Dylan Rodriguez


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Social Truth and Imprisoned Radical Intellectuals

The author offers points of departure for the theorization of prison praxis as a field of radical social theory. The essay argues that the emergence and rapid growth of a qualitative carceral formation since the early 1970s, outside and symbiotic to the hegemonic social formation, has produced its own historical bloc of counterhegemonic radical intellectuals. It revisits the epochal moment of the Middle Passage to elaborate the social logic of the new prison regime, which is similarly premised on mass incarceration, immobilization, and immanent extermination. Then, it looks to the work of Frantz Fanon — specifically, his conception of social truth — in an attempt to generate a new modality for the critical, interdisciplinary study of (and political engagement with) the work of imprisoned radical intellectuals.

imprisonment, intellectuals, political persecution, political prisoners, activists, justice, Fanon, Frantz

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 30, No. 2 (2003): 66-80