'I Am My Own Foundation': Frantz Fanon as a Source of Continued Political Embarrassment

Theory, Culture and Society 27 (7-8):33-51 (2010)
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Abstract

It has become almost conventional to describe the early work of Frantz Fanon as an expression of individual political revolt, and his later work as testimony to his commitment to a collective revolution. This article contends that the early work, while individualistic, is a continued source of political embarrassment in that it is unclassifiable and raises difficult issues about the construction of race and racism, as well as challenging conventional views of Fanon as ‘revolutionary’ psychiatrist. Fanon’s representation of his native Martinique, which he effectively disowned, is negative, but proves to be of surprising contemporary relevance, while his analysis of the mechanisms of racism is still pertinent: the situation in which racist stereotypes are invoked may have changed, but the stereotypical structures they employ remain remarkably constant, as do their profoundly dehumanizing effects. Fanon raises embarrassing questions for a French Republic that claims to be universal, demonstrating that its universal values are undermined by those it claims as its subjects.

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Fanon’s postcolonial cosmopolitanism.Julian Go - 2013 - European Journal of Social Theory 16 (2):208-225.

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