Kerry James Marshall, Past Times

Frantz Fanon: Colonialism, Psychology, and the American City

Instructor: Holly McGee
1910 Elm Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

The vast majority of race riots in the United States (and in Cincinnati especially) have been, in some substantive way, directly connected to racial and ethnic competition for artificially scarce resources—in particular, literal space and figurative place. Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth plumbs psychoanalytic theory and Fanon’s own psychiatric and revolutionary experiences in North Africa in order to understand not merely the political economy of colonization, but also its dehumanizing effects on individuals and nations in places as disparate as Algeria and French-colonized islands in the Caribbean. In this course, we will read Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth in depth, exploring its analysis of colonial psychologies and struggle, and relating it to the movement of black bodies in and around white-controlled spaces in our own context. How does colonization work to dehumanize its subjects? How do the colonizer and colonized understand themselves? What connects the colonial projects Fanon describes to the history of American racial settlement, from race rioting to migration to contemporary gentrifications of deteriorated urban neighborhoods (as is currently taking place in sections of Cincinnati)? How does Wretched of the Earth compel a consideration of the psychological problems encountered by all peoples confined and then controlled within seemingly racist societies?

Course Schedule

Thursday, 6:00-9:00pm
October 04 — November 01, 2018
4 sessions over 5 weeks
Class will not meet Thursday, October 25th.


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