Khanna engages the notion of the lumpenproletariat in Frantz Fanon, tracing the concept through Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, its transformation through Fanon, and its commonality with and distinction from notions of the subaltern. She draws in particular on the material in The Wretched of the Earth, on mental asylums, and on Fanon’s work as a psychiatrist to think of the radical form of subjectivity announced in mental life, an engagement with an idea of rogues, and a politics that emerges less from a sense of the moral or of right than of desubjectivation. As she puts Fanon’s work in the context of other texts on the mental asylum from 1961 by Michel Foucault, Erving Goffman, and R. D. Laing, she produces a feminist reading of the mental asylum as a site in which one can understand the relationship between madness and violence, and as at once refuge and carceral space.
Ranjana Khanna; The Lumpenproletariat, the Subaltern, the Mental Asylum. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 January 2013; 112 (1): 129–143. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-1891287
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