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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3XG9FR0Q

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Frantz Fanon at the End of the World? Reading Fanon's Philosophy of History Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
Racism
Philosophy of History
Indigenous Resurgence
Négritude
Afropessimism
Postcolonialism
Decolonization
Frantz Fanon
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Balcom, Christopher D
Supervisor and department
Kellogg, Catherine (Political Science)
Examining committee member and department
Kellogg, Catherine (Political Science)
Smith, Malinda (Political Science)
Mookerjea, Sourayan (Sociology)
Department
Department of Political Science
Specialization

Date accepted
2017-07-13T15:55:48Z
Graduation date
2017-11:Fall 2017
Degree
Master of Arts
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
This project seeks to answer two pivotal questions: How does Frantz Fanon think about history, and how might we critically apply his philosophy of history today? In answering the former, I devote the first chapter to a close reading of Fanon’s work, arguing that Fanon offers a philosophy of history that is critically concerned with the possibility of establishing a universal human history. I illustrate that Fanon understands the violence and dehumanization of anti-Black racism and colonialism as barriers to this possibility, and as such he is concerned with establishing the material conditions where a move to the universal might be ponderable. However, I argue that while we can illustrate a certain dialectical consistency in Fanon’s approach to the situations he was confronting, it is worth drawing some critical distinctions between the problems of anti-Black racism and colonialism in Fanon’s work. I take this argument further in the second chapter, where I turn to three contemporary readings of Fanon: Ato Sekyi-Otu’s Fanon’s Dialectic of Experience, Glen Coulthard’s Red Skin, White Masks, and Frank Wilderson III’s Red, White & Black. I argue that while Sekyi-Otu and Coulthard bring important critical insight to bear on Fanon’s work, they focus on the form of his dialectic at the expense of disentangling his problematics. As a useful corrective to this move, I argue that Wilderson’s grounding of Fanon in the history and afterlife of enslavement offers a way of thinking about the more intractable problems of considering universal history in Fanon’s work.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3XG9FR0Q
Rights
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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