Derrida, Eurocentrism, decolonization

December 21, 2013 § 3 Comments

While I am not the biggest advocate of Aimé Césaire’s work, I’ve always been taken in – in ways that would take more words than I write below to explain – by his comment at the beginning of Discourse on Colonialism that European culture is sick. That bit from Césaire came to mind when I came across this short piece by Simon Glendinning the other day, which discusses Jacques Derrida’s work on Europe, Eurocentrism, and deconstructive critique. « Read the rest of this entry »

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Decolonizing the colonizer: three aspects

December 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

What does it mean to decolonize the colonizer? In a previous post, I asked the question – which has largely been suppressed in white European thought – of what would it mean to decolonize the colonizer. First, there is the question of why this hasn’t been asked of the colonizer, but only of the colonized. My sense is that this question has only been for the colonized because at every level whiteness works as invisibility, in that it is never seen as whiteness in discourse about knowing and being, and also because the colonized are always framed (for better or worse) in terms of violence, whereas white people (the colonizers) are somehow located outside the very frame their (our) imperialism produced.

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On decolonizing the colonizer

December 9, 2013 § 2 Comments

One of the central questions of my Levinas and the Postcolonial is why we haven’t asked what should be a very basic, wholly necessary question: if the colonized have been tasked with decolonizing themselves – at every level – why haven’t the colonizers been tasked with the same? I tried to sketch what that looks like, that decolonization, by examining a single thinker (Levinas). The big question comes from a very basic insight and claim, and yet it’s proven to be controversial.

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Introducing Naipaul and Fanon

November 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

This is the draft introduction to my essay “Martinique Between Naipaul and Fanon,” which I have written about in a number of posts over the past week.

Antillean society is a neurotic society, a comparison society. Hence we are referred back from the individual to the social structure. If there is a flaw, it lies not in the ‘soul’ of the individual, but in his environment.

Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

At first glance, they are two very different, if not outright opposed, thinkers. « Read the rest of this entry »

Fanon and historical process

November 15, 2013 § 2 Comments

One of the key claims in my writing on Fanon is that he eschews history in the name of a new beginning, which is both fantastical and forgetful of those forms of resistance and saying yes to life borne by vernacular cultural forms. For me, this is not just a comment about how Fanon has forgotten something in his analysis. « Read the rest of this entry »

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