenced the actions of the various major players, the book highlights British efforts to maintain a grip on India even as the decolonisation process spun out of control. It examines the nature of power relationships within the colonial state, with a focus on the often-veiled exertion of British colonial power. With conflict between Hindus , Muslims and Sikhs reaching unprecedented levels in the mid-1940s , British leaders felt compelled to move towards decolonization. The partition was to be perceived as a South Asian undertaking, with British officials acting only as steady and impartial guides. Radcliffe's use of administrative boundaries reinforced the impact of imperial rule. The boundaries that Radcliffe defined turned out to be restless divisions, and in both the 1965 and 1971 wars India and Pakistan battled over their Punjabi border. After the final boundary, known as the 'Radcliffe award', was announced, all sides complained that Radcliffe had not taken the right 'other factors' into account. Radcliffe's loyalty to British interests is key to understanding his work in 1947. Drawing on extensive archival research in India, Pakistan and Britain, combined with innovative use of cartographic sources, the book paints a vivid picture of both the partition process and the Radcliffe line's impact on Punjab.

Suriname under Dutch rule, 1750– 1950

Explaining how leprosy was considered in various historical settings by referring to categories of uncleanliness in antiquity, is problematic. The book historicizes how leprosy has been framed and addressed. It investigates the history of leprosy in Suriname, a plantation society where the vast majority of the population consisted of imported slaves from Africa. The relationship between the modern stigmatization and exclusion of people affected with leprosy, and the political tensions and racial fears originating in colonial slave society, exerting their influence until after the decolonization up to the present day. The book explores leprosy management on the black side of the medical market in the age of slavery as contrasted with the white side. The difference in perspectives on leprosy between African slaves and European masters contributed to the development of the 'Great Confinement' policies, and leprosy sufferers were sent to the Batavia leprosy asylum. Dutch debates about leprosy took place when the threat of a 'return' of leprosy to the Netherlands appeared to materialise. A symbiotic alliance for leprosy care that had formed between the colonial state and the Catholics earlier in the nineteenth century was renegotiated within the transforming landscape of Surinamese society to incorporate Protestants as well. By 1935, Dutch colonial medicine had dammed the growing danger of leprosy by using the modern policies of detection and treatment. Dutch doctors and public health officials tried to come to grips with the Afro-Surinamese belief in treef and its influence on the execution of public health policies.

Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference raises a host of crucial questions regarding the relevance of Fanon today: in today’s world, where violence and terror have gone global, what conclusions might we draw from Fanon’s work? Should we keep on blaming Fanon for the colonial violence, which he internalized and struggled against, and overlook the fact that the very Manichaeism that previously governed the economy of colonial societies is now generating violence and terror on a global scale? Has the new humanism which he inaugurates in the concluding section of The Wretched of the Earth turned out to be nothing but a vain plea? What grounds for optimism does he allow us, if any? What is to be salvaged from his ethics and politics in this age of globalization?

Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference offers a new reading of Fanon’s work, challenging many of the reconstructions of Fanon in critical and postcolonial theory and in cultural studies and probing a host of crucial issues: the intersectionality of gender and colonial politics; the biopolitics of colonialism; Marxism and decolonization; tradition, translation and humanism. Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference underscores the ethical dimension of Fanon’s work by focusing on his project of decolonization and humanism.

This book examines the place of Hong Kong in the British imagination between the end of World War II and the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty in July 1997. It argues that Hong Kong has received far less attention from British imperial and cultural historians than its importance would warrant. It argues that Hong Kong was a site within which competing yet complementary visions of Britishness could be imagined—for example, the British penchant for trade and good government, and their role as agents of modernization. At the centre of these articulations of Britishness was the idea of Hong Kong as a “barren rock” that British administration had transformed into one of the world’s great cities—and the danger of its destruction by the impending “handover” to communist China in 1997.

The book moves freely between the activities of Britons in Hong Kong and portrayals of Hong Kong within domestic British discourse. It uses such printed primary sources as newspapers, memoirs, novels, political pamphlets, and academic texts, and archival material located in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, the United States, and Australia, including government documents, regimental collections, and personal papers.

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A black rebel with a cause

. And this headlong, unstructured, verbal revalorization conceals paradoxical attitudes.73 Such attitudes express for Fanon a form of exoticism which ‘allows no cultural confrontation’, no revolutionary praxis for a genuine decolonization. In The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon adds to his critique of negritude. As we will see in Chapter 1, his argument runs counter to Sartre’s views in Black Orpheus: the poetry of negritude is not revolutionary. Fanon makes a clear distinction between the revolutionary and acculturated elite, between the former engaged with current

in Frantz Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference

nature, would appeal to developing countries. Raw materials producers could trade with the USSR without the risks inherent in the international capitalist market, with its price fluctuations, tariffs and exchange barriers. In the years following the death of Stalin, the Soviet leadership also began to offer aid and technical assistance to new states emerging from the The aid war and reassessment 65 decolonization process. Moscow observed Washington’s project to encircle the USSR with Mutual Security organizations, such as SEATO and the Baghdad Pact, and employed aid

in The evolving role of nation-building in US foreign policy