Achille Mbembe | Futures of Life & Futures of Reason

This is an Archive of a Past Event

For a long time, the human race has been concerned with how life emerges and the conditions of its evolution and persistence. Increasingly, debates about life futures are framed in terms of the conditions under which life ends. In this lecture, the philosopher and political theorist Achille Mbembe will argue that the most important feature of Earth is its habitability. Understanding planetary habitability and the reasons why life is not evenly shared over the surface of the Earth may be crucial for the survival of all living species.

Following the lecture there will be a Q&A.

About the Speaker

Achille Mbembe is one of the most influential philosophers writing today. A Research Professor in History and Politics at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (University of the Witwatersrand), Johannesburg, South Africa, Mbembe is the author of numerous books including On the Postcolony (University Of California Press, 2001), Critique of Black Reason (Duke University Press, 2017), Necropolitics (Duke University Press, 2019), Brutalisme (Editions La Découverte, 2020) and Out of the Dark Night. Essays on Decolonization (Columbia University Press, 2020).

He is the winner of the Ernst Bloch Prize (2018) and the Gerda Henkel Award (2018). His books have been translated into numerous languages.

The Presidential Lectures bring the most distinguished scholars, artists, and critics to the Stanford University campus for lectures, seminars, panel discussions, and a variety of related interactions with faculty, students, and the community at large.