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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
Searching for Black Queer Domesticity at Chez Baldwin
Magdalena J. Zaborowska

This essay argues for the importance of James Baldwin’s last house, located in St. Paul-de-Vence in the south of France, to his late works written during the productive period of 1971–87: No Name in the Street (1972), If Beale Street Could Talk (1974), The Devil Finds Work (1976), Just Above My Head (1979), The Evidence of Things Not Seen (1985), and the unpublished play The Welcome Table (1987). That period ushered in a new Baldwin, more complex and mature as an author, who became disillusioned while growing older as a black queer American who had no choice but to live abroad to get his work done and to feel safe. Having established his most enduring household at “Chez Baldwin,” as the property was known locally, the writer engaged in literary genre experimentation and challenged normative binaries of race, gender, and sexuality with his conceptions of spatially contingent national identity. The late Baldwin created unprecedented models of black queer domesticity and humanism that, having been excluded from U.S. cultural narratives until recently, offer novel ways to reconceptualize what it means to be an American intellectual in the twenty-first-century world.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
Yale’s Chronicles of America
Roberta E. Pearson

Writing in 1991, Michael Kammen stated, ‘For more than a decade now, the connection between collective memory and national identity has been a matter of intense and widespread interest’. 1 Kammen’s examples, ranging from Brazil to several Eastern and Western European countries, make it clear that he sees this interest as a global phenomenon, but the connection between

in Memory and popular film
Robert Murphy

question the dominant stylistic approaches or provide stimulus for social change, with the result that there has been virtually no avant-garde film-making and no effective militant cinema in Britain’. 2 Durgnat is much less time-bound and his analysis of British cinema has proved remarkably prescient. A Mirror for England deals with topics such as national identity and the decline of empire, realism and

in British cinema of the 1950s
Screening Victoria
Steven Fielding

‘Head of Nation’. The Sovereign acts as a focus for national identity, unity and pride; gives a sense of stability and continuity; officially recognises success and excellence; and supports the ideal of voluntary service. 9 Yet, the monarch’s ‘representational duties’ as ‘Head of Nation’ have subtle political

in The British monarchy on screen
Contemporary ‘British’ cinema and the nation’s monarchs
Andrew Higson

contemporary experience and projection of British national identity and ideas of nationhood. These stories and characters are also of course endlessly recycled in the present period in other media as well as through the heritage industry. The monarchy, its history and its present manifestation, is clearly highly marketable, whether in terms of tourism, the trade in royal memorabilia or artefacts, or images of

in The British monarchy on screen
Continuity and change
Erin Bell and Ann Gray

historical national identity and in doing so create a sense of community within a culturally disparate nation. The rise of commemorative programming in nations across Europe over the past two decades has been noted by scholars: anniversaries offer programme makers and national broadcasters such as the BBC an opportunity to air material which conveys knowledge of significant national and international events

in The British monarchy on screen
Open Access (free)
Memory and popular film
Paul Grainge

individuals in the creation of meaning. Cultural memory is a field of cultural negotiation through which different stories vie for a place in history. 4 In this definition, memory is socially produced and is bound in the struggles and investments of cultural and national identity formation. It retains a notion of contestation but does not give memory a prescribed politics

in Memory and popular film
Open Access (free)
History, legend and memory in John Sayles’ Lone Star
Neil Campbell

‘early decades of the century . . . filled with stories – the magic of myths, fables, and tales of heroes’, providing ‘symbols to share . . . help[ing] us all, no matter how diverse our backgrounds, feel part of a common undertaking’. 5 Cheney’s belief that national identity was best served by the articulation of history as ‘heroic’ and unidirectional was at odds with the growing emphasis upon

in Memory and popular film
Open Access (free)
Dana Mills

thus far, drawing on Rowe’s analysis, the focus has been on the West Bank. In a study of dabke in the Jordan Valley, Mauro Van Aken argues that whereas dabke is perceived in the West Bank as a strong symbol of national identity, in the Jordan Valley it does not constitute an official discourse of dispossessed culture. Rather, he argues, performance of dabke allows for the constitution of a public space allowing for the revelation of relations of identity (Aken 2006). I draw on both readings together to argue that dabke allows for a space for contestation of

in Dance and politics