Transnational Decolonial Institute

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Syllabi, Symposia and Translations

Now that Fanon/Deleuze is alive as an idea, Robbie and I have been discussing thickening and deepening the contribution it could make. The first element of this programme is already available over in the new Symposiums section, where Alina Sajed’s ‘The Post Always Ring Twice?’ is ready and waiting for critical engagement. I would propose three related ways of further extending the conversation.

First, a collection of essential texts. The blog from which we stole this format is somewhat exemplary in this sense, providing a rather extensive list of must-read manifestos, reviews, videos and interviews. Although I hesitate to use the word ‘fun’, there is an opportunity here for contributors to formulate their own top-5 or top-10 lists in the comments below and celebrate the most influential or important thinkers, texts, or statements for our purposes.

These days, access to peer-reviewed published articles is surprisingly easy. Many publishing houses now have open-access policies for their authors once their articles have been out in the world for a certain amount of time. For example, over at Millennium, authors can make pre-publication versions of their articles available immediately in their own institutional repositories, and can replace that with the post-publication version 12 months after publication. I would encourage the published academics among us to check their own agreements and to seriously consider this option if they are entitled to make their work more publicly available. There are also a surprising amount of full works available, at least sometimes with the consent of their authors.

Second, symposia. Especially given the initial role of particular thinkers in this initiative, it might be worth considering selecting a number of the key texts identified above and structuring a discussion around their contributions. Again, there are models for such a thing. This could either be a free-for-all or condensed critiques from a smaller number of interlocutors. New titles are great to do this with, but for a start, I’d be intrigued to see something like a range of takes (approving or critical) on Provincializing Europe or The Black Atlantic or The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization, not to mention on the central works of Fanon and Deleuze themselves.

Third, translations. This would seem to be an absolutely central service for a project on de-centering the European experience. Actual translations of key statements might already exist and just need to be made available. Alternatively, those among us who already have access to them and the requisite language skills might wish to do some translating themselves. The feasibility of this will obviously depend heavily on existing resources and the levels of commitment that can be devoted to this agenda.

Often academics don’t make enough effort to get their stuff out there, as if already surrendering to neo-liberal modes of knowledge production in which everyone churns out ‘ideas’ but simultaneously feels that what they produce is worthless dross. Making Fanon/Deleuze a resource for combating that trend strikes me as worth pursuing. So speak up if it moves you too!