Gender and technology in Frantz Fanon: Confrontations of the clinical and political

William Michael Paris*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the most pertinent sites of investigation in Fanon studies is the question of how Fanon theorizes the imbrication of gender with that of race and colonialism. For many, his silence or disavowals, whether explicit or implicit, allow an uncritical masculinism to slip into his theories of subjectivity, subjugation, and revolution. This article contributes to these discussions by arguing that for Fanon, gender and race are colonial technologies rather than natural sites of experience. Bringing together Fanon's recently translated clinical writings and his political essay on the revolutionary roles of Algerian women in the war against French colonization, it is possible to see how Fanon theorizes the French imposition of gender norms as attempts to engineer the social reproduction of a marginalized and racialized population. In short, gender is an implicitly racialized technology in French colonial society whose aim is the naturalization of political and sexual arrangements of power that justify the continuation of French occupation. Fanon works to demystify gender and race as technologies so that the colonized may seize them in the interest of their own liberatory invention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12616
JournalPhilosophy Compass
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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