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Ordinary Intimacies in Emerson, Du Bois, and Baldwin
Prentiss Clark

This essay reads James Baldwin in conversation with two unexpected interlocutors from the American nineteenth and twentieth centuries: Ralph Waldo Emerson and W. E. B. Du Bois. What draws these historically distant and intellectually different thinkers together, their differences making their convergences all the more resonant and provocative, is a shared mode of attention they bring to the social crises of their eras. It is a mode of attention foregrounding how the often unobserved particulars and emotional registers of human life vitally shape civic existence; more specifically, a mode of attention provoking us to see how “a larger, juster, and fuller future,” in Du Bois’s words, is a matter of the ordinary intimacies and estrangements in which we exist, human connections in all their expressions and suppressions. Emerson names them “facts [. . .] harder to read.” They are “the finer manifestations,” in Du Bois’s terms, “of social life, which history can but mention and which statistics can not count”; “All these things,” Baldwin says, “[. . .] which no chart can tell us.” In effect, from the 1830s to the 1980s these thinkers bear witness to what politics, legislation, and even all our knowledges can address only partially, and to the potentially transformative compensations we might realize in the way we conduct our daily lives. The immediate relevance and urgency this essay finds in their work exists not in proposed political actions, programs for reform, or systematic theories of social justice but in the way their words revitalize the ethical question “How shall I live?” Accumulative and suggestive rather than systematically comparative or polemical, this essay attempts to engage with Emerson, Du Bois, and Baldwin intimately, to proceed in the spirit of their commitment to questioning received disciplines, languages, and ways of inhabiting the world.

James Baldwin Review
Paul Currion

expectation that “now is the time to deliver”’( Sandvik, 2017 : 1) when it comes to innovation. For those humanitarian professionals who engage in innovation because they want to transform the way in which the aid industry works, this presents a challenge. Most such professionals recognise that it is unreasonable to expect ‘innovation’ alone to fix long-standing problems within the humanitarian sector, and equally unreasonable not to expect it to create new problems; but the expectations of the entire

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design
Mark Duffield

spirit of 1970s direct humanitarian action was fabricated from a deductive process of knowledge formation framed by narratives of history, causation and reciprocity. Reflecting the rise to dominance of a cybernetic episteme, this register has been replaced by a reliance on inductive mathematical data and machine-thinking for sense-making ( Rouvroy, 2012 ). Thinking has been transformed into calculation ( Han, 2013 ). 1 The current dominance within the academy of empiricism and behaviourism reflects this change in world-experience. What is often

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Four Decisive Challenges Confronting Humanitarian Innovation
Gerard Finnigan and Otto Farkas

haze had little knowledge, understanding or guidance of how to reduce the impact for the community in need. The second context challenge confronting humanitarian response organisations is the rapid growth in urbanisation. Population densities are changing from rural to urban living, with estimates that the 54 per cent of the global population currently living in urban areas is projected to increase to 66 per cent by 2050 ( UNDESA, 2014 ). In South Asia, 190.7 million people reside in

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Digital Bodies, Data and Gifts
Kristin Bergtora Sandvik

knowledge gap regarding the development and deployment of wearables in emergencies, where there are deep, extra-democratic power differences between beneficiaries and structurally unaccountable humanitarian actors, donors and private-sector actors. This article suggests that humanitarian wearables have a structural dimension that risks being overlooked when the deployment of ‘wearables for good’ is framed as ‘technical’ and/or ‘good – rather than political. Most scholarship on

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
From the Global to the Local
Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

‘privatised’, not in the sense of private institutions providing education or health care, but in the sense of these processes taking place within the private sphere of the home, and depending on the skills and knowledge of family members. 15 In essence, the ‘privatisation’ of health and learning emerges as a prime example of refugees being expected to fill the gaps created both by international funding cuts and operational responses to these. In turn, if relatives do not have these skills, knowledge, or indeed time or energy, the implications

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Community–university research partnerships in global perspectives

This book is based on a three-year international comparative study on poverty reduction and sustainability strategies . It provides evidence from twenty case studies around the world on the power and potential of community and higher education based scholars and activists working together in the co-creation of transformative knowledge. Opening with a theoretical overview of knowledge, democracy and action, the book is followed by analytical chapters providing lessons learned and capacity building, and on the theory and practice of community university research partnerships. It also includes lessons on models of evaluation, approaches to measuring the impact and an agenda for future research and policy recommendations. The book overviews the concept of engaged scholarship and then moves to focus on community-university research partnerships. It is based on a global empirical study of the role of community-university research partnerships within the context of poverty alleviation, the creation of sustainable societies and, broadly speaking, the Millennium Development Goals. The book frames the contribution of community-university research partnerships within a larger knowledge democracy framework, linking this practice to other spaces of knowledge democracy. These include the open access movement, new acceptance of the methods of community-based and participatory research and the call for cognitive justice or the need for epistemologies of the Global South. It takes a particular look at the variety of structures that have been created in the various universities and civil society research organizations to facilitate and enhance research partnerships.

Open Access (free)
Budd L. Hall, Edward T. Jackson, Rajesh Tandon, Jean-Marc Fontan and Nirmala Lall

27 Agenda for the future Budd L. Hall, Edward T. Jackson, Rajesh Tandon, Jean-Marc Fontan, Nirmala Lall As partners in the study that led to the creation of this book, we are encouraged by what we see as increased visibility for a knowledge democracy movement. In this volume, we have documented the emergence of new practices and new theory that highlight the relationship of knowledge and its construction to issues of local and global social justice. Community–university research partnerships can be critically important locations of transformative energy in the

in Knowledge, democracy and action
Johan Östling

transformed.14 In this respect, knowledge is considered a genuinely historical phenomenon. The central issues have nothing to do with certain forms of knowledge being good or bad, useful or useless, but simply with how, when, and why a certain type of knowledge appears and possibly vanishes, and, ultimately, what effects it has, in what contexts it appears, who are its bearers, in what forms it is manifested, and so forth. In studying the history of knowledge, one must therefore take into account what was considered to be knowledge at a given time and in a given context

in Humboldt and the modern German university
Laura Chrisman

. More than any other academic field, cultural studies provides the potential for new forms of teaching, learning and knowledge that are local-based and people-led. I would go further and suggest that cultural studies also provides the potential for new forms of cultural production and policy. South African cultural studies could provide an institutional matrix in which the traditional distinctions between academic and aesthetic production, like those between theoretical reflection and policy development, are deliberately interrogated, challenged and transformed. The

in Postcolonial contraventions