Nigel Gibson

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Nigel Gibson is a British activist,[1] a scholar specialising in philosophy[2] and author[3] whose work has focussed, in particular, on Frantz Fanon.[4] Edward Said described Gibson's work as "rigorous and subtle".[5] He has been described as a leading figure in Fanon scholarship.[6]


Gibson was born in London, graduated from Prifysgol Aberystwyth University, and was an active militant in the 1984–1985 Miners' Strike.[7] While in London he also met South African exiles from the Black Consciousness Movement and, in conversation with the exiles, developed some influential academic work on the movement. He later moved to the United States where he worked with Raya Dunayevskaya in the Marxist Humanism movement, studied with Raymond Geuss and Edward Said and became an important theorist of Frantz Fanon[8] on whom he has written extensively.[9] Along with Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Slavoj Zizek, and others, Gibson endorsed the statement in support of the South African shack dweller organization, Abahlali baseMjondolo, against state violence.[10]


Gibson has co-edited a major collection of work on Theodor Adorno with Andrew N. Rubin and is a co-editor of a collection of work on Steve Biko. His recent work has been marked by a return to an interest in Frantz Fanon (see his edited collection Living Fanon) with a particular focus on the reception of Fanon in popular struggles in South Africa (see Fanonian Practices in South Africa). His Fanon:The Postcolonial Imagination was translated into Arabic in 2013.[11] His most recent works are Frantz Fanon, Psychiatry and Politics written with Roberto Beneduce published by Rowman and Littlefield with an African edition published by Wits University Press and Fanon Today: Reason and Revolt of the Wretched of the Earth published by Daraja Press.


He was previously the Assistant Director of African Studies at Columbia University and a Research Associate in African-American Studies at Harvard University. He is currently Professor at the Marlboro Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies, Emerson College (Boston, MA) [12] and an Honorary Research Professor at the Humanities Unit of the University currently known as Rhodes. He is a member of the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa.


In 2009 he was awarded the Fanon prize by the Caribbean Philosophical Association. According to the association "Gibson has set a high standard in Fanon studies and historically-informed political thought on Africa and the Caribbean."[13]



  • Rethinking Fanon: The Continuing Legacy, Humanity Books, 1999.
  • Contested Terrains and Constructed Categories: Contemporary Africa in Focus (with George C. Bond), Westview, 2002.
  • Adorno: A Critical Reader (with Andrew N. Rubin), Blackwell, 2002.
  • Fanon: The Postcolonial Imagination, Polity, 2003.
  • Challenging Hegemony: Social Movements and the Quest for a New Humanism in Post-Apartheid South Africa, Africa World Press, 2006.
  • Biko Lives: Contesting the Legacies of Steve Biko (with Andile Mngxitama and Amanda Alexander), Palgrave MacMillan, 2008.
  • Fanonian Practices in South Africa: From Steve Biko to Abahlali baseMjondolo, UKZN Press and Palgrave MacMillan, 2011
  • Living Fanon: Global Perspectives, Palgrave MacMillan, 2011
  • Frantz Fanon, Psychiatry and Politics (with Roberto Beneduce), Rowman and Littlefield International and Wits UP, 2017
  • Fanon and the Rationality of Revolt, Daraja Press, 2020
  • Fanon Today: Reason and Revolt of the Wretched of the Earth (Editor), Daraja Press, 2021

Selected online articles[edit]

Black Consciousness 1977–1987: The Dialectics of Liberation in South Africa Archived 7 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine

The Pitfalls of South Africa's Liberation

Thoughts about doing Fanonism in the 1990s

The limits of black political empowerment: Fanon, Marx, 'the Poors' and the 'new reality of the nation' in South Africa

Is Fanon Relevant? Translations, the postcolonial imagination and the second stage of total liberation

Zabalaza, Unfinished struggles against apartheid: the shackdwellers' movement in Durban

A New Politics of the Poor Emerges from South Africa's Shanty Towns

Is Fanon Relevant? Towards an alternative introduction to the 'Damned of the Earth

Upright and free: Fanon in South Africa, from Biko to Abahlali baseMjondolo

Fanonian Practices and the politics of space in postapartheid South Africa: The Challenge of the Shack Dwellers Movement

Democracy's everyday death: South Africa's quiet coup co-authored with Raj Patel

Egypt and the revolution in our minds, Pambazuka, 18 February 2011

What Happened to the "Promised Land"? A Fanonian Perspective on Post-Apartheid South Africa, Antipode, 2011

50 years later: Fanon's legacy Pambazuka, 21 December 2011

Thinking Fanon, 50 years later: Fanonian translations in and beyond ‘Fanon Studies, Pambazuka, 14 March 2012

20 Years After the L.A. Riots, Revisiting the Rationality of Revolt, Truthout, 12 May 2012

Frantz Fanon and the Arab Uprisings: An interview with Nigel Gibson, Jadaliyya 17 August 2012

The Marikana Massacre: A Turning Point for South Africa?, Truthout, 1 September 2012

A Wholly Other Time: Fanon the Revolutionary and the Question of Organization,[14] South Atlantic Quarterly, Winter 2013


  1. ^ Nigel Gibson, Biography at Truthout
  2. ^ Mugabe's Tunisia Day Will Come, Imraan Buccus, SACSIS, 2011
  3. ^ Goslant, Justin (14 November 2011). "Fanonian practices and contemporary relevance". The Anchor. Archived from the original on 3 June 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  4. ^ Faculty lecture on uprisings in the Middle East Archived 18 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine, by Luara Gomez, The Berkeley Beacon, 11 October 2012
  5. ^ Fanon: The Post-Colonial Imagination, Polity Press
  6. ^ UPM applies Biko, Fanon and Marx to SA Archived 27 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Amanda Xulu, Oppidan Press, September 2012
  7. ^ BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS: AN INTERSECTION OF THEORY AND PRAXIS Archived 18 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine, by Youlendree Appasamy, Media Diversity UK, 9 October 2013
  8. ^ The Legacy of Great Caribbean Thinkers Archived 30 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Sonia Farmer, The Nassau Guardian, 26 November 2011
  9. ^ Nigel Gibson Biography Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Churchland Programme, 2011
  10. ^ "Statement in support of Abahlali baseMjondolo".
  11. ^ "Nigel Gibson's "Fanon: The Post-Colonial Imagination"-A Translation". 30 May 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  12. ^ "Emerson College". Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Nigel C Gibson: "A Wholly Other Time? Fanon, the Revolutionary, and the Question of Organization"". Retrieved 18 September 2016.

External links[edit]