On the Postcolony

On the Postcolony

Paperback Studies on the History of Society and Culture

By (author) Achille Mbembe

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  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Paperback | 274 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 224mm x 20mm | 476g
  • Publication date: 17 June 2001
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520204352
  • ISBN 13: 9780520204355
  • Illustrations note: 22 line illustrations
  • Sales rank: 112,859

Product description

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.

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Author information

Achille Mbembe lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He is the author of three books published in French, including La naissance du maquis dans le Sud-Cameroun(1920-1960): Histoire des usages de la raison en colonie (1996).

Review quote

"A masterpiece of rhetorical and discursive styles . . . a landmark text not just in terms of the thematic of African colonial and postcolonial realities, but more significantly, about the forms through which this thematic is to be methodologically refracted."--Ato Quayson, "African Studies Review