Achille Mbembe is one of the most brilliant theorists of post colonial studies writing today. In "On the Postcolony" he profoundly renews our understanding of power and subjectivity in Africa. In a series of provocative essays, Mbembe contests diehard Africanist and nativist perspectives as well as some of the key assumptions of post colonial theory. This thought-provoking and groundbreaking collection of essays - his first book to be published in English - develops and extends debates first ignited by his well-known 1992 article 'Provisional Notes on the Postcolony', in which he developed his notion of the 'banality of power' in contemporary Africa. Mbembe reinterprets the meanings of death, utopia, and the divine libido as part of the new theoretical perspectives he offers on the constitution of power. He works with the complex registers of bodily subjectivity - violence, wonder, and laughter - to profoundly contest categories of oppression and resistance, autonomy and subjection, and state and civil society that marked the social theory of the late twentieth century.
This provocative book will surely attract attention with its signal contribution to the rich interdisciplinary arena of scholarship on colonial and post colonial discourse, history, anthropology, philosophy, political science, psychoanalysis, and literary criticism.
Publisher: University of California Press
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
"Chillingly realistic yet also poetic, On the Postcolony offers the reader a brilliant and visionary tour of postcolonial Africa. . . . Packed with illuminating insights and innovative theoretical approaches to familiar problems, this work not only redraws the boundaries of African studies and postcolonial studies, but also offers a significant contribution to political theory and philosophy." * International Journal of African Historical Studies *
"Brilliantly written." * International Affairs *
"Mbembe is an essayist of fitful brilliance." * African Affairs *
"Together, the essays demonstrate the consistent evolution of Mbembe's innovative and unique postcolonial theory. . . . Fueled by his signature notion of the political imaginary, Mbembe sculpts a new language for Africa, one liberated from the confines of the Western "universalist" scholarly tradition." * Canadian Journal of African Studies *