Self-examining White Privilege and the Myth of America
James Baldwin, in his landmark essay “My Dungeon Shook,” says that white Americans are “still trapped in a history which they do not understand; and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it.” This open letter explores this history on a personal level. Taking notes from Baldwin’s indictments of whiteness in Another Country and The Fire Next Time, this essay explores how white people, despite claims of deniability, become culpable, complicit, and ensnared in their racial privilege. By reading Baldwin’s work through a personal lens, it implores fellow white readers and scholars of Baldwin to begin examining the myths of America by first examining themselves.
continuation of the crisis in the form of the upheaval of
the Red Scare and widespread labour unrest. In the face of the challenge
to national identity precipitated by rapid social and cultural change,
white Anglo-Saxon elites attempted to fashion the country’s
history to make it consonant with their vision of a present and future
dominated by themselves or at least their cultural values. As Michael
Ewa Plonowska Ziarek
Mimesis in black and white:
feminist aesthetics, negativity and semblance
As Sarah Worth suggests, despite well-established feminist work in literary criticism,
film theory and art history, feminist aesthetics ‘is a relatively young discipline, dating
from the early 1990s’, and thus still open to contestation and new formulations.1 In
this context it might seem paradoxical that one of the founding texts of feminist aesthetics, Rita Felski’s Beyond Feminist Aesthetics: Feminist Literature and Social Change,
proclaims its impossibility
Toleration of religious discrimination
Introduction: toleration and equal opportunity
Two ideas feature prominently in contemporary accounts of the just society.
One is the idea of toleration and the related idea of religious freedom. A
second is the idea of equal opportunity and, derived from this, the idea
that the state should protect its members from discrimination in relation to
jobs and other important goods such as education. This chapter explores
an apparent tension between these two
security. From this
perspective, security politics conceived of in military terms defines the essence of
state behaviour and, indeed, of world politics.
The development of FPA as a field of study can be seen as a
response to challenges to these traditional assumptions (Clarke and White 1989 ; Halliday 1994 ). The first major challenge
came in the 1950s with the introduction of decision-making analysis which
led to foreign
Johanna Gondouin, Suruchi Thapar-Björkert and Ingrid Ryberg
AND THE POLITICS
OF REPRODUCTION IN TOP
OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL
Jo ha n na G ond ouin, Suruc hi Thapar- Björ k ert
a nd I ngr id Ry berg
op of The Lake: China Girl (Australia, Jane Campion, 2017) is the sequel
to Jane Campion and Gerard Lee’s crime series Top of the Lake from
2013, directed by Campion and Ariel Kleiman. After four years of absence,
Inspector Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss) returns to the Sydney Police Force
and comes to lead the murder case of an unidentified young Asian woman,
found in a suitcase at Bondi Beach
The spoken word
Language, literacy and aspects of identity in early modern Wales
Language, literacy and aspects of
identity in early modern Wales
Richard Suggett and Eryn White
The history of the spoken word in early modern Britain involved the changing
fortunes of seven or eight languages. The related English and Scots tongues
expanded socially and geographically eroding Scottish Gaelic and reducing
Cornish and Norse (spoken in Orkney and Shetland), and later Manx, to the
point of extinction. Irish and Welsh proved the most resilient
In this essay, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. addresses the historical and contemporary
failures of American democracy. Using the metaphor of “the
magician’s serpent,” Glaude brings Walt Whitman’s views on
democracy into the full light of America’s failure to resolve the problem
of race. Glaude places Whitman’s Democratic Vistas
(1871) in conversation with James Baldwin’s No Name in the
Street (1972) in order to construct a different sort of reading
practice that can both engage with Whitman’s views on democracy and
reckon with what George Hutchinson calls Whitman’s “white
imperialist self and ideology” as an indication of the limits of a
certain radical democratic imagining.
James Baldwin, the Religious Right, and the Moral
In the 1980s, James Baldwin recognized that a major transformation had occurred in the
socio-political functions of religion. His critique adapted accordingly, focusing on the
ways in which religion—particularly white evangelical Christianity—had morphed into a
movement deeply enmeshed with mass media, conservativepolitics, and late capitalism.
Religion in the Reagan era was leveraged, sold, and consumed in ways never before seen,
from charismatic televangelists, to Christian-themed amusement parks, to mega-churches.
The new movement was often characterized as the “religious right” or the “Moral Majority”
and was central to both Reagan’s political coalition as well as the broader culture wars.
For Baldwin, this development had wide-ranging ramifications for society and the
individual. This article draws on Baldwin’s final major essay, “To Crush the Serpent”
(1987), to examine the author’s evolving thoughts on religion, salvation, and
transgression in the context of the Reagan era.
James Baldwin, William F. Buckley,
Jr., and the 1965 Cambridge Debate
Daniel Robert McClure
The 1965 debate at Cambridge University between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley,
Jr., posed the question: “Has the American Dream been achieved at the Expense of the
American Negro?” Within the contours of the debate, Baldwin and Buckley wrestled with the
ghosts of settler colonialism and slavery in a nation founded on freedom and equality.
Framing the debate within the longue durée, this essay examines the deep cultural currents
related to the American racial paradox at the height of the Civil Rights movement.
Underscoring the changing language of white resistance against black civil rights, the
essay argues that the Baldwin and Buckley debate anticipated the ways the U.S. would
address racial inequality in the aftermath of the civil rights era and the dawn of
neoliberalism in the 1970s.