274 pp., illus., paperback, First SA Edition, Johannesburg, 2015
This collection of essays was originally published in French in 2000, and in English in the USA in 2001. This edition has been updated with a foreword by Isabel Hofmeyr and a preface by Achille Mbembe.
"This brilliant book takes us on an agonising journey through what it means to engage violence, death, and sexuality in the shadows of African colonialism. Ranging widely across the boundaries of social theory, history, and philosophy, Mbwembe makes a fundamental reassessment of the conditions of possibility for speaking from or about Africa. At the same time, he offers an unflinching study of the political economy of brutality as imaged and objectified by colonialism. It is also a remarkable work of social poetics, filled with insights into the state, the body, and the fetish that could enable Africa to emerge from its role as the darkness in our worlds." Arjun Appadurai, author of "Modernity at Large: cultural dimensions of globalisation"
"In the decade since its publication, 'On the Postcolony' has proven one of the most lastingly provocative and stimulating contributions to the theoretical literature on the postcolonial state in sub-Saharan Africa." Mikael Karlström, Researcher, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago
Achille Mbembe is a Senior Researcher at WISER (Wits Institute of Social and Economic Research).