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:
- 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?
- Explain the idea that language is used to signify status.
- What does Fanon say about French, creole, and pidgin in this regard?
- Explain the idea of different sorts of capital, and how we can use these ideas to describe Fanon’s claim.
- What is the linguistic double-bind that confronts the colonised person?