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Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zayed


Institut für Islamwissenschaft


Research Fellow der "Academy in Exile"


Engaging with Paradigm(s) of Decoloniality/De-colonisability: Constructing a Dialogic Encounter between Frantz Fanon and Malek Bennabi

Summary of Research Project

Malek Bennabi (1905-1973) and Franz Fanon (1925-1961) were two contemporary intellectuals thinking at the same time about the problems of colonization, and how it affects nations and people. They were in search of theoretical frames to understand what can be best described as ‘de-colonisability’ and ‘decoloniality’, rather than simply ‘decolonisation’. However, there is no substantial study that engages with their ideas on comparative terms. The general understanding of their works is largely regulated by master narratives that see these intellectuals in binary oppositions or as belonging to completely different discourses bound by disciplinary borders. My study proposes that the connections between the two intellectuals are abundant and attempts to explore the connections between them. Though there may appear to be apparent differences between the thoughts of Bennabi and Fanon, I attempt to construct a dialogic encounter between the two in order to understand and engage with the paradigm of decoloniality/de-colonisability. This is a paradigm that connects the thoughts of both thinkers in their vision for a new man, new civilisation and new humanity. I attempt to establish parallel/intersecting ideational flows in cross-disciplinary terms, which is a necessary step to imagine differently both the past and future for a better understanding of the complexities of the present. Both thinkers share the ‘colonial wound’, to use Mignolo’s phrase, at the same time and place i.e. Algeria. Bennabi and Fanon thought and wrote with the backdrop of the Algerian struggle for liberation. I extend further my PhD research in which I suggested that resistance movements are transformational in nature in terms of a socio-political process that shapes lived histories and cultures. Literary as well as historical narratives have a tendency to mythologise the moment, and the task of the critic is to unpack the multiple narratives.



  • de-colonisability, decoloniality, postcoloniality, Malek Bennabi, Frantz Fanon, Comparative Studies, Global South
Fachbereich Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften