Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Creolizing Political TheoryReading Rousseau through Fanon$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jane Anna Gordon

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254811

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254811.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use (for details see www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 24 October 2018

Delegitimating Decadent Inquiry

Delegitimating Decadent Inquiry

(p.18) 1 Delegitimating Decadent Inquiry
Creolizing Political Theory

Jane Anna Gordon

Fordham University Press

This chapter offers the rationale for reading Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Frantz Fanon together by suggesting that while divided by continents and centuries they shared the geopolitical world of the Francophone empire. Both articulated what it was to be shaped by aspirations emanating from a center to which one was peripheral. Still while European political thinkers could stave off the fully creolizing effects of their empires on the continent itself, the Caribbean could not. As a result, while Rousseau offered scathing criticisms of European Enlightenment, he could not in fact think beyond it. To avoid the decadence of his scholarly contemporaries he therefore positioned himself as a “backward outsider.” To do this, he pinned much theoretical significance on colonized “savages” who rejected the supposedly irresistible allures of Europe’s offerings. While he was not himself a creolized thinker in the sense for which the book argues (instead formulating an anti-European Eurocentrism), Rousseau introduced orientations toward political reflection that invited productive creolization by others. Therefore, in spite of his entering the intellectual history by problematizing the possibility of progressive inquiry he became one of the progenitors of contemporary social science (including ethnomusicology), articulating paradoxes only fully and adequately explored centuries later.

Keywords:   Rousseau, Enlightenment, method, paradoxes, “savages”, backward outsider, anti-European Eurocentrism, ethnomusicology

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .