First published in Harper’s Magazine in 1953 and again in his 1955 collection Notes ofa Native Son, James Baldwin’s essay “Stranger in the Village” explores Baldwin’s experiences of alienation and estrangement vis-à-vis what he calls “the American vision of the world.” Baldwin writes:

I do not think, for example, that it is too much to suggest that the American vision of the world— which allows so little reality, generally speaking, for any of the darker forces in human life, which tends until today to paint moral issues in glaring black and white—owes a great deal to the battle waged by Americans to maintain between themselves and black men a separation which could not be bridged. It is only now beginning to dawn on us—very faintly, it must be admitted, very slowly, and very much against our will—that this vision of the world is dangerously inaccurate, and perfectly useless.


As we mark Volume 24 of the E3W Review of Books, we find ourselves grappling with what it means to have a vision of the world at all: how do we see ourselves? One another? Which technologies and metaphors of vision have purchase in our lives? How do communities build a vision of the world we want? As we reflect on our work together since the 2022-2023 E3W Review of Books, “From the Ground Up: Embodiment, Resistance, and Sovereign Voices,” we find ourselves galvanized to join in coalitions that engage in that struggle to see—however obscured or distant—more expansive, just futures. Over the past year, we have seen firsthand what—to borrow from Baldwin again—a “dangerously inaccurate” vision of the world sows. Imperialism, extractivism, and interlocking systems of violent oppression have wrought egregious human rights violations across the world, and ongoing threats to teaching, researching, and organizing on university campuses reminds us that these hegemonic forces are inextricably interwoven with our daily practices and habituations.

As we consider how we might characterize both the vision of the world that we see today and the futures that we hope to build together, we are again struck by how community, particularly those bonds across difference, sustains us. These close bonds inspired us, the E3W Collective, to bring the Sequels Symposium and the E3W Review of Books into closer thematic unity this year. Under the shared title of Seeing and Being Seen: Visibility, Difference, and (Self–)Disclosure, it is our hope that the 2024 Sequels Symposium and E3W Review of Books have helped all of us join in on generative conversations about the futures we seek to realize together. As we near a quarter-century of the E3W Review of Books, we are inspired by the constellations of E3W Collective members around the world, many of whom continue to offer their generous and enthusiastic mentorship. With these networks of support in mind, we are thrilled that this year’s shared theme also celebrates the work of our Sequels Symposium keynote speakersDr. Naminata Diabate (PhD Comparative Literature 2011) and Dr. Colleen Eils (PhD English 2015).

It is also our pleasure to share reviews of several works authored and edited by current and former University of Texas at Austin faculty. Dr. Mary Beltrán’s (UT Austin Department of Radio-Television-Film) Latino TV: A History is reviewed in this issue by Morgan Prince, a graduate student in the Master’s in Liberal Studies program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Former Chair in Latin American Art History and Criticism at UT Austin, Dr. Andrea Giunta was the Founding Director of the Center for Latin-American Visual Studies (CLAVIS) at UT Austin. Dr. Giunta’s 2023 book The Political Body: Stories on Art, Feminism, and Emancipation in Latin America is reviewed in this volume by Jenna Reynolds, an instructor of Spanish at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Shannon Potter, second-year PhD student in the UT Austin Department of English, reviews Dr. Julie Avril Minich’s (UT Austin Department of English) Radical HealthUnwellness, Care, and Latinx Expressive Culture. Also in this volume, Dr. Hershini Bhana Young’s (UT Austin Department of African and African Diaspora Studies) Falling, Floating, Flickering: Disability and Differential Movement in African Diasporic Performance is reviewed by sixth-year UT Austin Department of English PhD student Debarati Roy. Edited by

Dr. Christen A. Smith (UT Austin Department of Anthropology, UT Austin Department of African & African Diaspora Studies and Director, UT Austin Center for Women’s & Gender Studies) and Dr. Lorraine Leu’s (UT Austin Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) and UT Austin Department of Spanish & Portuguese) edited collection, Black Feminist Constellations: Dialogue and Translation across the Americas, is reviewed in this volume by Laura Rose Brylowski, PhD Candidate in the UT Austin Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

In this current volume of the Review, we aim to engage a range of approaches to, and ramifications of, the acts of seeing. Beginning us in the global, Iana W. Robitaille’s “What Remains: Imperial Remnants and Imperial Methods” asks, “what residues, visible or obscured, does empire leave in its wake?” Navigating us through reviews of texts that, according to her, offer accounts and interrogations of ‘empire,’ Robitaille carefully explicates their anti-imperial visions. Kerry Kilmer, in her review of Christian Imperial Feminism: White Protestant Women and the Consecration of Empire, begins this section by highlighting Gale L. Kenny’s attention on white protestant women as previously unseen agents of nineteenth-century US empire. On the other hand, Minh Huynh Vu’s review of Intoxicated: Race, Disability, and Chemical Intimacy Across Empire and Keerti Arora’s review of Trauma Mantras focus on recent historical and literary problematizations of transnational knowledge practices that are inflected by Euro-American lenses. Continuing this decentering spirit, Robitaille’s review of Remaindered Life draws attention to globalization as imperial capitalism and accounts its extractivist and exploitative practices “from the side of the surplus, the peripheral, the dispossessed.” Also included in this section is Haley Eazor’s review of the Book of the Disappeared: The Quest for Transnational Justice, which opens space for those that empire erases from sight completely: Eazor describes the text’s content as “moving through lands, peoples, and scholarly, artistic, and legal discourses throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries as methods of greeting and grieving the disappeared.”

In introducing “Art, Performance, and Literature,” Allison Pujol attunes us to the interplay of artistic expression, aesthetics, and pleasure in multi-genre creative work. As Pujol describes, the reviews in this section “center on the cultural meanings created by various creative works, and the ways in which artistic expression not only describe life but wholly define it.” Titles in this section represent scholarship on creative work across genres and temporalities, including staged theatrical performances, sound and musical performance studies, and television. Woven through this rich tapestry of scholarly approaches and disciplinary investments, reviewers in this section have highlighted the urgency, vitality, and scintillating beauty of the artistic practices at the center of each text. Michael Vaclav’s review of Latinx Shakespeares: Staging U.S. Intracultural Theater frames a key contribution of the text similarly: he demonstrates that “Latinx productions and adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays not only track with broader trends toward cultural diversity and inclusivity, they are shown to be active drivers of those movements.” We see a similar attention to the driving force of artistic expression in Holly Genoveses’s review of Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions, in which Genovese argues that Francesca Royster’s book taps into both the co-constitutive genre conventions and cultural meanings of Black country music as it is engaged by Black women, queer folks, and—in Genovese’s words— “even bros” in order to “reimagine a past, express rage, and create a new vision for a new Black Country future.” We create new ways of seeing through and with artistic practice: this too is true in I. B. Hopkin’s review of Oriental, Black, and White: The Formation of Racial Habits in American Theater, which engages, “orientalism’s importance in the early American theatrical vernacular traditions of blackface minstrelsy, vaudeville, and musical comedy,” even and especially as those traditions begin to complicate how we visualize and materialize race in performance. Relatedly, an investment in authenticity and representation echoes in Erin Wheeler Streusand’s review of Unbelonging: Inauthentic Sounds in Mexican and Latinx Aesthetics. Here, Streussand emphasizes the book’s exploration of “dynamic processes of belonging/unbelonging,” particularly as the text asks us to question who is legible as belonging to a particular musical oeuvre and—perhaps most importantly—under whose terms. Morgan Prince’s review of Latino TV: A History similarly engages the politics of visibility, legibility, and belonging for Latino people in television programming. As the text charts a history of Latino representation in US television beginning in the mid-twentieth century, Prince reminds us that representation is not just a function of being visible to an audience: indeed, representation in writers’ rooms and other staff positions is crucial for telling fuller, more realized stories.

In the introduction to their section “Envisioning Liberatory Futures: Technology, Infrastructure, and Archives,” Ali Gunnells and Trent Wintermeier ask a foundational question: what exactly is technology? By redefining developments not usually considered technology—archives, storytelling, performance—as technology, the reviews in this section interrogate the extant definition of technology as they argue for a more expansive understanding thereof, one informed by and inclusive of marginalized and neglected processes, techniques, and perspectives. Moreover, the reviews in “Envisioning Liberatory Futures” highlight the intersections of current theoretical frameworks: both those—like the titular ‘feminist AI’ found in Kimberlyn R. Harrison’s review—that offer fresh and vital perspectives, and those that have limited or stifled the development thereof, like the disregard of feminist approaches seen in leftist groups in South America seen in Jenna Reynolds’ review of The Political Body: Stories on Art, Feminism, and Emancipation in Latin America. Finally, Ali Gunnells’ review of Migrant Feelings, Migrant Knowledge: Building a Community Archive returns to the question of technology, inviting us to consider how stories, in the form of a digital archive, can be leveraged towards political ends.

In their section “Bodies That Matter Now, Yesterday, and Tomorrow: Health, Disability, and Biopolitics,” Weston Leo Richey invites us to “wrestle with the mattering of the body/mind” in reviews of texts that according to Richey participate in a temporally continuous vision of how bodies matter. They remind us that disability studies, the health humanities, and critical theory are working against the mass propensity to forget the simple, yet overlooked truth that bodies matter, especially today, four years after the COVID19 pandemic brought it into glaring focus. Shannon Potter’s review of Radical Health: Unwellness, Care, and Latinx Expressive Culture opens this section by elucidating Julie Avril Minich’s social justice-oriented conceptualization of “radical health” as a politic “that understands wellbeing as a shared responsibility” as it delineates mechanisms extraneous to individual rationality that perpetuates debilitation. Potter also underlines Minich’s emphasis on Latinx art as “political intervention” that can illuminate the “multifaceted realities of embodied unwellness . . . [and] claims it as an essential resource in imagining new possibilities.” Paige Welsh’s review of Haunting Biology: Science and Indigeneity in Australia follows in an ethical mode, and focuses on “objects and discourses on indigenous biological difference” in Australia.” Welsh explains Emma Kowal’s methodological posturing towards preventing “future racist harm.” Giulia A. Oprea’s and Debarati Roy’s reviews conclude this section by their respective foci on Samuel Ginsburg and Hershini Bhana Young’s engagements with Caribbean and African cultural creators’ disruptive mobilization of hegemonic technology and the racialized body. While Oprea’s review of The Cyborg Caribbean: Techno-Dominance in Twenty-First-Century Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican Science Fiction shows Ginsburg’s reading of Caribbean science fiction narratives for their subversion and resistance force, Roy’s review of Falling, Floating, Flickering: Disability and Differential Movement in African Diasporic Performance takes readers through Young’s interdisciplinary theorizing of corporeal movement in diasporic performance to “unravel stilted categories of the ‘human,’ that reduce Black bodies to devalued “flesh.”

Sam Turner begins “Felt Seeing: Gender, Sexuality, and Affective Potentials” with a vision of the expansiveness of the conversations this section’s reviews entail. Turner writes that “there is space for many to feel here,” and reviews in this section certainly deliver on this promise. Nathalia P. Hernández Ochoa’s review of The Force of Witness: Contra Feminicide engages the text’s expansive treatment of witnessing practices in the context of feminicides at the U.S.-Mexico border and attendant ongoing fights for justice for feminicide victims. This review frames the practice of witnessing as one that “moves beyond the traditional legal and judicial traditions as proof and incorporates evidence of that which cannot be seen: collective agency, resistance, solidarity, and memories against necropolitical policies, the power of human life force.” Taking this practice— witnessing across space, temporalities, and even networks of relation—as an anchor for the section, we find echoes of such attention to solidarity in Spencer Williams’s review of Willie Edward Taylor Carver Jr.’s Gay Poems for Red States. Williams shows us how this collection of poems “dutifully sifts through the muck—the pain, the grief, the elation, and confusion—of queer rebellion […] In Carver Jr.’s hands, this double-edged kinship does not feel contradictory, despite the lingering aches.” Williams leads us to think about these poems as acts of (and perhaps guides to) a particular witnessing, one that we see perhaps refracted in a new way in Courtney Welu’s review of Supervision: On Motherhood and Surveillance. Welu’s review reminds us of the contingent and contextual shape of witnessing and surveillance, “showing that our entanglements with these technologies are incredibly complex.” She draws our attention to avenues for considering, given our multiple positionalities, how it might be possible for some surveillance practices to be leveraged “to help transform mothering to be more just and equitable, creating space for mothers to grow and learn from one another.” Such a careful attention to positionality also guides inquiry in Ana Equihua Ramirez’s review of Mainstreaming Gays: Critical Convergences of Queer Media, Fan Cultures, and Commercial Television. Ramirez’s review demonstrates some complications of visibility and legibility: namely, Ramirez points us to how this text “holds space for the tensions [the movement toward mainstreaming LGBTQIA+ media] generated, as people of color, trans people, and women became marginalized within LGBTQ platforms and spaces when networks shifted their focus to draw in straight viewers through LGBTQ content.” Here, as we have seen, there is a double-bind of witnessing and visibility that can visit uneven outcomes on marginalized communities. Indeed, this tension is one that is familiar in the final book in this section. Weston Leo Richey’s review of Lauren Berlant’s On the Inconvenience of Other People. Richey’s incisive work with this text attunes us to “all the myriad possibilities our inconvenient attachments to the world and everything in it bear,” even—as Richey closes—when we ourselves are that inconvenient thing. As Berlant argues that understanding is perhaps this is one route to building a new world, Richey concurrently demonstrates how our own inconvenience, too, can be a gift.

Sheyda Aisha Khaymaz and Junika Hawker-Thompson’s “Black Spatial (Re)Imaginings: On Organizing, Affect, and Listening” brings together texts that engage space, place, media, and movements in what these editors call “transnationality, transdisciplinarity, and nonhegemonic multipolarity” in order to “bring attention to the richness and variety in contemporary Black intellectual discourse.” At the start of the section, Jade Evans reviews The Black Geographic: Praxis, Resistance, and Futurity with attention to the book’s work to “[render] visible the past and present Black geographies that dominant geographies try to erase.” As Evans demonstrates, this visibility demands a particular kind of witnessing and brings forth provocative questions for the future(s) of Black studies, critical geographies, and allied disciplines. Such an attention to making visible and spatial inheres in Laura Rose Brylowski’s review of the anthology Black Feminist Constellations: Dialogue and Translation across the Americas. Brylowski highlights how the book’s exigence necessitates that we listen to this text as it materializes the kitchen table as a key site of Black feminist intellectual work and exchange. As readers, Brylowski writes, we are “invited into the kitchen—a space of intimacy, connection, and provocation.” Miranda Allen’s review of Feelin: Creative Practice, Pleasure, and Black Feminist Thought also demonstrates a particular practice of making- visible, this time through Bettina Judd’s inventive multimodal compositions. Allen shares that Judd’s creative inclusion of a wide range of genres and mediums in this archive and exploration of Black feminist thought— including QR codes, data visualizations, narratives, and more—opens unique possibilities to “illuminate the complex interplay of emotion, creativity, and Black feminist thought.” Closing the section, Etyelle Pinheiro de Araujo’s review of After Black Lives Matter: Policing and Anti-Capitalist Struggle takes a similar interest in complexity, working out how this text might give particular and visibility to the “mobilizations of [the Black Lives Matter movement] through the perspective of class conflict and the role played by capitalism in the maintenance of State violence.” Here, Pinheiro de Araujo also demonstrates in this review that “it is important not to lose sight of the role played by race relations” in mass incarceration of Black people in the United States.

I. B. Hopkins and Jack Murphy’s “Transcending Boundaries: Indigeneity in Theory and Practice” finds itself in tension: if the Indigenous is a construct largely defined by, and by its opposition to, settler-colonial practices, whose interests does it serve? Ali Yanik and Nina Gary, in their reviews of Bad Indians and True Detective: Night Country, respectively, point out the effective elision of Indigenous peoples from even the public school curriculum and popular media that ostensibly aims to center their experiences. Cindy-Lou Holland’s review of Dancing Indigenous Worlds: Choreographies of Relation, through its invocation of ‘Indigenous refusal,’ suggests the coloniality of knowledge-seeking, and Jo Hurt’s review of Decolonial Conversations in Posthuman and New Material Rhetorics argues similarly that the new materialist turn in rhetoric scholarship, with its focus on posthumanism and ecological criticism, is likewise inseparable from settler-colonial frameworks. Together, the reviews in this section showcase both the indispensability and limitations of Indigenous Studies, even as they gesture towards new directions in which it can be taken.

As we close this introduction, we invite you to join us all in renewed commitments and approaches to seeing and being seen: to strategic mobilizations of visibility, to making material that which has been purposefully and unjustly concealed, to drawing new disciplinary boundaries that expand our vision of what might be on offer in our own academic practices. To return to Baldwin’s words in “Stranger the Village,” we find even more exhortation to see clearly. Baldwin writes that: “People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.” If you are holding this volume in your hand or perusing it online, you know something about the great joy that we take as part of the E3W Collective. To have partners in thought, many dispersed around the world, who will not only hold you accountable to seeing clearly, as Baldwin warns us, but who will also help you see in new ways: this is a gift. Indeed, as many of the reviews in this volume have demonstrated, opening our eyes to reality is the only way that we are able to undertake the work of charting out the worlds we want to inhabit. We invite you to continue this work with us.