James Baldwin Review (JBR) is an annual journal that brings together a
wide array of peer‐reviewed critical and creative non-fiction on the life, writings,
and legacy of James Baldwin. In addition to these cutting-edge contributions,
each issue contains a review of recent Baldwin scholarship and an award-winning
graduate student essay. James Baldwin Review publishes essays that
invigorate scholarship on James Baldwin; catalyze explorations of the literary,
political, and cultural influence of Baldwin’s writing and political activism;
and deepen our understanding and appreciation of this complex and luminary
‘Loud and proud’: Politics and passion in the English Defence League is a study of grassroots activism in what is widely considered to be a violent Islamophobic and racist organisation. The book uses interviews, informal conversations and extended observation at EDL events to critically reflect on the gap between the movement’s public image and activists’ own understandings of it. It details how activists construct the EDL, and themselves, as ‘not racist, not violent, just no longer silent’ inter alia through the exclusion of Muslims as a possible object of racism on the grounds that they are a religiously not racially defined group. In contrast activists perceive themselves to be ‘second-class citizens’, disadvantaged and discriminated by a ‘two-tier’ justice system that privileges the rights of ‘others’. This failure to recognise themselves as a privileged white majority explains why ostensibly intimidating EDL street demonstrations marked by racist chanting and nationalistic flag waving are understood by activists as standing ‘loud and proud’; the only way of ‘being heard’ in a political system governed by a politics of silencing. Unlike most studies of ‘far right’ movements, this book focuses not on the EDL as an organisation – its origins, ideology, strategic repertoire and effectiveness – but on the individuals who constitute the movement. Its ethnographic approach challenges stereotypes and allows insight into the emotional as well as political dimension of activism. At the same time, the book recognises and discusses the complex political and ethical issues of conducting close-up social research with ‘distasteful’ groups.
An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE
that takes a while.
JF: SOS might, then, be considered part of a new movement in emergency response,
which includes Alarm Phone, Sea Watch and Open Arms. But its operational approach bears some
similarity to that of older humanitarian NGOs. Indeed, it works closely with Médecins Sans
CAS: Yes, we are in touch with Open Arms, Sea Watch and so on, but SOS sits
somewhere between citizen activism and humanitarian work. Other search-and-rescue groups,
particularly those in Germany, are much more involved in discussing asylum systems in
curbs on the public declarations of NGOs imposed
by the Sri Lankan government during and after its war against the Tamil Tigers.
Medical NGOs will almost certainly have an easier time than, say, groups focusing on community
development or psycho-social care, but taken in aggregate the humanitarian world will be less
transformed by a post-North Atlantic world than the Northern human rights movement. 4 Humanitarian action has never been a zero-sum game,
whereas that is precisely what human rights activism has to be to be morally coherent.
and armed activism make travel quite
expensive. Yet journalists who come to write about or film an armed conflict
generally have two primary obligations: to produce a piece that contains the main
elements we expect from war reporting (‘news’, analysis and above all
‘reportage’, i.e. ‘things seen’ by the reporter which
embody the subject and at the same time prove that he or she was actually there),
while limiting the cost and risks. Taking advantage of NGO jeeps addresses
it). This is the same foundational commitment that animates human rights work. The humanist core
to both of these forms of social practice is a similar kind of belief in the ultimate priority of
moral claims made by human beings as human beings rather than as possessors of
any markers of identity or citizenship.
What differences exist between humanitarianism and human rights are largely sociological
– the contextual specifics of the evolution of two different forms of social activism. I
have argued elsewhere, for example, that
crucial examples, and result in an even less complete overview into the origin and patterns of attacks, under-representing specific voices and categories.
Monitoring and Advocacy
Data-informed advocacy is a familiar occurrence in humanitarian circles. Powers showed how activism and information provision were conceptualised as two sides of the same coin. Activism was considered a guiding value in their information production function, while information was perceived ‘as a key component of successful advocacy’ ( Powers, 2016 : 411). In Redfield’s study of MSF
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.
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.
Modern American literature began with a statement of enthusiasm from Emerson's writing in Nature. 'Enthusiasm', in Emerson, is a knowing word. Sometimes its use is as description, invariably approving, of a historic form of religious experience. Socrates' meaning of enthusiasm, and the image of the enthusiast it throws up, is crucial to this book. The book is a portrait of the writer as an enthusiast, where the portrait, as will become clear, carries more than a hint of polemic. It is about the transmission of literature, showing various writers taking responsibility for that transmission, whether within in their writing or in their cultural activism. Henry David Thoreau's Walden is an enthusiastic book. It is where enthusiasm works both in Immanuel Kant's sense of the unbridled self, and in William Penn's sense of the 'nearer' testament, and in Thoreau's own sense of supernatural serenity. Establishing Ezra Pound's enthusiasm is a fraught and complicated business. Marianne Moore composed poems patiently, sometimes over several years. She is a poet of things, as isolated things - jewels, curios, familiar and exotic animals, common and rare species of plant - are often the ostensible subjects of her poems. Homage to Frank O'Hara is a necessary book, because the sum of his aesthetic was to be found not just in his writing, but also in his actions to which only friends and contemporaries could testify. An enthusiastic reading of James Schuyler brings to the fore pleasure, the sheer pleasure that can come of combining, or mouthing, or transcribing.