Race, sex, slavery: reading Fanon with Aucassin et Nicolette

  • Robert S Sturges


In Black Skin, White Masks, Frantz Fanon suggests that the history of slavery, and indeed the history of the construction of race itself, continues to enslave those constructed as black in the present. While much contemporary race theory identifies the construction of race as a phenomenon coextensive with modernity, medieval texts like Aucassin et Nicolette suggest a much deeper historical sedimentation of racial constructions, as well as their imbrication with class and gender. An examination of Aucassin et Nicolette in terms of these imbrications reveals the constructedness of these categories in the distant past, and allows them a more thorough historicization: the historical continuity from the Middle Ages to post-Hegelian phenomenology challenges traditional periodizations and extends Fanon’s understanding of the relations among race, class, gender and history.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert S Sturges
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishArizona State UniversityTempe

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