Journal Article — New Orleans Unveiled: Fanon and A Reconceptualization of the Performative — by Lynnell Thomas
This article examines Frantz Fanon’s “Algeria Unveiled” as a reconceptualization of J. L. Austin’s theory of the performative. Austin, whose examples of the performative all assume an equal, if not harmonious, relationship, overlooks instances of incompatibility and inequality. Fanon’s post-colonial framework, in contrast, illustrates the markedly different types of intentions, uptake, and conventions which inform the speech act in cases of extreme inequality. In these cases, the powerless and seemingly voiceless use tacitly agreed upon conventions inappropriately to attain what they would not be able to have otherwise. Fanon’s notion of the performative is used to explore the performative resistance within New Orleans’ tourism narrative.
Thomas, Lynnell. 2007. “New Orleans Unveiled: Fanon and A Reconceptualization of the Performative.” Pp. 363-370 in Reflections on Fanon: The Violences of Colonialism and Racism, Inner and Global—Conversations with Frantz Fanon on the Meaning of Human Emancipation (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume V, Special Issue, 2007.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).
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