Out of the Dark Night is a collection of essays by Achille Mbembe, one of the world’s most profound critics of colonialism and its consequences and a major figure in the emergence of a new wave of French critical theory. In his latest work, published by Columbia University Press in January 2021, he examines the complexities of decolonization for African subjectivities and the possibilities emerging in its wake. In Out of the Dark Night, Mbembe offers a rich analysis of the paradoxes of the postcolonial moment that points toward new liberatory models of community, humanity, and planetarity.
The text includes Mbembe’s nuanced consideration of the African experience, with which he makes sweeping interventions into debates about citizenship, identity, democracy, and modernity. He ranges across European and African thought to provide a powerful assessment of common ways of writing and thinking about the world. Mbembe criticizes the blinders of European intellectuals, analyzing France’s failure to heed postcolonial critiques of ongoing exclusions masked by pretenses of universalism and 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.
For more information about the book, visit the website of Columbia University Press.