bodies as borders: reflections on the right to mobility in the twenty-first century

Keynote: Achille Mbembe (CM)

A major figure in the fields of African history, politics, and social science, Professor Mbembe is widely regarded as one of the most important public intellectuals writing about contemporary African and global phenomena in the world today.

His research investigates the “postcolony” that comes after decolonization. He is especially interested in the emergence of “Afro-cosmopolitan culture”, together with the artistic practices that are associated with it. He has also critically explored the notion of Johannesburg as a metropolitan city and the work of Frantz Fanon.


The central focus of his work is to identify societies that recently emerged from the experience of colonization and the violence that is the main characteristic of this experience. The goal of his work is to change the perception of Africa and to move away from the dead-end of postcolonial theory to a more dynamic way of thinking that will take into account the complexities of post-colonial Africa.

He is the convener for the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism, serves on the editorial boards of Political Theory, Atlantic Studies, and African Identities, and is a contributing editor of the journal Public Culture.