Thursday, 15 September 2011
On the Postcolony
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.
"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