Volume 7 (2021): Issue 1 (Sep 2021)

in James Baldwin Review



Volume 7 of James Baldwin Review presents our first group of guest-edited essays, concentrating our attention on Baldwin and film, considered broadly, in a special section edited by Robert Jackson entitled “Finding Work for the Devil.” The essays in this section, from Robert Jackson, Karen Thorsen, D. Quentin Miller, Hayley O’Malley, and Peter Lurie, grew out of a panel hosted by JBR at the Modern Language Association’s meeting in Seattle in January of 2020. As Jackson notes in his introduction to the section, Baldwin’s relationship with film throughout his life was complicated:

"Film is such a big topic in Baldwin’s life and career that it can almost be invisible at times, like geological time or climate change or some other pattern whose scale renders it invisible … Baldwin’s relationship with film, meanwhile, is not just one thing; it takes many forms, and it changes a great deal over the course of his life."

From Thorsen’s remembrance of her lunch with Baldwin in 1986 to O’Malley’s deep dig through archival riches, from Miller’s innovative reading of The Devil Finds Work as a love story to Lurie’s examination of the impacts Baldwin’s cinematic visions continue to make in current film, this special, guest-edited section of James Baldwin Review presents a close focus on a specific topic in Baldwin’s life, work, and legacy.

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