Skip to main content

Achille Mbembe on 'Substantive Democracy' - 2024 Amiel & Melburn Trust annual lecture

Venue: Birkbeck Clore Management Centre

Book your place

Achille Mbembe is a professor at Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) in Johannesbourg, South Africa. He was born in Cameroon, obtained his Ph.D in History at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1989 and a D.E.A. in Political Science at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Paris. A co-founder of Les Ateliers de la pensee de Dakar and a major figure in the emergence of a new wave of French critical theory, he has written extensively on contemporary politics and philosophy, including On the Postcolony (2001), Critique of Black Reason (2016), Necropolitics (2019) and Out of the Dark Night: Essays on Decolonization (2020). He is a contributing editor to the scholarly journal Public Culture. Mbembe’s latest book, Brutalism (2024), invokes the architectural aesthetic of brutalism to describe our moment, caught up in the pathos of demolition and production on a planetary scale. Professor Mbembe is the Director of the Innovation Foundation for Democracy and the recipient of the 2024 Holberg Prize.

The event is a lecture followed by a wine reception.

Doors open: 5.45 pm
Talk starts: 6.00 pm

The annual lecture is organised by the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities and supported by Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust.

It will be recorded and livestreamed on youtube (joining link: 

This event is free and open to all but registration is required. Please click on the 'book your place' link at the top of the page to secure your place. 



Contact name: