The Psychiatric Writings from Alienation and Freedom

The Psychiatric Writings from Alienation and Freedom

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Frantz Fanon's career as a psychiatrist had a crucial impact upon his thinking as an anti-colonialist thinker and activist. Indeed, much of the iconic writing in The Wretched of the Earth is shaped by his powerful experiences as a young doctor working in hospitals in France, Algeria and Tunisia.

The writing collected here, written during his professional career as a neuro-psychiatrist between 1951 and 1960 and in parallel to his political work, reveals much about how Fanon's thought developed. The trajectory of this volume shows that for him, it was increasingly impossible to separate a human's surrounding culture from their psychopathology, and most essentially, from their development of mental illness. Ethnopsychiatry was influenced by its surroundings, and in Algeria, Fanon noted that they were decidedly colonial, arguing that for his North African and largely Muslim patients, treatment within the standard Eurocentric psychiatric-hospital system was therefore ineffective. For Fanon then, his psychiatric practice represented only part of a much larger struggle.

Although he enjoyed the life of a revolutionary, an ambassador and a journalist, as soon as freedom was won, Frantz Fanon's plan was to devote the next part of his life to psychiatric work and the resolution of psychiatry's institutional and ethnocultural problems. This volume elucidates then, how it is completely impossible to separate his political, revolutionary and literary lives from the psychiatric practice and writings that indelibly shaped his thinking about oppression, alienation and the search for freedom.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 138 x 216mm
  • Bloomsbury Academic
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 7 b/w illus
  • 1350125911
  • 9781350125919

Table of contents

Frantz Fanon: Works Cited

General Introduction, by Jean Khalfa and Robert J.C. Young

Fanon: A Revolutionary Psychiatrist, by Jean Khalfa
1. Mental alterations, character modifications, psychic disorders and intellectual deficit in spinocerebellar heredodegeneration: A case of Friedreich's ataxia with delusions of possession
2. Letter to Maurice Despinoy
3. Trait d'Union
4. On some cases treated with the Bini method
5. Indications of electroconvulsive therapy within institutional therapies
6. On an attempt to rehabilitate a patient suffering from morpheic epilepsy and serious character disorders
7. Note on sleep therapy techniques using conditioning and electroencephalographic monitoring
8. Our Journal
9. Letter to Maurice Despinoy
10. Social therapy in a ward of Muslim men: Methodological difficulties
11. Daily life in the douars
12. Introduction to sexuality disorders among North Africans 385
13. Currents aspects of mental care in Algeria
14. Ethnopsychiatric considerations
15. Conducts of confession in North Africa (1)
16. Conducts of confession in North Africa (2)
17. Letter to Maurice Despinoy
18. Maghrebi Muslims and their attitude to madness
19. TAT in Muslim women: Sociology of perception and imagination
20. Letter to the Resident Minister
21. The phenomenon of agitation in the psychiatric milieu:General considerations, psychopathological meaning
22. Biological study of the action of lithium citrate on bouts of mania
23. On a case of torsion spasm
24. First tests using injectable meprobamate for hypochondriac states
25. Day hospitalization in psychiatry: Value and limits
26. Day hospitalization in psychiatry: Value and limits. Part two: - doctrinal considerations
27. The meeting between society and psychiatry

Frantz Fanon's Library and Life
Franz Fanon's Library
Key dates of Fanon's chronology
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About Frantz Fanon

Frantz Fanon (1925-1961) was a Martinique-born psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary, and writer. He was the author of classic works such as Black Skin, White Masks (1952) and The Wretched of the Earth (1961). He was one of the most significant anti-colonialist, anti-imperialist and anti-racist thinkers of the 20th Century.

Jean Khalfa is a Senior Lecturer in French Studies at Trinity College Cambridge, UK. He is the author of Poetics of the Antilles (2016) and an upcoming work on Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth. He is also the editor of the first complete edition of Michel Foucault's History of Madness (2006).

Robert J. C. Young, FBA, is Julius Silver Professor of English and Comparative Literature at New York University, USA. He is the author of White Mythologies (1990), Colonial Desire (1995), Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction (2001), The Idea of English Ethnicity (2008) and Empire, Colony, Postcolony (2015).

Steven Corcoran is a writer and translator living in Berlin. He has edited and translated several works by Jacques Ranciere, including Dissensus (2015) and The Lost Thread (2016).
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