Reading Group: Thinking Across the Divides: Achille Mbembe’s Critique of Black Reason

26 April 2017, 18:00–20:00
31 May 2017, 18:00–20:00

Stefan Helgesson

Welcome to the new Index Reading Group, which takes place on the last Wednesday of every month.Each evening we will read parts of the book together. This will be accompanied by a short discussion, facilitated by the Index learning team and special guests.

In the Spring Season, the reading group focuses on the text Critique of Black Reason (2017), the latest book by philosopher, political scientist, and public intellectual Achille Mbembe.

Discussing a genealogy of Blackness – from the Atlantic slave trade to the present – Mbembe’s book critically reevaluates history, racism, and the future of humanity. The book expands upon and deepens our understanding of the themes in Anna Boghiguian’s exhibition at Index, Woven Winds, which traces the long history of the global cotton trade.

On Wednesday May 31st, Stefan Helgesson from the English Department at Stockholm University will join us for a session with reflections on Mbembe’s writing focusing on ideas and questions from the public.

Stefan Helgesson is a critic, writer and professor of English at Stockholm University. His work has often dealt with African literature and more broadly with postcolonial theory, translation theory and world literature. He has published two books in Swedish, the collection of essays Efter västerlandet (2004) and the novel Leve fortsättarna (2010). Among his academic work one can mention Transnationalism in Southern African Literature (2009) and the edited volume (with Pieter Vermeulen) Institutions of World Literature (2015). His research articles have been published in a wide range of journals, including Research in African Literatures, The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, PMLA, Anglia and History and Theory.

Read more about Duke University Press publication, Critique of Black Reason here. The book can be purchased directly through Index.

Limited places.
Please RSVP and request reading materials to