105. Meeting the Gaze: Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin White Masks

Posted on 24 July 2022

Frantz Fanon combines psychoanalysis and existential phenomenology to diagnose neuroses deriving from the colonial condition.

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Further Reading

• F. Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, trans. C.L. Markmann (New York: 1967).

• F. Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, trans. R. Philcox (New York: 2008).

• F. Fanon, Alienation and Freedom, ed. J. Khalfa and R.J.C. Young, trans. S. Corcoran (London: 2018).

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• G. Arnall, Subterranean Fanon: An Underground Theory of Radical Change (New York: 2020).

• R. Bernasconi, "On Needing Not to Know and Forgetting What One Never Knew: The Epistemology of Ignorance in Fanon's Critique of Sartre" in S. Sulliva and N. Tuana (eds), Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance (Albany: 2007), 231-239.

• S. Bird-Pollan, Hegel, Freud and Fanon: The Dialectic of Emancipation (London: 2015).

• P. Bouvier, Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon: Portraits de décolonisés (Paris: 2010).

• N.C. Gibson, Fanon: The Postcolonial Imagination (Cambridge, UK: 2003).

• L.R. Gordon, What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction to His Life and Thought (New York: 2015).

• D. Macey, Frantz Fanon: A Biography (London: 2012).

• L. Turner, "Fanon Reading (W)right, The (W)right Reading of Fanon: Race, Modernity, and the Fate of Humanism" in R. Bernasconi and S. Cook (eds), Race and Racism in Continental Philosophy (Bloomington: 2003), 151-175. 

Comments

Tarun G 31 July 2022

Thank you for exploring Black thought as Africana philosophy, that lets you include critical theorists from the 20th century too. This is the best possible intro and study companion to Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks, and I always appreciate how learner-friendly your podcast is, with all the scholarly references neatly cited.

I know HOPWAG is on a summer break, but when you're back, will you cover Fanon's Wretched of the Earth? Please don't stop with just Black Skin—Fanon, like Dignaga, Avicenna, and Plato, deserves more than one episode! Episodes on both of Fanon's key works will be super-helpful. Fanon's advocacy of violent revolution will also be interesting to look at, in light of Martin Luther King, Thoreau, Marx, and Gandhi—the latter three, I hope, will get covered in future episodes on 19th century and modern Indian philosophy respectively. Great group of thinkers to think about non-violent resistance with—alongside the ancient Indians of course!

But one thing about this episode, though: while its coverage is excellent, I'd appreciate text help for that French 'n' term. I don't (yet) speak French fluently, and it may take a while for the Africana book to be out. I love using terms from native languages even in English-language essays, for precision—much like your own use in the India book. (India podcast episodes, for instance, often featured such terms either in the blurbs or references. And there aren't silent letters for most Sanskrit words rendered in English, so that also makes it easy to instantly identify. Not to mention my own comfort with Indian languages.)

Also, if you're including Kwame Anthony Appiah in Africana, can you invite him as a guest in the episodes on his work? 

Thanks, glad you appreciated this episode! The next episode is actually on Wretched of the Earth, that will be up in early September. And the "n-word" in French you are asking about is spelled negre.

Tarun G 1 August 2022

In reply to by Peter Adamson

Thanks, Prof. Adamson, for clarifying the term! I'm thrilled the next episode is on Wretched... 

My suggestion on featuring Appiah as guest (if he's available and interested) comes from this SOAS course. On how Africana philosophy dialogues with 20th and 21st century 'Western'/Anglophone philosophy, perhaps?

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