The Texture—Gendered, Sexual, Violent—of James Baldwin’s Southern Silences
Ed Pavlić

Spurred on by Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Nickel Boys (2019), which is set in Tallahassee, FL, during the 1950s and 1960s, this essay presents a close-up look at James Baldwin’s visit to Tallahassee in May 1960. Moving between Baldwin’s writings about the South, especially “They Can’t Turn Back,” published by Mademoiselle magazine in August 1960, and subsequent writing about the movement in Tallahassee, and checking off against Whitehead’s fictional treatment, we find a lattice of silences obscuring the names and contributions of Black women. Most importantly, we find that the historic case of the rape of Betty Jean Owens in May 1959, and the subsequent trial that summer, appears neither in Baldwin’s nor Whitehead’s writing about Tallahassee at the time. This essay establishes the missing names of Black women in the places marked and unmarked by Baldwin in his work at the time, and puts the case of Betty Jean Owens on the historical map where it belongs. In so doing, we figure issues of race, gender, sex, and violence for the ways they twist together, ways suppressed in historical (and even some contemporary) writing, ways crucial to our deepening consideration of Baldwin’s work and the history which he drew upon and to which he contributed so profoundly.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
Environmental justice and citizen science in a post-truth age
Editors: and

This book examines the relationship between environmental justice and citizen science, focusing on enduring issues and new challenges in a post-truth age. Debates over science, facts, and values have always been pivotal within environmental justice struggles. For decades, environmental justice activists have campaigned against the misuses of science, while at the same time engaging in community-led citizen science. However, post-truth politics has threatened science itself. This book makes the case for the importance of science, knowledge, and data that are produced by and for ordinary people living with environmental risks and hazards. The international, interdisciplinary contributions range from grassroots environmental justice struggles in American hog country and contaminated indigenous communities, to local environmental controversies in Spain and China, to questions about “knowledge justice,” citizenship, participation, and data in citizen science surrounding toxicity. The book features inspiring studies of community-based participatory environmental health and justice research; different ways of sensing, witnessing, and interpreting environmental injustice; political strategies for seeking environmental justice; and ways of expanding the concepts and forms of engagement of citizen science around the world. While the book will be of critical interest to specialists in social and environmental sciences, it will also be accessible to graduate and postgraduate audiences. More broadly, the book will appeal to members of the public interested in social justice issues, as well as community members who are thinking about participating in citizen science and activism. Toxic Truths includes distinguished contributing authors in the field of environmental justice, alongside cutting-edge research from emerging scholars and community activists.

Open Access (free)
The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62
Author:

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.

Open Access (free)
Tackling environmental injustice in a post-truth age
Thom Davies
and
Alice Mah

USA and the racialized geographies of the Deep South where the phrase “environmental justice” was first coined (Bullard 1990). As Robert D. Bullard, who is often noted as the father of the discipline, has argued in his pathbreaking book Dumping in Dixie (1990), environmental pollution and toxic dumping have always followed “the path of least resistance” (Bullard 1990, 3). Environmental injustice and toxic pollution not only reflect social inequalities, they also sustain them. Some have argued that environmental justice should be viewed as “deeply intersectional

in Toxic truths
The structures of migration in Tales from Firozsha Baag
Peter Morey

characters who inhabit them as almost to constitute a character in their own right: examples include the American deep south in Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses, Joyce’s Dublin, and, here, Mistry’s Firozsha Baag.4 The sequence of stories also sometimes traces the psychological and intellectual development of a particular character from childhood to maturity. Finally, time is often depicted as cyclical rather than linear, with repetition and variation of situations allowing for a deepening of perspective on key themes: in Tales from Firozsha Baag, the stories ‘Squatter’, ‘Lend Me

in Rohinton Mistry
Neil Macmaster

to take place only at night. General Pigeot warned that the authorities could not afford to be inflexible in its application of the law, ‘without risking to see fraud spread with the complicity of the whole population; it will not be the fiancée who appears before the registry officer, but a widow or divorced woman wrapped in veils. The propaganda undertaken for the implementation of the Ordinance will be made a laughing stock’. Resistance was not, however, restricted to the deep south: the president of the Algiers Court of Appeal reported in the areas of Blida

in Burning the veil