James Baldwin might be imagined as reaching his greatest level of popularity within this current decade. With the growth of social media activist movements like Black Lives Matter, which captures and catalyzes off a Baldwinian rage, and the publishing of works directly evoking Baldwin, his voice appears more pronounced between the years of 2013 and 2015. Scholars in Baldwin studies, along with strangers who were turned into witnesses of his literary oeuvre, have contributed to this renewed interest in Baldwin, or at least have been able to sharpen the significance of the phenomenon. Publications and performances highlight Baldwin’s work and how it prefigured developments in critical race and queer theories, while also demonstrating Baldwin’s critique as both prophetic and “disturbingly” contemporary. Emerging largely from Baldwin’s timelessness in social and political discourse, and from the need to conjure a figure to demystify the absurd American landscape, these interventions in Baldwin studies follow distinct trends. This essay examines the 2013–15 trends from four vantages: an examination of a return, with revision, to popular work by Baldwin; identifying Baldwin’s work as a contributor to theoretical and critical methodology; Baldwin and intertextuality or intervocality; and a new frontier in Baldwin studies.
Ernest L. Gibson
Mobilising affect in feminist, queer and anti-racist media cultures
Edited by: Anu Koivunen, Katariina Kyrölä and Ingrid Ryberg
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.
Postsocialist, post-conflict, postcolonial?
This book explains theoretical work in postcolonial and postsocialist studies to offer a novel and distinctive insight into how Yugoslavia is configured by, and through, race. It presents the history of how ideas of racialised difference have been translated globally in Yugoslavia. The book provides a discussion on the critical race scholarship, global historical sociologies of 'race in translation' and south-east European cultural critique to show that the Yugoslav region is deeply embedded in global formations of race. It considers the geopolitical imagination of popular culture; the history of ethnicity; and transnational formations of race before and during state socialism, including the Non-Aligned Movement. The book also considers the post-Yugoslav discourses of security, migration, terrorism and international intervention, including the War on Terror and the refugee crisis. It elaborates how often-neglected aspects of the history of nationhood and migration reveal connections that tie the region into the global history of race. The book also explains the linkage between ethnic exclusivism and territory in the ethnopolitical logic of the Bosnian conflict and in the internationally mediated peace agreements that enshrined it: 'apartheid cartography'. Race and whiteness remained perceptible in post-war Bosnian identity discourses as new, open-ended forms of post-conflict international intervention developed.
What does race have to do with the Yugoslav region?
identifications with symbolic histories and geographies of race. They include not only identifications with ‘Europe’ as a space of modernity, civilisation and (critical race studies would insist) whiteness, but also analogies drawn between ‘Balkanness’ and ‘blackness’ in imagined solidarity, as well as the race-blind anti-colonialism of Yugoslav Non-Alignment (which, under Tito, cast the leader of this European country as a model of national liberation for the Global South). The Yugoslav region is increasingly likely to be thought of as ‘post-conflict’ and ‘postsocialist’, the
humans wherever they live to essentialised modern or unmodern cultural zones depending on which part of the globe their perceived race attaches them to (Winant 2001 : 16). Like postcolonial theorists, critical race theorists are concerned with ‘the characterization of oneself by reference to what one is not’ (Mills 1997 : 43), ‘ the reliance on difference to produce identity ’ (Winant 2001 : 16; emphasis original). South-east European studies, having adapted postcolonial theory, knows these dynamics well. Yet critical race scholarship adds a further meaning of
Ethnicity and popular music in British cultural studies
7 Sounding out the margins: ethnicity and popular music in British cultural studies SEAN CAMPBELL Introduction In their discussion of the development of British cultural studies,1 Jon Stratton and Ien Ang point out that the ‘energizing impulse’ of the field has ‘historically … lain in [a] critical concern with, and validation of, the subordinate, the marginalized [and] the subaltern within Britain’ (1996: 376). Accordingly, many of the field’s principal practitioners have paid a considerable amount of attention to questions of ‘race’2 and ethnicity in post
Reverend Samuel Johnson, Amos Tutuola, Wole Soyinka and Ben Okri (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997). introduction 14 21/12/04 11:04 am Page 14 Introduction 9 Elleke Boehmer (ed.), Empire Writing: An Anthology of Colonial Literature 1870–1918 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998). There is no room for premature optimism however. Many other early anti-colonial writers remain out of print and critically neglected within postcolonial studies. See for example, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race (London: W.B. Whittingham, 1887
David Lloyd’s work
Hulme and Margaret Iversen (eds.), Colonial Discourse/Postcolonial Theory (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994), pp. 221–38, which follows similar arguments to his Oxford Literary Review article and applies them to the consideration of ethnic cultures within the USA. See Laura Chrisman, ‘Local Sentences in the Chapter of the Postcolonial World’, Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 7, 1 (1998), pp. 87–112, for a critical discussion of Lloyd’s ‘Ethnic Cultures’ article. 2 Kant wrote explicitly on race. See, for example, his ‘Of the Different Human
-modern/trans-modern that have characterized South Asian subaltern studies, Latin American scholarship on coloniality/decoloniality, and postcolonial perspectives at large. The critical concerns extend to the tangible presence yet ambivalent articulations of time/space – turning on “culture” and “tradition” – in formations of history, anthropology, and historical anthropology. On offer are intellectual
Black European Studies (see Gilman 1982 ; Campt 2004 ) – into the Habsburg Empire. German-language literary, visual and consumer culture was part of the Habsburg South Slav everyday, as Pamela Ballinger ( 2004 : 35) and Maria Todorova ( 2005b : 157) both hint when suggesting the aesthetics of whiteness, blackness and race-as-blood in Germany described by Uli Linke ( 1999 ) might have been disseminated to their regions of interest. Just as scholars trace the production of whiteness through ‘cultural archive[s]’ (Wekker 2016 : 2) of advertising material, travel