Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Book Launch: Lewis Gordon's 'What Fanon Said'

The Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University invites you to the launch of Lewis Gordon’s new book “What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction to His Life and Thought”.

Speakers: Lewis Gordon will be in conversation with Abdul R. JanMohamed & Richard Pithouse

Date:  30 September 2015

Time: 5:00 p.m.

Venue: Humanities Seminar Room

 Copies of the book will be on sale at the discounted price of R200 (cash only).

What Fanon Said

Antiblack racism avows reason is white while emotion, and thus supposedly unreason, is black. Challenging academic adherence to this notion, Lewis R. Gordon offers a portrait of Martinican-turned-Algerian revolutionary psychiatrist and philosopher Frantz Fanon as an exemplar of “living thought” against forms of reason marked by colonialism and racism. Working from his own translations of the original French texts, Gordon critically engages everything in Fanon from dialectics, ethics, existentialism, and humanism to philosophical anthropology, phenomenology, and political theory as well as psychiatry and psychoanalysis.

Gordon takes into account scholars from across the Global South to address controversies around Fanon’s writings on gender and sexuality as well as political violence and the social underclass. In doing so, he confronts the replication of a colonial and racist geography of reason, allowing theorists from the Global South to emerge as interlocutors alongside northern ones in a move that exemplifies what, Gordon argues, Fanon represented in his plea to establish newer and healthier human relationships beyond colonial paradigms.

“Gordon allows us to read Fanon in new and different ways, contextualizing his thought in a wide arc of knowledge—from St. Augustine and traditional Akan philosophy to contemporaries such as De Beauvoir, Sartre, and Senghor, to more recent continental philosophers. Along the way, Gordon incorporates relevant debates from contemporary theoretical movements such as critical race theory. What Fanon Said is a provocative and illuminating study.”
—Abdul R. JanMohamed, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Berkeley

"In the hands of Lewis Gordon, What Fanon Said, becomes what Frantz Fanon says to us today. The book brings alive the revolutionary thought and practice of Fanon into the continuing struggles for structural economic, political, social, and psychic transformations of our world. The struggle against anti-black racism is an integral part of it, and Gordon's Fanon is the many-sided thinker who saw it all and give it words of fire in his works, particularly Black Skin, White Masks and The Damned of the Earth."
—Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, author of Wizard of the Crow

Lewis Gordon

Lewis R. Gordon is Professor of Philosophy and Africana Studies, with affiliations in Asian and Asian American Studies, Caribbean and Latino/a Studies, and Judaic Studies, at the University of Connecticut at Storrs; European Union Visiting Chair in Philosophy at Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, France; Nelson Mandela Visiting Professor of Politics and International Studies at Rhodes University, South Africa; and Chairman of the Anna Julia Cooper, Frantz Fanon, Nicolás Guillén, and Claudia Jones awards committees of the Caribbean Philosophical Association.   A graduate of Yale University and the Lehman Scholars Program of the City University of New York, he is the author of several influential monographs such as Bad Faith and Antiblack Racism (Humanities Press, 1995; Humanity Books, 1999), Fanon and the Crisis of European Man (Routledge, 1995), Her Majesty’s Other Children (Rowman & Littelfield, 1997), which won the Gustavus Meyer Award for Human Rights in North America, Existentia Africana (Routledge, 2000), Disciplinary Decadence (Paradigm Publishers, 2006), An Introduction to Africana Philosophy (Cambridge UP, 2008), and, with Jane Anna Gordon, Of Divine Warning: Reading Disaster in the Modern Age (Paradigm), anthologies such as Fanon: A Critical Reader (Blackwell’s), Existence in Black (Routledge), A Companion to African-American Studies (Blackwell’s), and Not Only the Master’s Tools (Paradigm), more than 200 articles, many of which have been translated into several languages, and interviews and essays for a variety of public forums, including Truthout.org on which he now serves on the Board of Directors.  His most recent book is What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction to His Life and Thought (Fordham UP, 2015), and he is completing a series of monographs in such languages as Romanian, Spanish, and French.  His work is the subject of articles, essays, dissertations, anthologies, and monographs across the globe.