Bergen Summer Research School
Guest lecture

Pathways of tomorrow: Contributing to thinking commensurate with the planet

Guest lecture by Holberg Prize Laureate 2024 Achille Mbembe, Research Professor of history and politics, Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand.

Achille Mbembe
Chanté Schatz, University of the Witwatersrand

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Guest lecture by Holberg Prize Laureate 2024
Achille Mbembe
Research Professor of history and politics
Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand

Achille Mbembe is a professor at WISER and at the new Innovation Foundation for Democracy. He was born in Cameroon, obtained his Ph.D in History at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1989 and a D.E.A. in Political Science at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Paris).

A co-founder of Les Ateliers de la pensee de Dakar and a major figure in the emergence of a new wave of French critical theory, he has written extensively on contemporary politics and philosophy, including On the Postcolony (University of California Press, 2001), Critique of Black Reason (Duke University Press, 2016), Necropolitics (Duke University Press, 2019) and Out of the Dark Night. Essays on Decolonization (Columbia University Press, 2020).  

He has held positions  at Columbia University, the Brookings Institute, University of Pennsylvania, and Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA). He has also been a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Yale University, University of California at Irvine, Duke University and Harvard University. 

He is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Paris VIII (France) and Universite Catholique de Louvain (Belgium). He has also held the Albert the Great Chair at the University of Koln (2019) and was an Honorary Professor at the Jakob Fugger-Zentrum, University of Augsburg (Germany). He has been awarded numerous awards including the 2015 Geswichter Scholl-Preis, the 2018 Gerda Henkel Award, the 2018 Ernst Bloch Award, and the 2024 Holberg Prize.

Originally written in French, his books and numerous articles are translated in thirteen languages (English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Slovenian, Danish, Swedish, Romanian, Arabic, Chinese). He has an A1 rating from the South African National Research Foundation and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences