The Center for African Studies Welcomes Professor Achille Mbembe, Senior Research Fellow

January 27, 2016

The Center for African Studies is delighted to welcome Professor Achille Mbembe as the Center’s Spring 2016 visiting Senior Research Fellow. A major figure not only in the fields of African history, politics, and social science, Mbembe is widely regarded as one of the most important public intellectuals writing about contemporary African and global phenomena in the world today.

Mbembe’s influential On the Postcolony was published in English in 2001, followed by On Private Indirect Government (State of the Literature), 2002, Sortir de la grande nuit – Essai sur l'Afrique décolonisée[ in 2010, and Critique de la raison nègre in 2013. His recent essay Theodor Adorno vs Herbert Marcuse on student protests, violence and democracy” and his public lecture on Decolonizing Knowledge and the Question of the Archive are frequently cited reference points for the current debate on the role of universities in South Africa and beyond.

Professor Mbembe is Research Professor in History and Politics at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is the convener for the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism and serves on the editorial boards of Political Theory, Atlantic Studies, and African Identities. Mbembe obtained his Ph.D in History at the Sorbonne in Paris and his D.E.A. in Political Science at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Paris). He was Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University, a Senior Research Fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C., Associate Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, Executive Director of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) in Dakar, Senegal, visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and visiting Professor at Yale University.

Professor Mbembe will present “The Open Laboratory: South African’s Fanonian moment” at the African Studies Workshop on February 1, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. in the Lower Library, Robinson Hall (35 Quincy Street). The discussant will be Brandon Terry, Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Social Studies at Harvard University.

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