The Humanism Effect: Fanon, Foucault, and Ethics without Subjects

Foucault Studies 7:64-80 (2009)

This article addresses a tendency within postcolonial studies to place the work of Michel Foucault and Frantz Fanon in opposition. This has obscured the real, and potentially very productive, similarities between them. The most important of these links has to do with their shared critique of the sovereign subject of humanism: for Fanon and Foucault, this critique of the traditional humanist subject provides a way of opposing what they both see as the dangerous nostalgia for a lost moment of origin. Furthermore, Fanon and Foucault both end in a moment of ethics, but it is an ethics without the sort of stable subjects assumed by humanism. I offer a consideration of some of the links that can be found in several texts by Fanon and Foucault. I then attempt to define the term I will be using to describe their shared strategy of an ethics without subjects: the “humanism effect.” I conclude by trying to suggest some of the strategic possibilities of an ethics without subjects in the postcolonial context
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.22439/fs.v0i7.2637
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 45,629
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Frantz Fanon.Pramod K. Nayar - 2012 - Routledge.
Fanon, Foucault, and the Politics of Psychiatry.Chloe Taylor - 2010 - In Elizabeth A. Hoppe & Tracey Nicholls (eds.), Fanon and the Decolonization of Philosophy. Lexington (Rowman & Littlefield). pp. 55.
Frantz Fanon: Fighting Against Dehumanization, Demolishing Bio-Power.Norman Ajari - 2011 - Estudios de Filosofía Práctica E Historia de Las Ideas 13 (2):53-60.
Fanon, Sartre, Violence, and Freedom.Neil Roberts - 2004 - Sartre Studies International 10 (2):139-160.
Sartre and Fanon: On Negritude and Political Participation.Azzedine Haddour - 2005 - Sartre Studies International 11 (s 1-2):286-301.
Fanon: Collective Ethics and Humanism.Nolen Gertz - 2008 - Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 29 (1):290-293.
Afterword: Living Fanon.Lewis R. Gordon - 2011 - Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 19 (1):83-89.
Hegel, Fanon, and the Problem of Negativity in the Postcolonial.Ferit Giiven - 2010 - In Elizabeth A. Hoppe & Tracey Nicholls (eds.), Fanon and the Decolonization of Philosophy. Lexington (Rowman & Littlefield). pp. 167.


Added to PP index

Total views
23 ( #396,263 of 2,280,567 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #568,325 of 2,280,567 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature