South African-based, Cameroon-born philosopher, intellectual and social theorist, Professor Achille Mbembe, will deliver a public lecture on Tuesday 26 February in Hiddingh Hall. The lecture is presented by the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) in collaboration with the Michaelis School of Fine Art.

His address will consider the importance of radical mediation between cultures, translating experience and creating mutual understanding across international borders.

Mbembe is widely accepted as one of the most significant thinkers, theoretically examining the links between Africa, the contemporary world, and the way that history in and of Africa has impacted on notions of the contemporary. His seminal work, On the Postcolony (2000, English translation 2001), elicited much debate and ushered in a new discourse in the understanding and theorisation of Africa.

Achille Mbembe obtained his Ph.D. in History at the University of Sorbonne in Paris, France. He subsequently obtained a D.E.A. in Political Science at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in the same city. He has held appointments at Columbia University in New York, Brookings Instituition in Washington, D.C., University of Pennsylvania, University of California, Berkeley, Yale University, Duke University and Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) in Dakar, Senegal. Mbembe is currently a member of the staff at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) at the University of the Witwatersrand as well as contributing editor of the scholarly journal Public Culture. He also has an annual appointment as a visiting faculty member in department of English at Duke University. Mbembe has written extensively on African history and politics and his work has been translated in various languages. He is the author of many books in French, including Sortir de la grande nuit. Essai sur l”Afrique decolonisee (Paris, 2010), and is also the winner of the Bill Venter/Altron Award for his On the Postcolony (2001).

This lecture also forms part of the conference Between the Lines – a joint project of the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Braunschweig, Germany, and the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. This conference is open to the public and runs from 25 to 28 February 2013.

Mbembe’s address will take place at Hiddingh Hall, University of Cape Town (UCT) Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Cape Town on Tuesday 26 February at 18:30 and is free. Light refreshments will be served afterward. No Booking is necessary. For more information on this lecture, please contact the GIPCA office on 021 480 7156 or For Between the Lines conference information, please visit

Achille Mbembe audio recording available for download.

Achille Mbembe video recording:

Start: 26 Feb ’13 6:30 am

End: 26 Feb ’13 7:30 pm

Cost: Free


Organizer: GIPCA


Venue: Hiddingh Hall

Phone: +27 21 480 7156

Address: Google Map UCT Hiddingh Campus, 31 Orange Street, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa