Francophone intellectuals writing at the time of decolonisation testify to the anxieties, for the colonised, of the moment of political transition, as well as to the demands that the epoch makes of them as potential spokesmen, mediators, mobilisers, and critics. In response to these anxieties, Senghor, Césaire, Fanon, Amrouche, Feraoun, and Kateb all denounce the atrocious dehumanising practices of colonialism before setting about the more intellectually complex project of reimagining a shared humanity, and proposing alternative forms of human relationality, in tune with the process of political liberation. It is perhaps significant, moreover, that this fascination with our shared humanity and its association with freedom has continued long after the period of decolonisation, and despite repeated denunications of humanism, still preoccupies some of the major theoretical writers and critics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The conclusion reviews some more recent redeployments of humanism, and shows how these were anticipated in the thinkers discussed in the main body of the book.
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