What is the role of critical theory today and who is it for? What kind of maps can theory provide in the context of entrenched capitalist crisis? These are some of the questions posed by this seminar series.
In the aftermath of various mutations of twentieth-century 'critical theory' (Frankfurt School, 'French Theory', etc.), proponents of 'postcritique' have argued that critical theory has 'run out of steam'. Instead, this seminar series starts from the premise that 21st-century crisis has also generated dynamic new ways of reconsidering these questions. A critical theory of the present is necessarily a crisis theory.
In this seminar Achille Mbembe will discuss his new book Brutalisme (La Découverte, 2020). An insightful and wide-ranging analysis of global capitalist destruction, Brutalisme offers a major theorization of our contemporary political moment and argues for a new politics based on reparation and planetary awareness.
Achille Mbembe is Research Professor in History and Politics at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (University of the Witwatersrand), Johannesburg, South Africa. He is the author of many books including On the Postcolony (2001), Critique of Black Reason (2016), Necropolitics (2019), Out of the Dark Night. Essays on Decolonization (2020) and Brutalisme (2020). His books are translated in fifteen languages. He is the recipient of the Ernst Bloch Award (2018) and the Gerda Henkel Award (2018).