Journal Article — On the Obsolescence of the Disciplines: Frantz Fanon and Sylvia Wynter Propose a New Mode of Being Human — by Karen M. Gagne

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Abstract

This article discusses the difficult but necessary task of dismantling our disciplinary boundaries in order to even begin to understand the who, what, why, when and how of human beings. Sylvia Wynter argues that when Frantz Fanon made the statement “beside phylogeny and ontogeny stands sociogeny” in Black Skin, White Masks (Fanon 1967) he effectively ruptured the present knowledge system that our academic disciplines serve to maintain, by calling into question “our present culture’s purely biological definition of what it is to be, and therefore of what it is like to be, human” (Wynter 2001: 31). This rupture that Fanon caused remains the space, Wynter argues, that will necessarily move us out of our present Western/European/bio-economic conception of being human whereby the Self requires an Other for its definition, toward a hybrid nature-culture (2006a: 156) conception that needs no Other in order to understand Self (1976: 85).

Recommended Citation

Gagne, Karen M. 2007. “On the Obsolescence of the Disciplines: Frantz Fanon and Sylvia Wynter Propose a New Mode of Being Human.” Pp. 251-264 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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