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)
Intimacy, Shame, and the Closet in James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room
Monica B. Pearl

This essay’s close interrogation of James Baldwin’s 1956 novel Giovanni’s Room allows us to see one aspect of how sexual shame functions: it shows how shame exposes anxiety not only about the feminizing force of homosexuality, but about how being the object of the gaze is feminizing—and therefore shameful. It also shows that the paradigm of the closet is not the metaphor of privacy and enclosure on one hand and openness and liberation on the other that it is commonly thought to be, but instead is a site of illusory control over whether one is available to be seen and therefore humiliated by being feminized. Further, the essay reveals the paradox of denial, where one must first know the thing that is at the same time being disavowed or denied. The narrative requirements of fictions such as Giovanni’s Room demonstrate this, as it requires that the narrator both know, in order to narrate, and not know something at the same time.

James Baldwin Review
A Session at the 2019 American Studies Association Conference
Magdalena J. Zaborowska, Nicholas F. Radel, Nigel Hatton, and Ernest L. Gibson III

“Rebranding James Baldwin and His Queer Others” was a session held at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association in November 2019 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The papers gathered here show how Baldwin’s writings and life story participate in dialogues with other authors and artists who probe issues of identity and identification, as well as with other types of texts and non-American stories, boldly addressing theoretical and political perspectives different from his own. Nick Radel’s temporal challenge to reading novels on homoerotic male desire asks of us a leap of faith, one that makes it possible to read race as not necessarily a synonym for “Black,” but as a powerful historical and sexual trope that resists “over-easy” binaries of Western masculinity. Ernest L. Gibson’s engagement with Beauford Delaney’s brilliant art and the ways in which it enabled the teenage Baldwin’s “dark rapture” of self-discovery as a writer reminds us that “something [has been missing] in our discussions of male relationships.” Finally, Nigel Hatton suggests “a relationship among Baldwin, Denmark, and Giovanni’s Room that adds another thread to the important scholarship on his groundbreaking work of fiction that has impacted African-American literature, Cold War studies, transnational American studies, feminist thought, and queer theory.” All three essays enlarge our assessment of Baldwin’s contribution to understanding the ways gender and sexuality always inflect racialized Western masculinities. Thus, they help us work to better gauge the extent of Baldwin’s influence right here and right now.

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
Lessons Learned for Engagement in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States
Logan Cochrane

Women, 2012 ), such a focus ought to engage with the broader socio-cultural environment that shapes ideas of masculinity, power and decision making ( UNICEF, 2016 ; USAID, 2012b ), which includes boys and men, as well as community and traditional leaders ( Nonviolent Peaceforce, 2017 ; UN Women, 2012 ). Many of the projects that did focus on women and girls were stand-alone projects that commonly have been implemented in parallel to other interventions, detached from the broader set of activities ( Norad, 2016 ; UNICEF, 2015 ). What can be drawn from the literature

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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'.

Antonia Lucia Dawes

through darkly humorous speech genres – that I refer to as banter and catcalls – that formed an important part of the performance of locally hegemonic masculinities in the everyday life of the street (Connell and Messerschmidt 2005 ; Harding 1975 ; Reiter 1975 : 58). Elsewhere in the book I have talked about humour as something that both challenged power – to defuse tension or imagine alternative solidarities – and functioned in complicity with power to abuse, silence and oppress subaltern groups of people (Bakhtin 1984 [1965]; Passerini 1987 : 67–126; Smitherman

in Race talk
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
Antonia Lucia Dawes

around belonging and entitlement to be transformed into a sort of social commentary that could be worked through relatively safely. Nevertheless, these humorous negotiations took place almost exclusively between men, whereas women in street markets, as I explored in Chapter 4 , were subjected to forms of violence that were more difficult to speak back against. This ritualised, ludic and competitive talk relied on an understanding of a local form of the masculinity of the guappo – a man of the people who was hardworking but also knew how to protect his own dignity

in Race talk