Thursday, 29 September 2011

Fanon symposium to recall activist’s life

Frantz Fanon, a spokesman against colonialism in Africa in the 1950s, will be remembered in a free public symposium Tuesday (Oct. 4) and Oct. 6 and 7 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Fanon (1925-1961), a Martinique-born psychiatrist, theorist and activist, became an unlikely spokesperson for the Algerian revolution against the French in the 1950s. A critic of colonialism, racism and oppression, he wrote “The Wretched of the Earth” (1961), studied in fields including African and diaspora studies and political science. His other books are “Black Skin, White Masks” (1952), “A Dying Colonialism” (1959) and “Toward the African Revolution” (1964).

The symposium, sponsored by UNC’s African Studies Center and Latina/o studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences, will be in the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, 150 South Road. Those interested in attending are asked to register in advance. Call (919) 962-9001, email or visit the Facebook event page,

Symposium events will be:
  • Oct. 4, 7 p.m.: Screening and discussion of the documentary “Frantz Fanon: His Life, His Struggle, His Work” (2001).
  • Oct. 6, 7 p.m.: Keynote address by Mirelle Fanon Mendés-France, Fanon’s daughter, a human rights activist and president of the Frantz Fanon Foundation in Paris. Linda Carty, associate professor of African American studies at Syracuse University, will respond.
  • Oct. 7, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Discussions by scholars and activists from UNC and other institutions (see the Facebook page for a list). Institutions represented will include the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico; Duke, N.C. Central and St. Cloud universities; and the universities of Connecticut and Minnesota.
“Fanon was one of the great thinkers of the 20th century,” said Joseph Jordan, Ph.D., Stone Center director. “He remains one of our most widely read theorists.”

Photo of Mendés-France:

Stone Center contact: Clarissa Goodlett, (919) 962-0395,

News Services contact: LJ Toler, (919) 962-8589