Epidermalization of Inferiority: A Fanonian Reading of Marie Vieux-Chauvet’s Amour

Keisha Simone Allan


As part of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, the following reflections are akin to his critical work on the psychoaffective impact of colonialism. Fanon’s notion of the epidermalization of inferiority has inspired my analysis of the socio-political struggles in Haiti and the complex antagonisms shaped by colonialism, contemporary political personalities, and constantly clashing perceptions of race, gender and nation. I turn to Fanon’s notion of the epidermalization of inferiority in Black Skin, White Masks to explore the effects of French colonization on the female protagonist’s psyche in Marie-Vieux Chauvet’s Amour. Chauvet was born just short of a decade prior to Fanon, and writes, like him, in the moment of anti- colonial struggle in the Caribbean, exploring like Black Skin, White Masks the psychological effects and affects of colonialism. A Fanonian reading of the text illustrates the psychological impact of colonialism on women in post-colonial societies that remain deeply governed by the former colonizer’s values.


Fanon; Black Skin, White Masks; Chauvet; postcolonial

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jffp.2022.1028

Copyright (c) 2022 Keisha Simone Allan

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