Abstract

This article presents Édouard Glissant's account of a composite community as an articulation of Frantz Fanon's alternative, de-colonial conception of the nation. It shows that, subsequent to Fanon's critique of the xenophobia and racism of a narrow nationalism (found in The Wretched of the Earth), we are left with a conception of a national consciousness that registers with what Glissant names, in Poetics of Relation, a composite community in relation. Both accounts ground community in a foundation of difference, process and dynamism, all of which is carried into a collective identity, without the reductive homogenizing practices of most nation-building endeavors. As such, the article argues that Glissant's work is positioned to underscore what, in Fanon's understanding of national culture, is meant to protect the living dynamism of a people from a chauvinistic ultra-nationalism. Similarly, the work of The Wretched of the Earth can be used to take Glissant's alternative political ontology into the arena of thinking the nation otherwise.

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