Postcolonial intellectuals have engaged with and deeply impacted upon European society since the figure of the intellectual emerged at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Yet a critical assessment and overview of their influential roles is long overdue, particularly in the light of contemporary debates in Europe and beyond.
This book offers an innovative take on the role of intellectuals in Europe through a postcolonial lens and, in doing so, questions the very definition of "public intellectual," on the one hand, and the meaning of such a thing as "Europe," on the other. It does so not only by offering portraits of charismatic figures such as Stuart Hall, Jacques Derrida, Antonio Gramsci, Frantz Fanon, and Hannah Arendt, among others, but also by exploring their lasting legacies and the many dialogues they have generated. The notion of the ‘classic’ intellectual is further challenged by bringing to the fore artists, writers, and activists, as well as social movements, networks, and new forms of mobilization and collective engagement that are part of the intellectual scene.