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Title page for ETD etd-07302014-081146

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Jordan, Joey Demis
Author's Email Address joseph.d.jordan@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-07302014-081146
Title The poïesis of a black object-person
Degree Master of Arts
Department English
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hortense J. Spillers Committee Chair
Mark Wollaeger Committee Member
  • object-oriented ontology
  • blackness
  • fanon
  • racism
Date of Defense 2014-07-18
Availability unrestricted
What does it mean to be constituted as “an object in the midst of other objects”? With these (in)famous lines Frantz Fanon prompts the readers of Black Skin, White Masks (1960) to engage with several problems of social, political and theoretical significance. In light of our current postracial moment, my reading of the seminal “The Fact of Blackness” suggests that Fanon remains an invaluable resource in the thinking of problems inflicted upon black populations in the twenty-first century. I put forward the following thesis: Fanon theorizes the poïesis, that is to say, the making of a black object-person. The making of the black object-person is constituted by three primary failures: the failure of ethical address through linguistic violence, the failure of becoming sovereign subject and thing through narrative construction, and the failure of being entirely oppressed and delimited by racist language. Through these constitutive failures Fanon proffers a quasi-transcendental reading of racist coloniality, which focuses on the phenomenon of the racist interpellation and examines its conditions of possibility, whilst remaining attentive to concrete lived experience.
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