Joseph-Achille Mbembe

University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
Historian; Political and social scientist; Educator
Humanities and Arts
International Honorary Member
Figure in the fields of African history, politics, and social science who is widely regarded as an important public intellectual writing about contemporary African and global issues today. His book On the Postcolony (2001) had a significant impact in Africa and beyond, seeking to renew and reinterpret our understanding of power and subjectivity in contemporary Africa and to subvert some key assumptions of postcolonial theory. His work focuses on the postcolony that comes after decolonization. He is especially interested in the emergence of Afro-cosmopolitan culture, together with the artistic practices associated with it. He has also critically explored the notion of Johannesburg as a metropolitan city and the work of Frantz Fanon.
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