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Epistemic Ruptures: History, Practice, and the Anticolonial Imagination

International Origins of Social and Political Theory

ISBN: 978-1-78714-267-1, eISBN: 978-1-78714-266-4

Publication date: 4 April 2017


Examining the work of Frantz Fanon and Stuart Hall, this article argues that their biographic practices and experiences as colonial subjects allowed them to break with imperial representations and to provide new, anticolonial imaginaries. It demonstrates how the experience of the racialized and diasporic subject, respectively, creates a kind of subjectivity that makes visible the work of colonial cultural narratives on the formation of the self. The article first traces Fanon’s and Hall’s transboundary encounters with metropolitan Europe and then shows how these biographic experiences translate into their theories of practice and history. Living through distinct historical moments and colonial ideologies, Fanon and Hall produced theories of historical change, which rest on epistemic ruptures and conjunctural changes in meaning formations. Drawing on their biographic subjectivities, both intellectuals theorize cultural and colonial forms of oppression and seek to produce new knowledge that is based on practice and experience.



Hammer, R. (2017), "Epistemic Ruptures: History, Practice, and the Anticolonial Imagination", International Origins of Social and Political Theory (Political Power and Social Theory, Vol. 32), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 153-180.



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