Corps à corps: Frantz Fanon's Erotics of National Liberation

Matthieu Renault


In this short essay, I will endeavour to show that Frantz Fanon’s well-known conception of struggles for national liberation is intimately linked to an erotics of liberation. This one takes its roots in a shift, or better a reversal, of theories of racism. As Etienne Balibar argues, “racism,” as a category, appears at mid 19th century, especially under the aegis of the UNESCO, as a break with the conceptions of “race,” considered to be a pure “myth” or “prejudice.” A better example of such an epistemological rupture is probably Sartre’s Antisemite and Jew and its motto: “the Jew is a man whom other men consider a Jew…it is the anti-Semite who makes the Jew.” In other words, race is nothing but the product of racism. The biological arguments that underlie the theories of race are “false” arguments inasmuch as they depend on ideological and/or psychological premises.


Fanon; Wretched of the Earth; the body; erotics; nationalism; liberation

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