Nigel Gibson

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Nigel Gibson is an activist,[1] a scholar specialising in philosophy[2] and a noted 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 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]


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.

He is currently working on a co-authored book on Fanon with Lewis Gordon.[10]


He was previously the Assistant Director of African Studies at Columbia University[11] and a Research Associate in African-American Studies at Harvard University.[12] He is currently Associate Professor at the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies and Director of the Honors Program at Emerson College,[13] and an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Development Studies at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal.[14] 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."[15]



    • 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

Selected online articles[edit]

Black Consciousness 1977–1987: The Dialectics of Liberation in South Africa

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[1], South Atlantic Quarterly, Winter 2013


  1. ^ Nigel Gibson, Biography at Truthout
  2. ^ Mugabe's Tunisia Day Will Come, Imraan Buccus, SACSIS, 2011
  3. ^ Fanonian practices and contemporary relevance, Justin Goslant, The Anchor, 14 November 14, 2011
  4. ^ Faculty lecture on uprisings in the Middle East, by Luara Gomez, The Berkely Beacon, 11 October 2012
  5. ^ Fanon: The Post-Colonial Imagination, Polity Press
  6. ^ UPM applies Biko, Fanon and Marx to SA, Amanda Xulu, Oppidan Press, September 2012
  7. ^ BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS: AN INTERSECTION OF THEORY AND PRAXIS, by Youlendree Appasamy, Media Diversity UK, 9 October 2013
  8. ^ The Legacy of Great Caribbean Thinkers, Sonia Farmer, The Nassau Guardian, 26 November 2011
  9. ^ Nigel Gibson Biography, Churchland Programme, 2011
  10. ^ 20 Years After the L.A. Riots, Revisiting the Rationality of Revolt, Truth-Out, 2012
  11. ^ New Assistant Director at IAS, Columbia University
  12. ^ Fanon, Translation, and the Postcolonial Imagination – A Conversation with Nigel Gibson
  13. ^ Emerson staff page
  14. ^ BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS: AN INTERSECTION OF THEORY AND PRAXIS, by Youlendree Appasamy, Media Diversity UK, 9 October 2013
  15. ^ Caribbean Philosophical Association Press Release

External links[edit]