Open Access (free)
Robert J. Corber

The author reviews Barry Jenkins’s 2018 film adaptation of Baldwin’s novel, If Beale Street Could Talk, finding that Jenkins’s lush, painterly, and dreamlike visual style successfully translates Baldwin’s cadenced prose into cinematic language. But in interpreting the novel as the “perfect fusion” of the anger of Baldwin’s essays and the sensuality of his fiction, Jenkins overlooks the novel’s most significant aspect, its gender politics. Baldwin began working on If Beale Street Could Talk shortly after being interviewed by Black Arts poet Nikki Giovanni for the PBS television show, Soul!. Giovanni’s rejection of Baldwin’s claims that for black men to overcome the injuries of white supremacy they needed to fulfill the breadwinner role prompted him to rethink his understanding of African American manhood and deeply influenced his representation of the novel’s black male characters. The novel aims to disarticulate black masculinity from patriarchy. Jenkins’s misunderstanding of this aspect of the novel surfaces in his treatment of the character of Frank, who in the novel serves as an example of the destructiveness of patriarchal masculinity, and in his rewriting of the novel’s ending.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
A Review of Hilton Als’ God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin
Leah Mirakhor

This essay reviews Hilton Als’ 2019 exhibition God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin at the David Zwirner Gallery. The show visually displays Baldwin in two parts: “A Walker in the City” examines his biography and “Colonialism” examines “what Baldwin himself was unable to do” by displaying the work of contemporary artists and filmmakers whose works resonate with Baldwin’s critiques of masculinity, race, and American empire. Mirakhor explores how Als’ quest to restore Baldwin is part of a long and deep literary and personal conversation that Als has been having since he was in his teens, and in this instance, exploring why and how it has culminated via the visual, instead of the literary. As Mirakhor observes, to be in the exhibit is not to just observe how Als has formed and figured Baldwin, but to see how Baldwin has informed and made Als, one of our most lyrical and impassioned contemporary writers and thinkers.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
Cultural identity and change in the Atlantic archipelago

The concept of 'margins' denotes geographical, economic, demographic, cultural and political positioning in relation to a perceived centre. This book aims to question the term 'marginal' itself, to hear the voices talking 'across' borders and not only to or through an English centre. The first part of the book examines debates on the political and poetic choice of language, drawing attention to significant differences between the Irish and Scottish strategies. It includes a discussion of the complicated dynamic of woman and nation by Aileen Christianson, which explores the work of twentieth-century Scottish and Irish women writers. The book also explores masculinities in both English and Scottish writing from Berthold Schoene, which deploys sexual difference as a means of testing postcolonial theorizing. A different perspective on the notion of marginality is offered by addressing 'Englishness' in relation to 'migrant' writing in prose concerned with India and England after Independence. The second part of the book focuses on a wide range of new poetry to question simplified margin/centre relations. It discusses a historicising perspective on the work of cultural studies and its responses to the relationship between ethnicity and second-generation Irish musicians from Sean Campbell. The comparison of contemporary Irish and Scottish fiction which identifies similarities and differences in recent developments is also considered. In each instance the writers take on the task of examining and assessing points of connection and diversity across a particular body of work, while moving away from contrasts which focus on an English 'norm'.

Open Access (free)
Fluidity and reciprocity in the performance of caring in Fevered Sleep’s Men & Girls Dance
Amanda Stuart Fisher

between men and girls is by offering a critique of the bifurcated, gendered categories of difference that tend to predetermine we how position masculinity and femininity in relation to men and girls. Rather than emphasising differences, Men & Girls Dance explores how masculinity and girlhood might be understood as being enfolded within the same world and constructed through the same discourses. My thinking in this area is influenced by the research of the cultural theorist Rebecca Coleman, who, in her book The Becoming of Bodies: Girls, Images, Experience ( 2009

in Performing care
Open Access (free)
Robin Norris

‘Victorian and modern views on masculinity [that] have influenced the critical reception and interpretation of male tears in the corpus of Old English literature’, as Kristen Mills argues; ‘examples of weeping men are often ignored or viewed as aberrant, while instances of women's weeping are taken as normative behaviour’. 10 In response to this tendency, in the first section of this chapter I would like simply to acknowledge the many sad men who inhabit Beowulf : the catalogue below serves as a monument. Even the main

in Dating Beowulf
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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)
Janelle Joseph

In my search for tidy conclusions and a singular confirmation of the meaning of sport in the Black Atlantic, I came up empty handed, or “wit’ me two long arms” as cricket club members might say. There are so many dimensions to the transnational flows of peoples and cultures of the Afro-Caribbean diaspora that have important bearing on how we think about black masculinities

in Sport in the Black Atlantic
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Troubling race, ethnicity, and masculinity in Beowulf
Catalin Taranu

reading and listening, it is anxiety that gathered so many audiences around Beowulf for so long a time. The purpose of this chapter, then, is to probe some of the points in the poem that trouble certain audiences in order to understand the ways in which these communities function emotionally in relation to the text. In particular, I pursue this work of emotional archaeology by tracing anxieties around masculinity, ethnicity, and race that found their expression in Beowulf – and that different audiences have projected on to it, first in Beowulf's sexualized encounter

in Dating Beowulf
Robert Murphy

romanticism, politics, class, masculinity, sexuality and social problems. Durgnat writes appreciatively about Hammer and Gainsborough, purveyors of despised melodramas and horror films; he takes Powell and Pressburger seriously and gives sympathetic consideration to directors like Val Guest, Roy Baker, J. Lee Thompson, Basil Dearden, Roy and John Boulting and John Guillermin who were regarded as irredeemably

in British cinema of the 1950s
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Emotional connections to the young hero in Beowulf
Mary Dockray-Miller

Wiglaf, the young warrior who helps Beowulf kill the dragon at the end of the poem, offers a new definition of heroic masculinity for a post-Beowulf (not post- Beowulf !) world. The premise of the Dating Beowulf collection allows an examination of Wiglaf's affective and emotional contributions to the poem as a whole. When the critical focus turns to Wiglaf, moving Beowulf and the other Geats into ancillary roles in Wiglaf's narrative, we see that his performance of heroism includes emotional association, understood as

in Dating Beowulf