Out of the Dark Night

Essays on Decolonization

Achille Mbembe

Columbia University Press

Out of the Dark Night

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Pub Date: April 2019

ISBN: 9780231160285

208 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $30.00£24.00

Pub Date: April 2019

ISBN: 9780231500593

208 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $29.99£24.00

Out of the Dark Night

Essays on Decolonization

Achille Mbembe

Columbia University Press

Achille Mbembe is one of the world’s most profound critics of colonialism and its consequences, a major figure in the emergence of a new wave of French critical theory. His writings examine the complexities of decolonization for African subjectivities and the possibilities emerging in its wake. In Out of the Great Darkness, he offers a rich analysis of the paradoxes of the postcolonial moment that points toward new liberatory models of community and humanity.

In a nuanced consideration of the African experience, Mbembe makes sweeping interventions into debates about citizenship, identity, democracy, and modernity. He eruditely ranges across European and African thought to provide a powerful assessment of common ways of writing and thinking about Africa. Mbembe criticizes the blinders of European intellectuals, analyzing France’s failure to heed postcolonial critiques of ongoing exclusions masked by pretenses of universalism. He develops a new reading of African modernity that further develops the notion of Afropolitanism, a novel way of being in the world that has arisen in decolonized Africa in the midst of both destruction and the birth of new societies, making the case for South Africa as its laboratory. Out of the Great Darkness reconstructs critical theory’s historical and philosophical framework for understanding colonial and postcolonial events and expands our sense of the futures made possible by decolonization.
An important, provocative, and powerful intervention into the politics and the production of knowledge after colonialism in France and about the French empire's former colonies after they became independent. Mamadou Diouf, Columbia University

About the Author

Achille Mbembe is Research Professor in History and Politics at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. His books in English include On the Postcolony (2001) and Critique of Black Reason (2017).