Rape and Marriage in Go Tell It on the Mountain

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
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Race and the Tragedy of American Democracy

In this essay, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. addresses the historical and contemporary failures of American democracy. Using the metaphor of “the magician’s serpent,” Glaude brings Walt Whitman’s views on democracy into the full light of America’s failure to resolve the problem of race. Glaude places Whitman’s Democratic Vistas (1871) in conversation with James Baldwin’s No Name in the Street (1972) in order to construct a different sort of reading practice that can both engage with Whitman’s views on democracy and reckon with what George Hutchinson calls Whitman’s “white imperialist self and ideology” as an indication of the limits of a certain radical democratic imagining.

James Baldwin Review

new ‘National Security Strategy of the United States of America’ at the end of 2017, as the first year of President Donald Trump’s mandate was coming to an end ( The White House, 2017 ). It is a broad declaration, which defines the principal interests of the US and the actions that will be undertaken to protect national security against every kind of threat, from all over the world. It would be a mistake to treat this as just one more periodic document produced for bureaucratic purposes. The strategy was developed by the State Department, together

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction

elected president; he publicly pays homage to former military dictators and torturers, and his talk of gunning down opponents has provided licence for the spread of political violence. The election of Donald Trump in the US, in November 2016, was a watershed for electoral politics, giving global significance to rightward shifts elsewhere. With Trump in the White House, the US itself has become the greatest threat to the liberal order it once authored, not because of his own idiosyncratic way of doing politics but because of the strategic realignment

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An Interview with Celso Amorim, Former Brazilian Foreign Minister

US of course still faced certain political challenges, but the concepts guiding international relations at this time, authored by the US, were dominant. We would hear about ‘reaching out’ and, later, Obama’s formulation ‘leading from behind’, but always leading. Returning to the main change we see today… of course, there are forces that have been working for a long time… Trump arrives and says: ‘No, I don’t want a global order. I prefer global disorder.’ I am referring here only to what is manifest; I have not yet been able to analyse this change

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

, Collins Dictionary declared ‘fake news’ its word of the year. But most media scholars would prefer the term was removed from the English lexicon, as it is vague and can be deployed to advance a political agenda. Donald Trump famously uses the phrase ‘fake news’ to refer to a wide range of media content that he doesn’t like. And audiences take a similarly broad approach; in focus groups, Nielsen and Graves (2017) find that audiences define ‘fake news’ to include partisan journalism, propaganda and advertising as well as invented stories that

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
From the Global to the Local

would create such abject living conditions (akin to Agamben’s ‘bare life’: Gordon, 2018 ) that Palestinians would be forced to accept what Trump and his administration have denominated the ‘deal of the century’ ( Gordon, 2018 ; Wong, 2018 ). Far from being motivated by an ‘ethics of care’ to protect displaced and dispossessed people, or a quest to secure a democratically grounded ‘liberal peace’, this ‘great deal’ can be identified as a quintessentially neoliberal project. Driven neither by ethics nor humanitarian principles, this is an

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector

Introduction In October 2016 the New York Review of Books published an article by International Rescue Committee President David Miliband titled ‘The Best Ways to Deal with the Refugee Crisis’. It began with a predictable target. US Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s claims about a ‘tremendous flow’ of Syrian refugees making their way to North America were based in ‘myth, not fact’, Miliband wrote ( Miliband, 2016 ). Not only that: they also openly belittled the difficulties faced by those seeking refuge. Those remarks, of course, were hardly unusual. Quite

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

when he told an assembly of relief NGOs that they were a ‘tremendous force multiplier’ for the US military, but even in the Donald Trump administration that sense of things is by no means wholly absent. But if the view from Washington, Brussels, etc. may not have changed that much, the view of Washington, Brussels, etc., most certainly has. For all its bad faith, its selective implementation and, in the battle spaces of the Long War, its instrumentalisation in the service of military strategy, development aid from the US, the EU and other Western

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design

growing influence of ‘behavioural economics’ ( Alcock, 2016 ). Before its sobering escape into the wild, as evinced in the Trump election and Brexit referendum ( Cadwalladr, 2017 ), behavioural economics had been popularised as ‘nudge politics’. Despite raising democratic concerns in targeting the sub-conscious, it has found favour among many Western governments. 5 Behavioural economics operationalises late-capitalism’s logistical requirement for people and things to be in the right place at the right time 24/7 ( Srnicek, 2016 ). Humanitarian

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs