For our second session, we hope to consider what is ‘foundational’ to postcolonial studies. To do so, we will look at Frantz Fanon’s ‘The Pitfall of National Consciousness’, which is a fruitful and canonical section of Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth. We will read this alongside selections from Sukarno’s Indonesia Accuses!, which is a collection of speeches given from the dock during Sukarno’s 1930 trial for ‘threatening public order’ in the Dutch East Indies. The Sukarno text is a great deal less canonical, but features many similar themes to those addressed by Fanon thirty years later in Algeria. Both texts demand decolonisation, situate colonialism within or alongside capitalism, and seem to be addressed to the colonisers.
The optional, secondary reading for this week is a chapter from Neil Lazarus’ Postcolonial Unconscious. In it, Lazarus argues for Fanon’s enduring relevance to present-day imperialism.
29 November at 17:00–18:30
Leeds Humanities Research Institute, 29-31 Clarendon Pl, Leeds
PDFs of the Fanon, Sukarno and Lazarus readings can be accessed here.