Triangle Intellectual History Seminar Series

TIHS with Muriam Haleh Davis: The Absent Preface: Algerian Readings of Frantz Fanon after Independence

January 21, -
Speaker(s): Dr. Muriam Haleh Davis

In 1959, Frantz Fanon asked Ferhat Abbas, the President of the GPRA (Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic), to write a preface for L’an V de la révolution algérienne (published in English as “A Dying Colonialism.” Abbas refused, and a different preface to Fanon’s work – that of Jean-Paul Sartre – would go on to be one of the most discussed introductory essays in critical theory. This never-written preface is emblematic of a larger silence regarding the lively Algerian debates on Fanon’s writings after independence. By foregrounding North African interpretations of Fanon’s work, this paper asks a series of questions about the capture of revolutionary thought, the role of national frameworks in global intellectual history, and the possibilities of epistemological “delinking.” 



Muriam Haleh Davis is an Associate Professor of History at UCSC. Her first book, Markets of Civilization: Islam and Racial Capitalism in Algeria, was published by Duke University Press in 2022. She has also co-edited North Africa and the Making of Europe: Governance, Institutions, and Culture, which was published by Bloomsbury Press in 2018. Her academic writing has been published by the Journal of Modern Intellectual History, Middle East Critique, the Journal of Contemporary History, Lateral, and 20 et 21: Revue d'histoire. She has also authored pieces for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Al Jazeera English, Public Books, and Truth Out. She is co-chair of the editorial committee for MERIP (Middle East Research and Information Project) and is co-editor of the Maghreb Page for Jadaliyya.


History Department


NCSU Dept. of History; Wake Forest University Office of the Provost; UNC Carolina Seminars; John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute; Duke Center for Jewish Studies

Muriam Haleh Davis headshot


Craig Kolman