On this week’s episode we read Achille Mbembe’s On the Postcolony, focusing in particular on the Introduction and Chapters 5 and 6. We begin by discussing Mbembe’s analysis of the historical trajectory of Christian conversion and the divine libido in Chapter Six, “God’s Phallus” and its connection to Mbembe’s broader critique of rationality as constructed through eurocentric Enlightenment philosophy. We then attempt to discern Mbembe’s proposed methodology for thinking Africa after the colony without negating–but rather moving beyond mere relationality to–Western colonial depictions of Africa as hollow, devoid of reason, chaotic. We also discuss Mbembe’s use of the word ‘colony’ as it relates to violence, death, materiality and time. During everyone’s favorite segment, My Tumblr Friend from Canada, we offer our thoughts on how to address a delicate conversation with an academic advisor. Listen in as we dig into this rich and important text!
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- mp3 file of the episode
- Mbembe’s page at University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa
- Mbembe: “Discussing African Futures”
- Mbembe: “Frantz Fanon and the Politics of Viscerality”
- Mbembe: Revolts and Resistance: A Pan African Perspective
2 thoughts on “Ep. 41 – Achille Mbembe, On the Postcolony”
outside of theological speculations there never was (never could be) such A thing/project/etc as Christianity, along these lines Stephen Turner’s The Social Theory of Practices is key,
from the pretty good wiki
“Practices: Turner has published in the overlapping fields of sociology and philosophy, particularly on the notion of practices. In The Social Theory of Practices as well as in other writings Turner argues against collective concepts like culture: what we call culture (and similar concepts), he argues, needs to be understood in terms of the means of its transmission. There is no collective server by which it is simply downloaded and “shared”. What we take as “collective” is really produced through experiences of interaction which are different and produce different results for different individuals but which also produce a rough uniformity through mechanisms of feedback rather than “sharing”. He has extended this argument in various places, most recently in relation to the philosophical idea of “normativity” which he argues is an explanation of “facts” which are the product of an unnecessary and mystery-producing redescription motivated by an attempt to take back ground from social science explanation.”