Open Access (free)
Listening over James Baldwin’s Shoulder
Ed Pavlić

Black music played a crucial role in the work and life of James Baldwin. What Baldwin heard in the music guided his sense of political reality and human possibility, his invention of character, his shifting analytical point of view, and his decisions about what to do, when, and how to do it during his life in private and career in public. The music, therefore, also offers his critics and his readers important insight and guidance in their own experience and interpretation of his work. This brief essay accounts for some of the most basic connections between Baldwin and black music; it serves here as an introduction to a list of songs, some of which offered Baldwin important guidance and some of which offer his readers access to deeper meanings in his work. A playlist of songs, curated by Ed Pavlić and Justin A. Joyce, is available on YouTube at

James Baldwin Review
James Baldwin’s Just Above My Head
Jenny M. James

This article considers James Baldwin’s last published novel, Just Above My Head (1979), as the culmination of his exploration of kinship, reflecting on the ways distance and loss characterize African-American familial relations. By analyzing Baldwin’s representation of Hall Montana’s relationship to, and mourning of, his younger brother Arthur, this article argues that JAMH revises the terms of the black family to imagine an alternative, errant kinship that is adoptive, migratory, and sustained through songs of joy and grief. My approach to the novel’s portrayal of kinship is indebted to Édouard Glissant’s Poetics of Relation (1990), in which he defines “errantry” as a fundamental characteristic of diaspora that resists the claustrophobic, filial violence and territorial dispossession that are slavery’s legacies. Baldwin represents errant kinship in JAMH through his inclusion of music and formal experimentation. Departing from previous scholarship that reads JAMH as emblematic of the author’s artistic decline, I interpret the novel’s numerous syntactic and figurative experiments as offering new formal insight into his portrait of brotherly love. Baldwin’s integration of two distinctive leitmotifs, blood and song, is therefore read as a formal gesture toward a more capacious and migratory kinship.

James Baldwin Review
The Politics of ‘Proximity’ and Performing Humanitarianism in Eastern DRC
Myfanwy James

the discourse. But Luc helps choose ‘who is going to sing the song’, the most appropriate person to ‘ communicate MSF’s message’. In other words, who can best perform a humanitarian role in that context? The most common example was ‘balancing’ convoys: Congolese staff highlighted the importance of mixed and representative MSF teams as a way of rendering impartiality visible, especially when crossing frontlines, roadblocks or travelling through areas controlled by different armed actors ( Pottier, 2006 ). As one driver explained, the humanitarian status of local

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
James Baldwin and Ray Charles in “The Hallelujah Chorus”
Ed Pavlić

Based on a recent, archival discovery of the script, “But Amen is the Price” is the first substantive writing about James Baldwin’s collaboration with Ray Charles, Cicely Tyson, and others in a performance of musical and dramatic pieces. Titled by Baldwin, “The Hallelujah Chorus” was performed in two shows at Carnegie Hall in New York City on 1 July 1973. The essay explores how the script and presentation of the material, at least in Baldwin’s mind, represented a call for people to more fully involve themselves in their own and in each other’s lives. In lyrical interludes and dramatic excerpts from his classic work, “Sonny’s Blues,” Baldwin addressed divisions between neighbors, brothers, and strangers, as well as people’s dissociations from themselves in contemporary American life. In solo and ensemble songs, both instrumental and vocal, Ray Charles’s music evinced an alternative to the tradition of Americans’ evasion of each other. Charles’s sound meant to signify the history and possibility of people’s attainment of presence in intimate, social, and political venues of experience. After situating the performance in Baldwin’s personal life and public worldview at the time and detailing the structure and content of the performance itself, “But Amen is the Price” discusses the largely negative critical response as a symptom faced by much of Baldwin’s other work during the era, responses that attempted to guard “aesthetics” generally—be they literary, dramatic, or musical—as class-blind, race-neutral, and apolitical. The essay presents “The Hallelujah Chorus” as a key moment in Baldwin’s search for a musical/literary form, a way to address, as he put it, “the person and the people,” in open contention with the social and political pressures of the time.

James Baldwin Review
An anthology

This is a companion to Pastoral poetry of the English Renaissance: An anthology (2016), the largest ever collection of its kind. The monograph-length Introduction traces the course of pastoral from antiquity to the present day. The historical account is woven into a thematic map of the richly varied pastoral mode, and it is linked to the social context, not only by local allegory and allusion but by its deeper origins and affinities. English Renaissance pastoral is set within the context of this total perspective.

Besides the formal eclogue, the study covers many genres: lyric, epode, georgic, country-house poem, ballad, romantic epic, drama and prose romance. Major practitioners like Theocritus, Virgil, Sidney, Spenser, Drayton and Milton are discussed individually.

The Introduction also charts the many means by which pastoral texts circulated during the Renaissance, with implications for the history and reception of all Early Modern poetry. The poems in the Anthology have been edited from the original manuscripts and early printed texts, and the Textual Notes comprehensively document the sources and variant readings. There are also notes on the poets and analytical indices of themes, genres, and various categories of proper names. Seldom, if ever, has a cross-section of English Renaissance poetry been textually annotated in such detail.

Ann-Kristin Wallengren

analytical concept that has gained much attention in film-music research in recent years. 4 Many writers use the term as an equivalent to musical numbers; thus, the definition of musical moments generally refers to performances of different kinds, most often song performances. Consequently, even if musical moments in this sense are supposed to appear in various genres, they are mostly found in musicals. Watching Bergman’s films over the years, I have noticed a special kind of music drama that supersedes a narrative

in Ingmar Bergman
Open Access (free)
In the beginning was song
Mads Qvortrup

6 Epilogue: in the beginning was song And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1.5) We have (rather deliberately) said very little about the subject of music, as this is not obviously a part of Rousseau’s social philosophy. Yet music was – though scholars have often forgotten this1 – Rousseau’s main passion, and this passion spilled over into his political writings in more ways than one. Rousseau, the musician and note-copier, was an accidental philosopher. Had he not seen the prize question from the Academy in Dijon on

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
James E. Connolly

examined here involved asserting Frenchness and opposition to the occupiers. The disparate actions studied include singing songs, writing poems, telling jokes or using humour to mock the occupation and occupiers, wearing or displaying national colours, demonstrating v 223 v 24 The experience of occupation in the Nord, 1914–18 humanitarian impulses towards Allied prisoners of war, and preventing successful German requisitions. Similar actions in Europe in the Second World War have been understood as resistance.8 Many of these had an explicitly performative element to

in The experience of occupation in the Nord, 1914– 18
Open Access (free)
Race, class, and poetry in a South American colony
Jason Rudy, Aaron Bartlett, Lindsey O'Neil, and Justin Thompson

the profit of anybody else’. 1 Lane was a notorious racist, and his motivation for the Paraguayan colony was in part a response to the influx of Asian immigrants to Australia in the later decades of the nineteenth century. Our interest in Colonia Cosme, the town eventually established and maintained in the Paraguayan jungle, centres around its newspaper, the Cosme Monthly , and its accounting of minstrel performances there. We read Cosme’s poetry and song, and its engagement with the form of minstrelsy, as part of a larger effort by Lane and his fellow émigrés to

in Worlding the south
Open Access (free)
An ecocritical examination of the birds of Bergman
Linda Haverty Rugg

obtrusive ways: the presence of birds. Looking closely at the representation of birds and their song in Bergman offers insight into the way his films frame the relationship between humans and the non-human environment, but also how they create a space for the human position within nature. Birds in Bergman’s films sometimes seem to be ‘merely’ part of a film’s ambience , a concept that deserves more detailed exploration, since it has special significance both in ecocriticism and in cinema. It might be argued that the

in Ingmar Bergman