Yijian (Davie) Zhou

Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow

20232024 Forum on Revolution

Yijian (Davie) Zhou

Philosophy, Psychology

CAS, 2024

Davie Zhou is a senior in College of Arts and Sciences from Philadelphia. He is majoring in Philosophy. He is interested in philosophy of race, philosophy of art, and history of philosophy. He is especially interested in the work of Frantz Fanon and Karl Marx. His work at Wolf Humanities Center employs a Foucauldian approach tracing the emergence of a specific type of person: a revolutionary.

The Genealogy of Colonial Racism in the Works of Frantz Fanon

Given that Frantz Fanon is perhaps one of the most renowned theorists of colonial racism in the past century, it is surprising that there is no systematic account of how Fanon attempts to debunk the racist and imperialist ideologies of his time in his works, despite some discussions on separate parts of his writings scattered across various sources. This gap may stem from Fanon's eclectic approach to critiquing colonial racism, as he does not adhere to a singular method in his critique of colonial racism. In the first part of the essay, I reconstruct how Fanon demonstrates racist and imperialist ideologies of his time as epistemically flawed and socially harmful in his classic psycho-analytic and political writings. Readers unfamiliar with Fanon’s analyses on colonial racism, as well as those well-acquainted with his work who seek a comprehensive understanding of his critique, will find this part interesting. In the second part, I will discuss Fanon's less well-known scientific writings, particularly his psychiatric writings during his stay as a psychiatrist in colonial Algeria. I argue that Fanon adopts a subversive genealogical approach in his psychiatric works, a perspective largely overlooked by Fanon scholars. At the end of the essay, I will discuss implications of reading Fanon as a subversive genealogist.