This essay proposes that we turn to James Baldwin’s work to assess the cost of, and think alternatives to, the cultures of traumatization whose proliferation one witnesses in contemporary U.S. academia. Beginning with some recent examples, the essay briefly places these cultures into a genealogy of onto-ethics whose contemporary forms arose with the reconfiguration of diasporic histories in the idioms of psychoanalysis and deconstructive philosophy in 1990s trauma theory. Baldwin speaks to the contemporary moment as he considers the outcome of trauma’s perpetuation in an autobiographical scene from “Notes of a Native Son.” In this scene—which restages Bigger Thomas’s murderous compulsion in Native Son—he warns us against embracing one’s traumatization as a mode of negotiating the world. In foregoing what Sarah Schulman has recently called the “duty of repair,” such traumatized engagement prevents all search for the kind of “commonness” whose early articulation can be found in Aristotle’s query after “the common good” (to koinon agathon). With Baldwin, the present essay suggests the urgency of returning to the question of “the common good”: while mindful of past critiques, which have observed in this concept’s deployment a sleight-of-hand by which hegemonic positions universalize their interests, we should work to actualize the unfinished potential of Aristotle’s idea. Baldwin’s work on diasporic modernity provides an indispensable archive for this effort.
, challenging the idea of humanitarian exceptionalism and the protective function of IHL and principles. The last article exemplifies the journal’s ambition to create a bridge between academia and practitioners. The joint contribution by historian Kevin O’Sullivan and aid worker Réiseal Ní Chéilleachair describes the results of a pilot project on using historical reflection as a tool for policy-making in the humanitarian sector. It focuses on humanitarian experiences in Somalia, one of the
Introduction Artist–academic collaborations are becoming increasingly popular in socially engaged research. Often, this comes from a drive to ‘have impact’ outside of academia, as creative pieces are often seen as more engaging and accessible for non-specialised audiences. The impact on collaborators (both on the collaborating ‘researchers’ and ‘creatives’) also comes into play here, as interdisciplinary work could be a form of re-thinking how we
’ – is commonly used across the aid sector as well as in academia, we want to highlight that ‘the field’ connotes an imagined dichotomy: a more developed, civilised and safer ‘here’ compared to a backward, diseased, barbarian and dangerous ‘there’, without modern conveniences and comforts, echoing colonial metropolitan disdain for the places aid’s intended beneficiaries inhabit and the lives they lead (see Gupta and Ferguson, 1997 ; Jennings, 2019 ; Richmond et al
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Operations ’ ( Sciences for Peace Interdisciplinary Centre : University of Pisa ), www.academia.edu/36139853/The_post_truth_about_migrants_The_case_of_an_Italian_viral_video_on_search_and_rescue_operations (accessed 7 October 2020 ). Open Arms ( 2017 ), ‘ Now We Do Know Who Is Hacking Our Position and Their
, M. and Tannock , S. ( 2019 ), ‘ Subcontracting Academia: Alienation, Exploitation and Disillusionment in the UK Overseas Syrian Refugee Research Industry ’, Antipode , 51 : 2 , 664 – 80 , doi: 10.1111/anti.12502 . Switzer , H. ( 2013 ), ‘ (Post)Feminist Development
. Stevens , M. R. ( 2016 ), ‘ The Collapse of Social Networks among Syrian Refugees in Urban Jordan ’, Contemporary Levant , 1 : 1 , 51 – 63 . Sukarieh , M. and Tannock , S. ( 2019 ), ‘ Subcontracting Academia: Alienation
Anti-racist scholar-activism raises urgent questions about the role of contemporary universities and the academics who work within them. As profound socio-racial crises collide with mass anti-racist mobilisations, this book focuses on the praxes of academics working within, and against, their institutions in pursuit of anti-racist social justice.
Amidst a searing critique of the university’s neoliberal and imperial character, Joseph-Salisbury and Connelly situate the university as a contested space, full of contradictions and tensions.
Drawing upon original empirical data, the book considers how anti-racist scholar-activists navigate barriers and backlash in order to leverage the opportunities and resources of the university in service to communities of resistance.
Showing praxes of anti-racist scholar-activism to be complex, diverse, and multifaceted, and paying particular attention to how scholar-activists grapple with their own complicities in the harms perpetrated and perpetuated by higher education institutions, this book is a call to arms for academics who are, or would like to be, committed to social justice.
participants employ to navigate life within academia – their strategies of survival. Theorising backlash Backlash, Aoki conveys, might be understood as the ‘“getting back to”, “returning back to”, or “restoring” [of] a real or imaginary status quo … before those that prompted one to “lash back” were on the scene’. 7 We might conceive of backlash, therefore, as negative reactions or responses to social change, whether that be actual change or the potential for, or