Radical sexualpolitics and
‘In time the whole of things shall alter’1
Throughout this time of war and rebellion, Gore-Booth remained
taken with the pursuit of gender equality. In 1916 she and Roper,
along with three other members of the Aëthnic Union, Thomas Baty,
Dorothy Cornish and Jessey Wade, advanced their campaign to
overcome all distinctions based on sex.2 The group, led by GoreBooth, established a remarkable journal entitled Urania.3 An
unsigned article in the journal positions Gore-Booth as the inspiration behind its
To consider how James Baldwin resisted racialized notions of sexuality in his
first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, I employ a number of black feminist
critics—including Saidiya Hartman, Patricia Williams, Hortense Spillers, and Patricia
Hill Collins—to analyze three under-studied minor characters: Deborah, Esther,
and Richard. Those three characters are best understood as figures of
heterosexual nonconformity who articulate sophisticated and important critiques of rape
and marriage in America at the turn of the twentieth century. Baldwin thus
wrote subversive theories of race and sexuality into the margins of the novel, making its
style inextricable from its politics. Baldwin’s use of marginal voices was a deft and
intentional artistic choice that was emancipatory for his characters and that remains
enduringly relevant to American sexual politics. In this particularly polarizing
transition from the Obama era to the Donald J. Trump presidency, I revisit Baldwin’s
ability to subtly translate political ideas across fault lines like race, nationality, and
Black Queer Feminism and the Sexual Politics of Another Country
This essay explores Black queer feminist readings of the sexual politics of James Baldwin’s Another Country. Recent work at the intersection of queer of color critique and Black feminism allows us to newly appreciate Baldwin’s prescient theorization of the workings of racialized and gendered power within the erotic. Previous interpretations of Another Country have focused on what is perceived as a liberal idealization of white gay male intimacy. I argue that this approach requires a selective reading of the novel that occludes its more complex portrayal of a web of racially fraught, power-stricken, and often violent sexual relationships. When we de-prioritize white gay male eroticism and pursue analyses of a broader range of erotic scenes, a different vision of Baldwin’s sexual imaginary emerges. I argue that far from idealizing, Another Country presents sex within a racist, homophobic, and sexist world to be a messy terrain of pleasure, pain, and political urgency. An unsettling vision, to be sure, but one that, if we as readers are to seek more equitable erotic imaginaries, must be reckoned with.
Urban Spaces, Sexual Encounters and Erotic Spectacle in Tsukamoto Shinya‘s
Rokugatsu no Hebi - A Snake of June (2003)
Shot in a blue washed monochrome, the city of Tsukamoto Shinya‘s A Snake of June,
stages a number of highly mediated sadomasochistic sexual encounters within its
public spaces. This article examines how the forms of mediation offered within the
narrative by both architecture and technology as well as the mediation offered by the
film‘s extraordinary blueness articulates the intimate relationship between sexuality
and modernity. Following on from the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, it combines a
phenomenological and dialectical approach to develop an analysis of sexual pleasure
and sexual politics which can account for the embodied interaction of urban subjects
and urban spaces.
Transvaluation, Realization, and Literalization of Clarissa in The Monk
D. L. Macdonald
Lorenzo‘s dream, at the beginning of Lewis‘s The Monk (1796), is closely based on Lovelace‘s dream, near the end of Richardson‘s Clarissa (1747-48); the realization of Lorenzo‘s dream, in the rape and murder of Antonia at the end of Lewis‘s novel, is based closely on Clarissa‘s dream, near the beginning of Richardson‘s. Lewis consistently (in the terms Gérard Genette uses in Palimpsests) devalues Lovelace‘s dream and revalues Clarissa‘s, achieving a transvaluation of Richardson‘s novel. He also literalizes many of Richardson‘s metaphors, a process which, as Tzvetan Todorov argues in The Fantastic, is essential to the fantastic, and which as Margaret Homans argues in Bearing the Word, enables the articulation of womens experiences. As a result, The Monk, despite its conflicted sexual politics, does contribute to the feminization of fiction that was part of the historical project of the Gothic.
Between “Stranger in the Village” and I Am Not Your
Jovita dos Santos Pinto, Noémi Michel, Patricia Purtschert, Paola Bacchetta, and Vanessa Naef
James Baldwin’s writing, his persona, as well as his public speeches,
interviews, and discussions are undergoing a renewed reception in the arts, in
queer and critical race studies, and in queer of color movements. Directed by
Raoul Peck, the film I Am Not Your Negro decisively contributed
to the rekindled circulation of Baldwin across the Atlantic. Since 2017,
screenings and commentaries on the highly acclaimed film have prompted
discussions about the persistent yet variously racialized temporospatial
formations of Europe and the U.S. Stemming from a roundtable that followed a
screening in Zurich in February 2018, this collective essay wanders between the
audio-visual and textual matter of the film and Baldwin’s essay
“Stranger in the Village,” which was also adapted into a
film-essay directed by Pierre Koralnik, staging Baldwin in the Swiss village of
Leukerbad. Privileging Black feminist, postcolonial, and queer of color
perspectives, we identify three sites of Baldwin’s transatlantic
reverberations: situated knowledge, controlling images, and everyday sexual
racism. In conclusion, we reflect on the implications of racialized, sexualized
politics for today’s Black feminist, queer, and trans of color movements
located in continental Europe—especially in Switzerland and France.
Julia Kavanagh was a popular and internationally published writer of the mid-nineteenth century whose collective body of work included fiction, biography, critical studies of French and English women writers, and travel writing. This critically engaged study presents her as a significant but neglected writer and returns her to her proper place in the history of women's writing. Through an examination of Kavanagh's work, letters and official documents, it paints a portrait of a woman who achieved not simply a necessary economic independence, but a means through which she could voice the convictions of her sexual politics in her work. The study addresses the current enthusiasm for the reclamation of neglected women writers, and also brings to light material that might otherwise have remained unknown to the specialist.
While women directors continue to be a minority in most national and transnational film contexts, there are those among them who rank among the most innovative and inventive of filmmakers. Filmmaking by women becomes an important route to exploring what lies outside of and beyond the stereotype through reflexivity on violence and conflict, and through visual and narrative explorations of migration, exile, subjectivity, history or individual and collective memory. By documenting and interpreting a fascinating corpus of films made by women coming from Latin America, the US, Portugal and Spain, this book proposes research strategies and methodologies that can expand our understanding of socio-cultural and psychic constructions of gender and sexual politics. It critically examines the work of Hispanic and Lusophone female filmmakers. It 'weaves' several 'threads' by working at the intersections between feminist film theory, gender studies and film practices by women in Latin America, the US, Portugal and Spain. The book explores the transcultural connections, as well as the cultural specificities, that can be established between Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American and Latino contexts within and beyond the framework of the nation state. It suggests that the notion of home and of Basque motherland carry potentially different resonances for female directors.
Cross-cultural encounters produce boundaries and frontiers. This book explores the formation, structure, and maintenance of boundaries and frontiers in settler colonies. The southern nations of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have a common military heritage as all three united to fight for the British Empire during the Boer and First World Wars. The book focuses on the southern latitudes and especially Australia and Australian historiography. Looking at cross-cultural interactions in the settler colonies, the book illuminates the formation of new boundaries and the interaction between settler societies and indigenous groups. It contends that the frontier zone is a hybrid space, a place where both indigene and invader come together on land that each one believes to be their own. The best way to approach the northern Cape frontier zone is via an understanding of the significance of the frontier in South African history. The book explores some ways in which discourses of a natural, prehistoric Aboriginality inform colonial representations of the Australian landscape and its inhabitants, both indigenous and immigrant. The missions of the London Missionary Society (LMS) in Polynesia and Australia are examined to explore the ways in which frontiers between British and antipodean cultures were negotiated in colonial textuality. The role of the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand society is possibly the most important and controversial issue facing modern New Zealanders. The book also presents valuable insights into sexual politics, Aboriginal sovereignty, economics of Torres Strait maritime, and nomadism.
Bringing together leading authorities on Irish women and migration, this book offers a significant reassessment of the place of women in the Irish diaspora. It demonstrates the important role played by women in the construction of Irish diasporic identities, comparing Irish women's experience in Britain, Canada , New Zealand and the United States. The book considers how the Catholic Church could be a focal point for women's Irish identity in Britain. It examines how members of the Ladies' Orange Benevolent Association (LOBA) maintained a sense of Irish Protestant identity, focused on their associational life in female Orange lodges. The book offers a lens on Irish society, and on countries where they settled, and considerable scope for comparative analysis of the impact of different cultures and societies on women's lives. It reviews key debates in Transnational Studies (TS) and Diaspora Studies (DS) before discussing the particular contribution of DS in framing 1990s study of migrant and non-migrant Irish women. Feminist and queer theory scholarship in Irish DS has begun to address the gender and sexual politics of diaspora by attending to the dynamics of boundary expansion, queering and dissolution. The book suggests that religion can be both a 'bright' and a 'blurry' boundary, while examining how religious identities intersect with ethnicity and gender. It also includes the significance of the categories of gender and generation, and their intersection with ethnicity in the context of the official London St Patrick's Day Festival.