chapter  7
FANON AND THE PITFALLS OF CULTURAL STUDIES
ByNIGEL GIBSON
Pages 26

After reading Edward Said’s thesis in “Traveling Theory” that, taken out of their cultural contexts, theories lose some of their original power and rebelliousness, one might be led to ask what has been lost now that Fanon, removed from his own cultural context, is heard mainly in English and in the university setting.1 Does Fanon have a relevance beyond the Anglo-American academy? Whereas Fanon’s own traveling from Martinique to France to Algeria, and abandonment of his French citizenship, were marks of his development as a revolutionary, and his trip to Washington marked his death, it is in the US that the most vocal rebirth of Fanonism is evident. Today the discussion of Fanon in the English-speaking world is in contrast to the relative lack of discussion of Fanon in French.2 Yet, Fanon still demands an active engagement, and as Edouard Glissant put it in Caribbean Discourse, this is perhaps his enduring quality and challenge:

It is difficult for a French Caribbean individual to be the brother, the friend, or simply the associate or fellow countryman of Fanon. Because, of all the French Caribbean intellectuals, he is the only one to have acted on his ideas…to take full responsibility for a complete break.