Drowning in Contingency: Nonbeing in Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks
Robyn Joy Coleman
Grant Aubrey Farred
Thesis DT 3.5 2013 C654
84 leaves ; 29 cm.
In this project, I consider how a thinking of what nonbeing is informs our engagement with it in the context of Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks. This perspective is largely distinct. Although nonbeing has been interpreted, and most predominately, as Fanon 's endeavor to explain the enduring and detrimental effects of colonialism on the black, scholars have yet to show an engagement with the existential tradition from which nonbeing comes prior to their interpretations. Among these articulations is the concern that Fanon and nonbeing represent two seemingly incompatible or, irreconcilable traditions - that of existentialism, of philosophy which is readily characterized as European, and what today, we have come to know of as black studies, a legacy in which Fanon is thought to be inevitably and unequivocally engrossed. The literature suggests that thinking Fanon and nonbeing has been an ideological struggle.
In conjunction with my explication of nonbeing, this project focuses on Aime Cesaire's Discourse on Colonialism and Jean-Paul Sartre's Anti-Semite and Jew as these theorists and their works have been associated with Fanon's thinking of nonbeing. This thesis is concerned with Fanon's individual specificity; the degree to which Fanon in Black Skin, White Masks is dependent on the ideological underpinnings of Cesaire and Sartre in his preoccupation of nonbeing and most importantly, his thinking for a new humanism. Through this approach, this project seeks to show that if any thinker is to be thought most succinctly with Fanon, so as to understand how he clears a path from non being to his new humanism in Black Skin, White Masks it is Martin Heidegger, beginning with his magnum opus Being and Time and continuing with Letter on Humanism.