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This book explores the sudden appearance of graphic sex-talk in English print culture during the English Revolution of 1640–60. While explicit sex-writing was primarily limited to manuscript and oral forms during the Tudor and early Stuart periods, the outbreak of war with Scotland in 1639 and the subsequent collapse of press licensing in England convinced partisan polemicists to propel it into print for the first time in English history. From there, sexual politics grew increasingly graphic and correspondingly more subversive, driven in part by the necessities of military mobilisation and partly by enterprising publishers striving to corner mid-century England’s lucrative print marketplace. When the Stuarts regained the throne at the 1660 Restoration, those novel lexicons of sexual politics – now widely available in print and primed for further appropriation – provided the discursive and ideological basis for King Charles II’s pleasure-centred self-representation and simultaneously inspired the caustic counter-polemics of its Whig opposition. Moreover, in publicising sex-talk like never before, mid-century authors, publishers, and readers also laid crucial groundwork for the eighteenth-century transformation that Faramerz Dabhoiwala has recently dubbed the West’s ‘first sexual revolution’ by rendering sex itself less susceptible to moral control. The sexual politics of revolutionary England therefore have much to offer historians and literary scholars of early modern Britain as well as those working on the history of Western sexuality more broadly.

Sonja Tiernan

11 Radical sexual politics and post-war religion ‘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

in Eva Gore-Booth
Rape and Marriage in Go Tell It on the Mountain
Porter Nenon

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 sex.

James Baldwin Review
Black Queer Feminism and the Sexual Politics of Another Country
Matty Hemming

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.

James Baldwin Review
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Utopia and chaos in the early post-Stonewall gay liberation manifestos
Dominic Ording

collection Out of the Closets: Voices of Gay Liberation, edited by Karla Jay and Allen Young, first published in 1972. These texts make an important contribution to our understanding of how recently liberated (at least ostensibly liberated) gay men attempted to articulate and embody new conceptualisations of intimacy, community, masculinity and gender roles, and sexual politics, without the help of any satisfactory existent models of how to establish meaningful and conscientious relationships with each other. They often found themselves embroiled in conflicts between their

in Anarchism and utopianism
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Urban Spaces, Sexual Encounters and Erotic Spectacle in Tsukamoto Shinya‘s Rokugatsu no Hebi - A Snake of June (2003)
Greg Tuck

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.

Film Studies
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.

Gothic Studies
Between “Stranger in the Village” and I Am Not Your Negro
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.

James Baldwin Review
Julia Kavanagh, 1824–77
Author:

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.

Theory, practice and difference

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.