A Session at the 2019 Modern Language Association Convention

“Interventions” was the organizing term for the presentations of three Baldwin scholars at the Modern Language Association Convention in Chicago in January of 2019. Baldwin’s travels and activities in spaces not traditionally associated with him, including the U.S. South and West, represent interventions of a quite literal type, while his aesthetic and critical encounters with these and other cultures, including twenty-first-century contexts of racial, and racist, affect—as in the case of Raoul Peck’s 2016 film I Am Not Your Negro—provide opportunities to reconsider his work as it contributes to new thinking about race, space, property, citizenship, and aesthetics.

James Baldwin Review
Editor’s Introduction

remind us of the importance of considering side by side the safety of humanitarian personnel and the protection of civilians – a necessary reminder given that in relief agencies the vocabulary of security has far outweighed that of the protection of civilians. Xavier Crombé and Joanna Kuper describe and analyse violence that affects caregiving and show that violence against humanitarian workers is linked to war violence in general. They question humanitarian responsibility in conflict situations

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction

institutions has steadily waned. In recent years, liberal order has been flagrantly challenged by a visceral and affective politics, produced by globalisation itself. Global income inequality increased significantly with the acceleration of globalisation following the end of the Cold War: from a Gini coefficient of 0.57 to one of 0.72, between 1988 and 2005 ( Anand and Segal, 2014: 968 ). Then, following the 2008 financial crash, capital doubled down. While those most responsible for the crash rewarded themselves with hefty bonuses, those experiencing the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order

and aid agencies into situations of civil war or possible mass atrocity. Presidents Assad and Putin have tested this norm and found they can break it with impunity. Indeed, it seems clear now that both will be key players in any long-term solution to the conflict in Syria. They have, in effect, begun the process of creating a new norm: you can regain legitimacy if you have major power protection and you win . There are other major changes in the issues that affect the international system – industrial and energy pollution and its environmental

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

Borno, Yobe and Adamawa in 2017: The [linguistic] difficulties described affect both operational effectiveness and accountability, from the inclusiveness of needs assessments and feedback mechanisms to the provision of services and the implementation of behavior change campaigns. Confidentiality and conflict-sensitivity are impaired when not everyone can speak for themselves. Organizations were also concerned that the language barriers are impeding

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Digital Bodies, Data and Gifts

recognise the structural differences in context, I suggest these insights are crucial for understanding the making of humanitarian wearables. Carving Out the Digital Body In the wearable-technology literature, key critical questions include how such technology can augment the human body, how it affects the relationship to oneself and others, and whether wearable technology can promote human autonomy when it is locked into commercial and power relationships in which the users’ best

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design

). This initiative has been welcomed by developmentalists keen to draw parallels between the Bank’s work and leading-edge initiatives among NGOs such as Doing Development Differently 7 and Thinking and Working Politically 8 ( Ramalingam, 2014 ; Green, 2014 ). The Bank’s initiative is also praised for spelling out that aid managers also have cognitive biases that can adversely affect the aid experience. Consequently, these biases also need to be considered in project design. Typical of many policy pronouncements following the 2008 global

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Mobilising affect in feminist, queer and anti-racist media cultures

The power of vulnerability interrogates the new language of vulnerability that has emerged in feminist, queer and anti-racist debates about the production, use and meanings of media. The book investigates the historical legacies and contemporary forms and effects of this language. In today’s media culture, traumatic first-person or group narratives have popular currency, mobilising affect from compassion to rage to gain cultural visibility and political advantage. In this context, vulnerability becomes a kind of capital, a resource or an asset that can and has been appropriated for various groups and purposes in public discourses, activism as well as cultural institutions. Thus, politics of representation translates into politics of affect, and the question about whose vulnerability counts as socially and culturally legible and acknowledged. The contributors of the book examine how vulnerability has become a battleground; how affect and vulnerability have turned into a politicised language for not only addressing but also obscuring asymmetries of power; and how media activism and state policies address so-called vulnerable groups. While the contributors investigate the political potential as well as the constraints of vulnerability for feminist, queer and antiracist criticism, they also focus on the forms of agency and participation vulnerability can offer.

Open Access (free)
Studies in intimacy

Featuring essays from some of the most prominent voices in early medieval English studies, Dating Beowulf: studies in intimacy playfully redeploys the word ‘dating’, which usually heralds some of the most divisive critical impasses in the field, to provocatively phrase a set of new relationships with an Old English poem. This volume presents an argument for the relevance of the early Middle Ages to affect studies and vice versa, while offering a riposte to anti-feminist discourse and opening avenues for future work by specialists in the history of emotions, feminist criticism, literary theory, Old English literature, and medieval studies alike. To this end, the chapters embody a range of critical approaches, from queer theory to animal studies and ecocriticism to Actor-Network theory, all organized into clusters that articulate new modes of intimacy with the poem.

Open Access (free)
Race, class and school choice

All in the mix: class, race and school choice considers how parents choose secondary schools for their children and makes an important intervention into debates on school choice and education. The book examines how parents talk about race, religion and class – in the process of choosing. It also explores how parents’ own racialised and classed positions, as well as their experience of education, can shape the way they approach choosing schools. Based on in-depth interviews with parents from different classed and racialised backgrounds in three areas in and around Manchester, the book shows how discussions about school choice are shaped by the places in which the choices are made. It argues that careful consideration of choosing schools opens up a moment to explore the ways in which people imagine themselves, their children and others in social, relational space.