Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (1952)
Edition used: Grove
See also the 2014 lecture on this text, by Jon Beasley-Murray
The video with the presentation slides can be found on the UBC Media site system
- Discuss the rhetorical strategies used by Fanon in making his case. For example, is he personal, impersonal, funny, witty, emotional, or clinical? How do these rhetorical strategies help and/or hinder his argument?
- Both Fanon and Beauvoir focus on “the Other” in their texts. Do they do so similarly? If not, in what ways to they differ?
- Consider the concluding remarks of Black Skin, White Masks in the light of the rest of the book. Are Fanon’s hopes warranted in the light of what he has argued hitherto?
- With reference to Black Skin, White Masks, offer a “Fanonian” reading of one of the other texts we’ve read so far in Arts One.
- Compare Fanon’s diagnosis of social and/or cultural illness with that in one other text we’ve read (such as Freud, Nietzsche, Wordsworth, or any other text you find relevant).
- “The structure of the present work is grounded in temporality. Every human problem cries out to be considered on the basis of time, the ideal being that the present always serves to build the future” (Fanon xvi). How does temporality factor into Fanon’s analysis in Black Skin, White Masks?
- Does Hacking’s view of the “looping effect of human kinds” provide a useful framework for interpreting Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks?
- In Black Skin, White Masks, Fanon offers several extended readings of novels by African and Caribbean writers. How does he use these novels to support his arguments, and what does his treatment of them say about his understanding of literature and postcoloniality?
- What role does Fanon assign to women in his theory of black identity? You may consider white women or women of colour, historical women, female patients or women in literature.