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James Baldwin, Teju Cole, and Glenn Ligon

This essay uses Edward Said’s theory of affiliation to consider the relationship between James Baldwin and contemporary artists Teju Cole and Glenn Ligon, both of whom explicitly engage with their predecessor’s writing in their own work. Specifically, Baldwin’s essay “Stranger in the Village” (1953) serves a through-line for this discussion, as it is invoked in Cole’s essay “Black Body” and Ligon’s visual series, also titled Stranger in the Village. In juxtaposing these three artists, I argue that they express the dialectical energy of affiliation by articulating ongoing concerns of race relations in America while distinguishing themselves from Baldwin in terms of periodization, medium-specificity, and their broader relationship to Western art practice. In their adoption of Baldwin, Cole and Ligon also imagine a way beyond his historical anxieties and writing-based practice, even as they continue to reinscribe their own work with his arguments about the African-American experience. This essay is an intermedial study that reads fiction, nonfiction, language-based conceptual art and mixed media, as well as contemporary politics and social media in order consider the nuances of the African-American experience from the postwar period to our contemporary moment. Concerns about visuality/visibility in the public sphere, narrative voice, and self-representation, as well as access to cultural artifacts and aesthetic engagement, all emerge in my discussion of this constellation of artists. As a result, this essay identifies an emblematic, though not exclusive, strand of African-American intellectual thinking that has never before been brought together. It also demonstrates the ongoing relevance of Baldwin’s thinking for the contemporary political scene in this country.

James Baldwin Review

Last year, in the dispatch “There Is No Texting at James Baldwin’s Table,” I began to assess the ways in which audiences were engaging with Baldwin’s writing at several public discussions that I co-facilitated with NYC actor/comedian Grant Cooper. Based on the initial reaction to two five-part Baldwin conversations at a high school and middle school in Manhattan, I posited that a need for meaningful communion is drawing people to discuss the writer. As I wrote that article, I was busy scheduling seven new Baldwin discussions in communities across New Jersey and another five-part series in Manhattan. Having completed those sessions, I am pleased to report that Baldwin’s welcome table is indeed a powerful vehicle for engaging in impactful dialogue. This dispatch will demonstrate that discussing Baldwin not only opened an avenue for productive sharing but went further by inspiring people to ask how they could contribute to hastening positive social and personal transformation. Three questions will frame this analysis of putting the welcome table into practice: How many people want to sit at James Baldwin’s table? Can conversations about James Baldwin sustain more “welcome table moments”? Can these interactions create a sense of kinship that deepens personal interaction in the digital age?

James Baldwin Review
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Female theatre workers and professional practice

Stage women, 1900–50 explores the many ways in which women conceptualised, constructed and participated in networks of professional practice in the theatre and performance industries between 1900 and 1950. A timely volume full of original research, the book explores women’s complex negotiations of their agency over both their labour and public representation, and their use of personal and professional networks to sustain their careers. Including a series of case studies that explore a range of well-known and lesser-known women working in theatre, film and popular performance of the period. The volume is divided into two connected parts. ‘Female theatre workers in the social and theatrical realm’ looks at the relationship between women’s work – on- and offstage – and autobiography, activism, technique, touring, education and the law. Part II, ‘Women and popular performance’, focuses on the careers of individual artists, once household names, including Lily Brayton, Ellen Terry, radio star Mabel Constanduros, and Oscar-winning film star Margaret Rutherford. Overall, the book provides new and vibrant cultural histories of women’s work in the theatre and performance industries of the period.

education’, equipping a gentleman with the visual skills necessary for battle and land management. 129 In The Art of Drawing (1606), Peacham links the educational benefits of his work to social status, stating that for a ‘scholer’ in the practices he describes, he would ‘make choise of … a yong Gentleman’. 130 It is worth pointing out that The Art of Drawing is an earlier version of The

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama

frame of Laws, or the best state or mould of a commonwealth; but foreseeing that it would be a long work, his desire of collecting the Natural History diverted him.’6 Natural history is privileged above political theory, just as the New Atlantis itself, ‘A Worke unfinished’, is placed at the end of the volume containing the Sylva Sylvarum, natural history collected from a mixture of observation and reading. In the New Atlantis, the practice of science appears to be kept institutionally and geographically separate from politics, with considerable autonomy being given

in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis
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Reading practices and participation in digital and medieval media

subsequent use, focusing instead on the technology in acts of technological determinism – suggesting that technology itself controls behaviour. In contrast, I do not focus exclusively on the manuscript as the technology through which participation emerges. Rather, I examine how the social mediation of participation manifests through late-medieval English reading practices, which may rely on or function independently of manuscript technology. Indeed, many of the practices studied here continue well into the early age of print, and other practices rely on media other than

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
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Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and John Lydgate’s Troy Book

emendation invitations: the open invitation, the closed invitation, and the hybrid invitation. The language used to describe these three types of the emendation – open and closed – highlights a parallel between medieval and contemporary media practices. In particular, it draws on the discourse of open access that has developed in response to the technological, economical, and social conditions that shape and are shaped by the internet and digital media.22 That is, the shift from analogue and print to digital media, and the subsequent development of digital media

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
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Stage women Introduction Maggie B. Gale and Kate Dorney Stage Women, 1900–50: Female Theatre Workers and Professional Practice brings together recent research exploring women’s participation in the theatre and entertainment industries during the first half of the twentieth century. Its chapters variously explore their professional practice and partnerships, their careers, celebrity and cultural status, and the intersections between the social, the historical and the professional that shaped their working lives. The decades covered in this collection are more

in Stage women, 1900–50
Open Access (free)
Winifred Dolan beyond the West End

prompt corner as a junior member of the St James’s Company, it was her idea to do this in the first place.7 She consistently features her pattern of promoting her own constructive practice and individual agency, although the memoir does not discount the informal networks that initially facilitated her acting career. Dolan admits that family relationships ultimately propelled her into employment; she met Henry Irving and Ellen Terry through her uncle, the poet Alfred Austin.8 This is one example of the particular habitus to Dolan’s early life, the social processes

in Stage women, 1900–50
Cardboard publishers in Latin America

read as the result of a complex interaction between social, material, environmental and economic components. This will be illustrated through an in-depth analysis of a publication by the São Paulo-based publishing cooperative Dulcinéia Catadora entitled Catador (Waste Picker), a collage of texts about the recycling cooperative Cooperglicério, of which Dulcinéia is part, and where its workshop is located. As we shall see, the physical substances with which the waste pickers work in this collection and the practices it represents – the waste collected from streets and

in Literature and sustainability