The Secret Life of Violence

In Dustin J. Byrd & Seyed Javad Miri (eds.), Frantz Fanon and Emancipatory Social Theory. Brill (2019)
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This chapter proceeds in two ways. First, I argue that Fanon’s structural witnessing of racism yields important insights about the nature of violence that challenges the settler colonial concept of violence as the extra-legal use of force. Second, I argue that his analysis of violence is insufficient for combating colonial racism and violence because, using the terms of his own analysis, it leaves intact logics and mechanisms that allow racism to structurally renew itself in perpetuity: violence against women. Without a critical feminism that tracks the alterities of structural violence against women, and women of color in particular, Fanonianism is just another lifeline of colonialism. I thus caution against uncritical uses of Fanon’s structural account of violence for any emancipatory social theory that fails to acknowledge the attendant alterities, asymmetries, and axes of coordinated subordination involved in racialized violence against women.



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Elena Ruíz
Michigan State University

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