The Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University
Frantz Fanon is one of the very few thinkers to have risked something that resembles a theory of decolonization. The European game having finally ended, at least so he thought, he argued in The Wretched of the Earth that “we today can do everything.” In this lecture Mbembe will reflect on the dialectics of the end/closure and boundless possibility evoked by Fanon and the ways it is played out under contemporary conditions. Mbembe will also assess the place contemporary struggles for emancipation assign to the key Fanonian concepts of time, creation and reconstitution and the extent to which they truly transcend the “law of repetition,” which he foresaw as the biggest threat to newness.
Achille Mbembe is a Research Professor in History and Politics at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa), and a Visiting Professor in the Romance Studies Department and The Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University. For ten years a contributing editor for the US-based journal Public Culture, he is also a Senior Researcher at the Witwatersrand Institute of Social and Economic Research (WISER). He is the author of numerous books in French. He is mostly known in the English-speaking world for his classic, On the Postcolony. His latest book, Sortir de la grande nuit (Editions La Decouverte, Paris, 2010), will be published in 2013 by Columbia University Press.
Tuesday October 16, 2012
4:45 – 6:15 pm
Goldwin Smith Hall
Wednesday October 17, 2012
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
38 Forest Home Drive
The seminar is free and open to the public. Check the ICM website for updates.