Adorno: A Critical Reader presents a collection of new essays by many of the world's top critics that examine Adorno's lasting impact on the arts, politics, history, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and sociology.
Frantz Fanon was a foundational figure in postcolonial and decolonial thought, yet his medical work has only been studied peripherally. With a focus on Fanon’s key psychiatry texts, Frantz Fanon: Psychiatry and Politics considers Fanon’s medical writings as materials anticipating as well as accompanying Fanon’s better known work.
The essays in Fanon and the Decolonization of Philosophy all trace different aspects of the mutually supporting histories of philosophical thought and colonial politics in order to suggest ways that we might decolonize our thinking. From psychology to education, to economic and legal structures, the contributors interrogate the interrelation of colonization and philosophy in order to articulate a Fanon-inspired vision of social justice. This project is endorsed by his daughter, Mireille Fanon-Mendès France, in the book's preface.
Nearly forty years after his death, social philosopher Frantz Fanon remains a towering intellectual figure. Born in Guadeloupe and trained as a psychologist in France, Fanon rejected his French citizenship to join the Algerian liberation movement in the 1950s. A brilliant scholar who developed the theory that some neuroses are socially generated, Fanon's revolutionary works—The Wretched of the Earth, Toward the African Revolution, and Black Skin, White Masks—spurred an African intellectual awakening. The rebirth of Fanonism today in universities and the (...) English-speaking world is a testament to his relevance. Edited by distinguished African-studies professor Nigel C. Gibson, Rethinking Fanon opens with an authoritative biography which corrects fallacious assertions about Fanon's life, situating him in Marxism, Negritude, Pan-Africanism, and the historical context of postwar decolonization, specifically the Algerian revolution. Section one is highlighted by extended discussions of Marx, Fanon's theories on sophisticated forms of cultural racism, and "true liberation." The next section examines Fanon's humanist philosophy, his philosophical and geographical journeys, and his attitude toward the necessity of revolution. Also included is Homi Bhabha's well-known essay "Remembering Fanon," which contemplates the seeming rejection of Fanon in Britain in the 1970s, in contrast to his major following in America and the influence of Fanon on South African writer Steven Biko. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Edward Said discuss the importance of the 1980s' and 1990s' cultural and literary debates on Fanon. Gates notes that Fanon has been reinstated -not as a global theorist of "third world" revolution, but instead as a critic of English writers and British romanticists. Benita Parry reexamines African nationalism and liberation, and sheds new light on Fanon's questions of identity and agency. This excellent collection reflects the continuing impact of Fanon's thought on African-American and African studies, feminism, postcolonialism, and cultural studies. (shrink)
The impetus for this paper was the attack on the shack dweller movement in South Africa in September 2009. One question that emerged from the attack is what can committed intellectuals do to create active solidarity with movements of "the damned of the earth" in times of crisis. Thinldng of Fanon's critique of middle class anticolonial intellectual in The Wretched of the Earth and of Abahlali's insistence that their thinldng counts, the paper considers Fanon concept of political education rejecting the (...) idea that it is something that a vanguard party, an avant garde artist, a self-appointed leader, the military or even a community educator provides. Instead, the paper advocates a radical ethical move toward a constant dialogue that encourages and appreciates the reason of those so often excluded from decision making. But while an ethical shift toward lived experience is a usefiil foundation, intellectual labor applies itself to a search for new beginnings through developing an intellectual space of action where, potentially, the reflecting "consciousness full of contradictions" can help articulate itsphilosophical principles and realize its notion in fiercely democratic grassroots movements which Abahlali's president, S'bu Zikode, calls a "living communism."One may recall that China and the tables began to dance when the rest of the world appeared to be standing still—pour encourager les autres.Marx, Capital (1977: 164). (shrink)
In an earlier paper, written in reaction to those who argued that the African National Congress (ANC) had no alternative but to implement neoliberal economic policies in the context of the 'Washington Consensus', I discussed the strategic choices and ideological pitfalls of the 'political class' who took over state power in South Africa after the end of apartheid and implemented its own homegrown structural adjustment programme (Gibson 2001). Much of this transition has been scripted by political science 'transition literature' and (...) much of it is proactive, mapping out what should be done to establish a 'pacted', 'elite' democracy overseeing neoliberal economic policies (O'Donnell, Schmitter & Whitehead 1986). From another vantage point, I argued that Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth is perhaps one of the most perceptive critiques of the transition literature available. This article continues the discussion. (shrink)
In an earlier paper, written in reaction to those who argued that the African National Congress had no alternative but to implement neoliberal economic policies in the context of the 'Washington Consensus', I discussed the strategic choices and ideological pitfalls of the 'political class' who took over state power in South Africa after the end of apartheid and implemented its own homegrown structural adjustment programme. Much of this transition has been scripted by political science 'transition literature' and much of it (...) is proactive, mapping out what should be done to establish a 'pacted', 'elite' democracy overseeing neoliberal economic policies. From another vantage point, I argued that Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth is perhaps one of the most perceptive critiques of the transition literature available. This article continues the discussion. (shrink)
What better way to celebrate, commemorate, critically reflect on, and think through Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth fifty years after its publication with a new North African syndrome: Revolution—or at least a series of revolts that continue to rock regimes across North Africa and the region. Fanon begins The Wretched writing of decolonization as a program of complete disorder, an overturning of order—often against the odds— willed from the bottom up. Without time or space for a transition, there is (...) instead an absolute replacement of one “species” of humanity by another. In periods of revolution, like the one we are experiencing today, such absolutes appear quite normal. Indeed, radical change becomes the “new normal” and the idea that revolutionary change is impossible is simply the rantings and ravings of the conservatives and reactionaries of the ancient regime. Too long buried under the weight of the tomes of academic discourse, Fanon has been resuscitated by the new dawn of North African revolutions. To celebrate Fanon, the revolutionary, all of a sudden seems contemporary and pertinent, while the musings of the critics who consigned him to postcolonial oblivion seem out of touch. But rather than continuing the painstaking work of exhuming Fanon from the postcolonial burial site, let us turn a commemoration of Fanon into an event. Indeed, why assume that a commemoration of Fanon after fifty years is not critical? Moreover why begin a contemporary engagement with Fanon assuming a priori the limits of his thought? Indeed, where to begin is a philosophic question. It is a question of “intention” as Edward Said puts it in one of his most radical and Vicoian works. Beginnings are revolutionary, implying return and repetition and, following Said, “a sort of historical dialectic that changes its character and meaning.” Vico, Said argues “said that the word human comes from root to bury ” suggesting that “his humanistic philosophy” contained “elements of its own negation.&rdquo. (shrink)