This paper seeks to both channel the inspiration of the late Joel Olson and to deploy the conceptual lens he was developing in his unfinished book American Zealot toward a reconsideration of the role of fanaticism in Frantz Fanon’s political thought. Despite Fanon’s own warning about the dangers of fanaticism, I find that the equivalent concept of enthusiasm is nevertheless central to forcing his decolonial dialectic into motion. Finally, I turn to the question of a specifically decolonial fanaticism, finding both that fanaticism is peculiarly suited to challenging the ontological divisions of colonial white supremacy, and moreover that a decolonized fanaticism is less susceptible to some standard critiques of fanaticism.

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