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The Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development celebrates Black History Month with this special event!

APHD Celebrates Black History Month

The Frantz Fanon Symposium

Frantz Fanon image

252 Bloor St West.
Toronto ON

$30.00+HST (for Professionals) and $15.00+HST (for Students)

This symposium seeks to bring together diverse perspectives and interpretations of Frantz Fanon's writing and theory. Multidisciplinary forms of Fanonian thought will be addressed, including theories of race, gender, and other forms of sociocultural identities; as well as decolonization and contemporary liberation.

Join us for an exciting afternoon, followed by a reception and a play reading of “A Wretched Mourning”, a play about the story of Josie and Frantz Fanon (hosted by the UofT, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies (CDTPS) at Luella Massey Studio Theatre. Written by  Dr. Roy Moodley. Director/ Dramaturgist, Dr. Jill Carter.

The Call for Abstracts is now closed. 

You can still register to attend the conference. Registration will close on Monday, February 26, 2024.


1:00pm – 1:30pm = Registration
1:30pm – 1:45pm = Welcome & Opening Remarks
1:45pm – 2:00pm = Picturing Frantz Fanon
2:00pm – 3:00pm = Keynote Speakers (Dr. George Dei; Dr. Paul Adjei)
3:00pm – 3:15pm = Break 
3.15pm – 4:15pm = Keynote Speakers (Dr. Anissa Talahite; Dr. Tanya Titchkosky)
4:30pm – 5:30pm = Parallel Paper Session
5:30pm – 7:00pm = Reception (Caribbean inspired food & wine)
7:30pm – 9:30pm = Reading of “A Wretched Mourning”, a play about the story of Josie and Frantz Fanon (hosted by the UofT, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies (CDTPS) at Luella Massey Studio Theatre. Written by  Dr. Roy Moodley. Director/ Dramaturgist, Dr. Jill Carter. 

There is no fee to attend the play reading but an RSVP is required. The RSVP link will be shared with the symposium attendees via email.

*Please note this is a tentative agenda and is subject to change closer to the event date.

About the Speakers

Dr. George Dei

George J. Sefa Dei
[Nana Adusei Sefa Tweneboah]
Social Justice Education
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)
University of Toronto

Abstract: The "Fact of Blackness" Today
Fanon complicates understandings of race and Blackness. He also speaks to truths about Blackness as congealed in the body and skin. In his conception, the ‘fact of Blackness’, Fanon alludes to the colonial project which locates Blackness as always abject, less than human, of inferior civility in relation to Whiteness, which is always already supreme. In effect, Blackness is denigrated, accorded ambivalence, desire and repulsion. When interpellated with his ‘racial/historical epidermal schema’, Fanon’s ‘fact of Blackness’ helps us understand how the Black body is read and, specifically, what is it means to be Black in racist colonial encounter or space. Fanon saw a “great Black mirage in the Negro” wanting to be White, (i.e., mirror like appearance). To Fanon, we (Black peoples) are incapable of escaping our race! While true, I also ask - why should Black people also escape our race? We must continually fight and resist anti-Blackness, anti-Black racism, and White tropes of Black criminality, deviancy, necro-politics, etc., while still affirming our Black racial and racialized identities as a necessary exercise in our decolonization.

In this presentation, I engage Fanon to define and examine Blackness critically. I argue for connecting Blackness and Africanness, challenging the understanding of the Black experience as beginning in 1492. I argue there must be an affirmation of Blackness not defined in terms of the dominant as to what the Black body, skin, image, identity, etc. represents. Such Blackness is a racial, political and cultural identity, as well as a socio-historical condition. Blackness is raced and, as such not so easily disentangled from race. To be sealed in our Blackness does not mean that all we think about is our race/racial identity. Such reading is an insult to Black consciousness. The presentation makes a call for that ‘audacious, unapologetic Blackness’ with no ‘false humility’, but one that radiates with love and respect for our Ancestors (see also Blake, 2023). The raises questions about reclaiming Black subjectivities for resistance in order not to betray our Ancestors. It is that Black fugitivity and Black radical hope.



Professor George J. Sefa Dei is an acclaimed scholar in the Department of Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Prof. Dei is the Director of the Centre for Integrated Anti-Racism Studies, and one of Canada's foremost scholars on race and anti-racism studies. Prof. Dei is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and honoree of many awards including the prestigious Whitworth Award for Career Research in Education (2016) and recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award (2021) from the Ontario Alliance of Black School Educators [ONABSE]. He teaches courses in anti-racism education, sociology of race and ethnicity, Indigenous knowledge and decolonization, and education in African contexts.

Dr. Paul Banahene-Adjei

Dr. Paul Banahene Adjei
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Abstract: “Though I Speak with the Tongues of Men and of Angels”: A Fanonian Analysis of Black Existence in a White Supremacy Context

In the first epistle of Apostle Paul to the Church of Corinth in Christian Bible (1 Corinthians 131-3), he invited readers to a series of seemingly unattainable goals that even if one achieves any of them without love is still irrelevant. One of such unattainable goals is what is captured in the title-quote of this paper (I Corinthians 13:1). The quote suggests even if one is endowed with the unique gift of speaking diverse heavenly and earthly languages but does not have love, such enviable gift is worthless.  The import of Pauline’s doctrine is that love is the only quality that matters in all social endeavors and no social actions, however spectacular they may be, are worthy if they are not motivated by love. Although different, Pauline’s doctrine of love can offer insights into Black existence in White supremacy environment. Just as love is the only benchmark of measuring all social actions in Pauline doctrine, in a White supremacy context, Whiteness is the tacit norm and the standard upon which all other things are measured. In Black Skin White Mask, Frantz Fanon speaks of existential crises of showing up Black in a White supremacy context. Frantz Fanon argues that in White supremacy context, Black people are immediately caught out by White gaze as lazy, illiterate, dirty, criminals, violent, sexualized, immoral, stupid, and dishonest. How then does one construct Blacks’ innocence, excellence, intelligence, and morality when these qualities are exclusively reserved for Whiteness? This situation puts Black bodies into ‘illogical opposition’ (Lipsitz 2019) of performing to the satisfaction of Whiteness that they too possess the qualities of “innocence, excellence, intelligence, and morality. Such process unconsciously draws the Black body towards whiteness to the abandonment of Blackness, and in the process creates a psycho-existential complex — what W.E.B Dubois (1901) calls it ‘double-consciousness’; Molefi Asante (2007) calls it ‘tortured consciousness’; Judith Butler (1997) calls it ‘incommensurable loss’ and Frantz Fanon (1967) calls it ‘Manichean delirium’.  Drawing on Frantz Fanon’s writings and other scholarly publications, this paper invites a critical conversation about Black existence in a White supremacist context. The paper concludes with suggestions on how mental health practitioners and critical educators could respond to the conditions of living Black in a racist society.


An award-winning scholar, educator, researcher and public speaker, Dr. Adjei’s expertise is in the areas of social justice, anti-black racism, critical race, critical whiteness studies, anti-colonial theory and Indigenization. Dr. Adjei draws on his African indigeneity to fashion new answers for social work education.

In 2022, he was honoured as one of the Most Inspiring Immigrants in Atlantic Canada.

Dr. Adjei has more than six years in his tenure as an inaugural member of the President’s Advisory Committee on Indigenous Affairs, as well as his extensive involvement in the development of the Strategic Framework for Indigenization.

A member of the Committee on Ethical Research Impacting Indigenous Groups, Dr. Adjei is an associate professor in the School of Social Work, where he is a member of a joint Visiting Indigenous Elders pilot project with the Indigenous Student Resource Centre, and a member of the Nunavut Arctic College partnership.

As a community builder, Dr. Adjei serves with the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District Provincial Anti-Racism Advisory Committee and is a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador RCMP Black Engagement Steering Committee.

He’s also the director of the Ghanaian Community of Newfoundland and Labrador Association. He says he is reminded by his Akan Elders of Ghana "that not so much what we are called -- but what we answer to -- is what matters.”

An active researcher, Dr. Adjei has secured funding for his work from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; published several essays in scholarly journals, written book chapters and co-edited a publication; and has presented at national and international conferences.

Dr. Adjei received his undergraduate degree in Social Work from the Department of Social Work of the University of Ghana. He received his Masters’ and PhD degrees from the University of Toronto, specializing in social justice education.


Dr. Anissa Talahite-Moodley

Dr. Anissa Talahite-Moodley
Department of Historical and Cultural Studies, UTSC

Abstract: The many meanings of Fanon's work through translation

The translation of Fanon's work has recently attracted considerable attention, highlighting the role of translation in disseminating Fanon's ideas across languages and cultures. This paper discusses some of the debates that have emerged from critical analyses of the first translations into English of The Wretched of the Earth in 1963 and Black Skin, White Masks in 1967 and their new translations four decades later. Our objective is not so much to claim some "authenticity" attached to the original text in French but to highlight the role of translation as having shaped the meaning and reception of Fanon's work in the English-speaking world. Particular attention will be given to the ways in which the first translations of these works bear the mark of histories not directly related to Fanon's experiences  (such as Irish and African-American), while the more recent translations of these texts tend to reflect a particular concern for preserving the original Martinican, French and Algerian cultural contexts that informed Fanon's life and work. While reflecting different directions, these old and new translations have all contributed to the multiplicity and adaptability of Fanon's ideas across different cultural traditions. They attest to the multiplicity and fluidity of meanings characteristic of Fanon's writing and to the literariness of his work, while also representing an important methodological interpretative tool to understand the meanings attached to Fanon's ideas.

Anissa Talahite-Moodley is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream in Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto, Scarborough campus. Anissa’s teaching and research interests focus on the ways in which writers, filmmakers and artists are reshaping traditional discourses of home, nation, gender and sexuality. Her initial research was on South African women’s writers during the years of apartheid. She then went on to examine the literature by writers from the North African diaspora in France and in Canada. She has published a wide range of journal articles and book chapters (in French and in English) on the intersection of migration and gender discourses as reflected in literature and cinema. Her publications include Problématiques identitaires et discours de l’exil dans les littératures francophones (Ottawa University Press, 2007). In 2013, she co-authored Gender and Identity (Oxford University Press); and in 2014, she co-edited a special issue of Dalhousie French Studies on Women from the Maghreb (2014). She also has an interest in psychotherapeutic discourse, particularly the work of Carl Rogers and Frantz Fanon. She co-edited Carl Rogers Counsels a Black Client: Race and Culture in Person-Centred Counselling in 2004. Anissa has also published research on the significance of visual representations in the construction and deconstruction of the racialized and gendered "other". Her interest in gender and visual representation has also led her to pay particular attention to the reconfiguring of masculinity in contemporary Algerian cinema. Her current project is a study of the literature from the Algerian diaspora in Canada. Anissa is also an Honorary Research Associate at Royal Holloway, University of London and a member of the Royal Holloway Centre for Visual Cultures. In 2020, she became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK).

Image of Dr. Tanya Titchkosky

Dr. Tanya Titchkosky
Department of Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Abstract: Reconsidering Fanon, Amputation & Disability Studies

Inspired by Fanon’s life and writing, anti-racist scholarly and activist endeavors suggest that  personhood is amputated by colonial powers and that this debility must be noticed and refused. The amplification of the metaphoric use of “amputation,” together with Fanon’s (1967, 140) declaration “I refuse to accept that amputation,” has led some in disability studies to suggest that amputation is an overused term perpetuating the degradation of some people for the sake of political ends. My concern is not so much the overuse of the term, as it is that amputation has been taken-for-granted – the significance of its negativity assumed, not explored; its refusal stipulated, its actual accomplishment neither described nor examined. My aim is to explore “that amputation,” as Fanon puts it, and describe what he will refuse given the complexity of its meaning expressed in White Skin Black Masks. How might we reconsider the refusal of amputation in relation to the hundreds of millions of people around the globe who experience amputation through war, poverty, accident, disaster. Is there a refusal to be expected from the more than 13 million people documented by Yuan et al (2023) undergoing traumatic amputations this year? This presentation seeks to examine Fanon’s concept of amputation alongside a disability studies perspective that concerns itself with amputation as a way of being in the world. Fanon’s phenomenological sense of embodiment helps provoke a refusal of the rhetorical cloak surrounding contemporary uses of amputation. In so doing, we might more fully engage the meaning of amputation resulting from colonization and begin to cut short one of its most deadly everyday ideas, namely, that there is always a lesser human to be (ab)used for the sake of a better tomorrow. 

Dr. Tanya Titchkosky is Professor of Disability Studies in the Department of Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She is recognized globally for her leading work in the field of disability studies and social justice. Tanya teaches courses such as “Disability Studies and the Human Imaginary” and “Encounters in Disability Studies”, which develop conversations between disability studies (DS) and key theorists who have raised the question of the human imaginary. Bringing DS praxis into conversation with Black, Queer and Critical Indigenous theorists, Tanya’s courses trace the meaning made of the human by considering the consequences of a restricted human imaginary and the demands it imposes on everyday life, as well as on education, public health, and on bureaucracies more generally. Tanya’s teaching and research raise questions such as: What place does disability occupy in the work of those who have theorized a restricted human imaginary? When people encounter disability in social justice endeavors, “who” or “what” comprise this engagement? This interpretive approach is explicated in her books including in Disability, Self, and Society (2003), as well as, Reading and Writing Disability Differently (2007) and The Question of Access: Disability, Space, Meaning (2011). Tanya works with the orientation that whatever else disability is, it is intertwined with the human imagination and thus mediated through interpretive relations steeped in mostly unexamined conceptions of “normalcy.” This orientation is reflected in her most recent co-edited collection DisAppearing: Encounters in Disability Studies (2022) as well as in Rethinking Normalcy a disability studies reader co-edited with Dr. Rod Michalko. Her exploration of the violence of normalcy in everyday life in relation to disability has led Tanya to engage in activist practices such as making the OISE washrooms and signage, the St. George Subway, and University technological infrastructure (e.g., SLATE platform) more accessible to disabled people. Her current work is funded, in part, by an Insight SSHRC grant, “Reimaging the Dis/Appearance of Disability in the Academy.” Tanya is also part of the international research project, Disability Matters , and holds an Institute for Pandemics (U of T) research award where her focus is on how medical and corporate health archives mediate the meaning of disability. Tanya is recipient of the OISE 2019 Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award.  She is also a member of the Disability Circle in Toronto and the Centre for Global Disability Studies and founder of Doing Disability in Everyday Life Research and Activist group.

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