Achille Mbembe is a Research Professor in History and Politics at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He was born in Cameroon and obtained his PhD in History at the Université de Paris I-Pantheon Sorbonne and a DEA at Sciences Po. He taught successively at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University. From 1996 to 2000, he was the Executive Director of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA). Earlier in his career, he published extensively in African politics and history. His landmark work “On the Postcolony” (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001) has deeply infl uenced postcolonial thought and various other disciplines in the fi eld of the humanities. The winner of many awards, including the 2018 Ernst Bloch Award and the 2015 Geschwister Scholl Award, he has powerfully contributed to the renewal of critical theory from a global Southern perspective with his later work “Sortir de la grande nuit” (2010); “Critique de la raison negre” (2013); and “Politiques de l’inimitié” (2016).
His many books have been translated into various languages, including German, Italian, Spanish, English, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish, Romanianand Arabic. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an internationally recognized public intellectual, Achille Mbembe is one of the leading and most recognizable voices writing today in French.