Seminar 6

We’ll use this seminar to go over Fanon’s ideas on language that we talked about in the lecture. This is based on chapter 1 of Black Skin, White Masks, so you could also have a look at the text. Here are some questions to help focus discussion:

  1. Fanon says that ‘a man who has a language consequently possesses the world expressed and implied by that language’? I gave you two interpretations of this claim – what are they? Which one should we prefer?
  2. Explain the idea that language is used to signify status.
  3. What does Fanon say about French, creole, and pidgin in this regard?
  4. Explain the idea of different sorts of capital, and how we can use these ideas to describe Fanon’s claim.
  5. What is the linguistic double-bind that confronts the colonised person?

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