Africa in Theory: A Conversation Between Jean Comaroff and Achille Mbembe

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					ETHICS OF SCALE: RELOCATING POLITICS
AFTER LIBERATION

Africa in Theory: A Conversation
Between Jean Comaroff and
Achille Mbembe
Moderated & Edited by Jesse Weaver Shipley




Achille Mbembe
I would like to start with an anecdote. I first met Jean Comaroff not literal-
ly, but through her thought provoking, generous, and hospitable Body of
Power, Spirit of Resistance during the winter of 1987. I was then on a Ford
Foundation grant, spending a year at the University of Madison-Wisconsin—
my first ever trip to the United States. I was writing a book on “political reli-
gion”—in this case Christianity—published in Paris a year later under the
title Afriques indociles. Christianisme, pouvoir et État en société post
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: [...] Body of Power has not only remained with me; it has pursued me, and it is easy to find its echoes in the deepest recesses of On the Postcolony. [...] to think or to theorize from Africa implies an acute awareness of the existence of this rift-even a full embrace of this rift which is at the same time a risk, and the understanding that "the social" is less a matter of order and contract than a matter of composition and experiment; that what ultimately binds societies might be some kind of artifice they have come to believe in; the realization that societies' capacity to continually produce something new and singular, as yet unthought, which is yet to be accommodated within established conceptual systems and languages-this is indeed the condition of possibility of social theorizing as such.
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