From the European South

a transdisciplinary journal of postcolonial humanities

Resistant repositioning: the production of revolutionary humanism

Patrick Williams


For several decades now, humanism has, thanks to its dismissal by successive waves of theorists – structuralist, poststructuralist, and post-modernist among others – seemed like a category that had little
to offer analytically. This is not the first period in which humanism has been subject to stringent critique, however, nor – somewhat paradoxically – have previous critiques been intended as dismissals or simple rejections. On the contrary, critique has aimed to revitalise humanism, uncovering or restoring its (surprisingly) resistant, even revolutionary potential. This article examines the process of the critique of humanism and its repositioning as variously resistant, revolutionary and postcolonial, in the work of Gramsci, Sartre and Said.




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