New interdisciplinary essays
Editor: Max Silverman

Frantz Fanon's Peau noire, masques blancs (Black Skin, White Masks) was published by the Paris-based publishing house Editions du Seuil in 1952 when Fanon was twenty-seven. This book first develops the theme of the francophone contextualisation of Peau noire by concentrating on the specifically Martinican references in the text which have either been effaced or distorted in subsequent representations of Fanon. By retrieving the specific cultural and historical significance attached to particular linguistic items in the text, the book reveals the unconscious traces of a history which Fanon consciously wants to expunge. It is precisely the question of expunging the past. The book argues that Fanon's desire for a violent rupture with the past and a new beginning rules out the possibility of a Creole conception of Caribbean history and culture associated today with the writers. The book also situates Peau noire in the context of racism in metropolitan France and explores different aspects of Fanon's engagement with Sartre in Peau noire. It focuses specifically on the relationship between anti-Semitism and anti-Black racism, and discusses Fanon's engagement with another of Sartre's texts, 'Orphée noir'. The book further discusses Fanon's engagement with Sartre and the tension between universalism and particularism. Finally, it concentrates on studies of the psychic, existential and political dimensions of racial ideology in Peau noire.

Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference raises a host of crucial questions regarding the relevance of Fanon today: in today’s world, where violence and terror have gone global, what conclusions might we draw from Fanon’s work? Should we keep on blaming Fanon for the colonial violence, which he internalized and struggled against, and overlook the fact that the very Manichaeism that previously governed the economy of colonial societies is now generating violence and terror on a global scale? Has the new humanism which he inaugurates in the concluding section of The Wretched of the Earth turned out to be nothing but a vain plea? What grounds for optimism does he allow us, if any? What is to be salvaged from his ethics and politics in this age of globalization?

Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference offers a new reading of Fanon’s work, challenging many of the reconstructions of Fanon in critical and postcolonial theory and in cultural studies and probing a host of crucial issues: the intersectionality of gender and colonial politics; the biopolitics of colonialism; Marxism and decolonization; tradition, translation and humanism. Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference underscores the ethical dimension of Fanon’s work by focusing on his project of decolonization and humanism.

Bryan Cheyette

74 Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks 4 Frantz Fanon and the Black-Jewish imaginary1 BRYAN CHEYETTE In his posthumously published essays on the Algerian revolution, L’An V de la révolution algérienne (1959), Frantz Fanon characterises Algerian Jewry, which made up ‘le cinquième de la population non musulmane d’Algérie‘ (‘one-fifth of the nonMoslem population of Algeria’) (Fanon 2001: 142; Fanon 1989: 153), as containing three distinct strands. First, ‘les commerçants juifs’ (‘Jewish tradesmen’) who are mainly invested in French rule and therefore do not

in Frantz Fanon’s 'Black Skin, White Masks
Azzedine Haddour

2 A poststructuralist reading of Fanon Introduction In the early 1960s, after his death, Fanon became the symbol of anticolonial struggle in the Third World. At the same time, in the United States, black political activists involved in the civil rights movement embraced his views. The initial infatuation with Fanon gave rise to a militant trend in Fanonian scholarship. This trend was, however, short lived and had abated by the end of the 1960s and early 1970s. At the time, Fanon became important in the field of social sciences, namely in the departments of

in Frantz Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference
Azzedine Haddour

1 The significance of Sartre in Fanon Introduction The influence of Being and Nothingness, Anti-Semite and Jew and Black Orpheus is perceptible in the work of Fanon, and the ethical dimension of existential phenomenology is fundamental to his anticolonial project. In Existentialism Is a Humanism, Sartre writes: ‘my intimate discovery of myself is at the same time the revelation of the other as a freedom that confronts my own and that cannot think or will without doing so either for or against me. We are thus immediately thrust into a world that we may call

in Frantz Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference
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Max Silverman

1 Introduction Introduction MAX SILVERMAN All he’d ever wanted, from earliest childhood on, was to be free: not black, not even white – just on his own and free. (Philip Roth, The Human Stain) Nos frères de couleur … Je crois en toi, Homme … (Our coloured brothers … Mankind, I believe in you) (Frantz Fanon, Peau noire, masques blancs) Frantz Fanon’s Peau noire, masques blancs (Black Skin, White Masks) was published by the Paris-based publishing house Editions du Seuil in 1952 when Fanon was twenty-seven. At the time of writing, Fanon, born in the French

in Frantz Fanon’s 'Black Skin, White Masks
Fanon’s response to Sartre
Robert Bernasconi

100 Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks 5 The European knows and does not know: Fanon’s response to Sartre ROBERT BERNASCONI Jean-Paul Sartre’s ‘Orphée noir’, his introduction to Leopold Sédar Senghor’s Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie nègre et malgache de langue française, explicitly raises the question of how Whites should respond to the poems included there (Sartre 1948: ix; Sartre 2001: 115). He concedes that a white man can hardly speak suitably of Negritude (Sartre 1948: xxix; Sartre 2001: 129), and yet he offers to explain to Whites what Blacks

in Frantz Fanon’s 'Black Skin, White Masks
Reading Peau noire, masques blancs in context
Jim House

46 Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks 3 Colonial racisms in the ‘métropole’: reading Peau noire, masques blancs in context JIM HOUSE This chapter aims to provide a historical reading of the many examples of racism in ‘metropolitan’ France that Fanon cites and comments upon. It also analyses the significance of Peau noire for our understanding of the various cultures of colonial racism, evaluating the text in relation to the different currents within the opposition to racism circulating in France from the 1930s to the early 1960s. Fanon’s preoccupation with

in Frantz Fanon’s 'Black Skin, White Masks
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Frantz Fanon and René Maran
David Marriott

146 Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks 8 En moi: Frantz Fanon and René Maran DAVID MARRIOTT But I have that within which passeth show; / These but the trappings and the suits of woe (Hamlet, Act 1 Scene 2) (Mais j’ai ceci en moi qui surpasse l’apparence; le reste n’est que faste et parture de la douleur, Hamlet, trans. André Gide, Paris: Gallimard, 1946) La première caractéristique semble être la peur de se montrer tel qu’on est (The first characteristic seems to be the dread of showing oneself as one actually is) (Germaine Guex, La névrose d

in Frantz Fanon’s 'Black Skin, White Masks
David Macey

12 Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks 1 Adieu foulard. Adieu madras DAVID MACEY Nos observations et nos conclusions ne valent que pour les Antilles. (Our observations and our conclusions apply only to the West Indies.) (Peau noire: 11)1 In the first chapter of Peau noire Fanon imagines (or recalls) a young man on the point of leaving Martinique for metropolitan France. Perhaps he is recalling his own departure from the island in 1946. The young man is about to embark on the steamer that will, after ten to twelve days at sea, deposit him in Le Havre. From

in Frantz Fanon’s 'Black Skin, White Masks