1st Edition

Achille Mbembe

By Oliver Coates Copyright 2024
    198 Pages
    by Routledge

    198 Pages
    by Routledge

    Achille Mbembe is a key thinker in contemporary African philosophy, who has been influential in literary and cultural theory, African literature, and postcolonial studies. Oliver Coates introduces key concepts within Mbembe’s thought in relation to African history, literature, and philosophy.

    This accessible guide:

    • Considers examples from African literature in Arabic, English, French, and Yoruba, and shows the relevance of Mbembe’s thought beyond Anglophone writing;
    • Explores how Mbembe’s work relates to contemporary global events, and charts Mbembe’s intellectual development between Cameroon, France, and the U.S.A.;
    • Discusses core concepts from across Mbembe’s career, including the positioning of Africa within Western and Afrodiasporic thought, the colony, postcolony, necropolitics, decolonization, Afropolitanism, technology, and the environment;
    • Reveals Mbembe’s engagement with key global events including the #RhodesMustFall and #BlackLivesMatter movements, and the call for the restitution of African objects in Western museums.

    Offering a clear and accessible route into what can be a complex area, this book shows the significance of Mbembe’s thought across literature, history, postcolonial studies, gender studies and critical theory.

    Series Editor’s Preface


    Why Mbembe?


    Key ideas

    1. Race, Africa, and Questions of Knowledge

    2. The Colony

    3. The Postcolony

    4. The Nocturnal Sphere and Necropolitics

    5. Out of the Dark Night: Decolonization and the New Human

    6. Afropolitanism

    7. Technology

    8. The Planetary and the Common


    After Mbembe


    Further Reading

    Works Cited




    Oliver Coates is Director of Studies in History and Politics at St. Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge, UK and Associate Researcher of the Institut des mondes africaines, C.N.R.S., Paris. His recent research has been published in International Journal of African Historical Studies, Journal of Asian and African Studies, and Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History.