Conversations from the Cullman Center: The Rebel’s Clinic: Adam Shatz with Brent Hayes Edwards

Date and Time
January 23, 2024
Event Details

A biography of the writer-activist who inspired today’s movements for social and racial justice

The Rebel's Clinic by Adam ShatzFrantz Fanon was a prominent intellectual activist of the postcolonial era, and his writings about race, revolution, and the psychology of power continue to shape radical movements across the world. Born in Martinique, he fought in the French Army during World War II; when the war was over, he was influenced by existentialism while trying to make sense of his experiences as a Black man in the majority-white city of Lyon. Fanon went on to practice a novel psychiatry of “dis-alienation” in rural France and Algeria, and then to join the Algerian independence struggle, for which he became a spokesman, diplomat, and clandestine strategist. Today, Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks and The Wretched of the Earth have become canonical texts of the Black and global radical imagination. In The Rebel’s Clinic, Shatz offers a reconstruction of Fanon’s extraordinary life—and a guide to the books that inspire today’s efforts to challenge white supremacy and racial capitalism.


Adam Shatz worked on The Rebel’s Clinic: The Revolutionary Life of Frantz Fanon during his 2011-2012 Fellowship at the Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He will discuss the book with professor Brent Hayes Edwards.


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Adam Shatz is the US editor of the London Review of Books and a contributor to the New York Times Magazine, the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker, and other publications. He is the author of Writers and Missionaries: Essays on the Radical Imagination and the host of the podcast “Myself with Others.” In 2021 he was awarded a Chevalier de l'ordre des arts et de lettres by the French government in recognition of his writings on French culture.

Brent Hayes Edwards is the Peng Family Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and the Director of the Scholars-in-Residence Program at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He is the author of The Practice of Diaspora, Epistrophies: Jazz and the Literary Imagination, the translation of Michel Leiris’s Phantom Africa, and the co-written autobiography of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Henry Threadgill, Easily Slip into Another World. Edwards was a Cullman Center Fellow in 2005-2006.


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The Cullman Center is made possible by a generous endowment from Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman in honor of Brooke Russell Astor, with major support provided by Mrs. John L. Weinberg, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Estate of Charles J. Liebman, The von der Heyden Family Foundation, John and Constance Birkelund, and The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, and with additional gifts from Helen and Roger Alcaly, The Rona Jaffe Foundation, The Arts and Letters Foundation Inc., William W. Karatz, Merilee and Roy Bostock, and Cullman Center Fellows.