Translator’s Introduction
1 When material quoted by Mbembe in the work is originally in En glish, I
have found and incorporated the relevant passages from the original works.
I have also tracked down existing En glish translations of material in French or
other languages, and used the relevant passages from those translations. In these
cases, the notes in this translation refer to these En glish versions rather than
those referenced in the original work. In all other cases, I have translated the
quoted material from French to En glish myself.
1 Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Eu rope: Postcolonial Thought and Histori-
cal  Difference, Prince ton Studies in Culture/Power/History (Prince ton, NJ:
Prince ton University Press, 2000); Jean Comaroff, Theory from the South; or,
How Euro- America Is Evolving toward Africa (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2011),
in par ticular the introduction; Arjun Appadurai, ed., The Future as Cultural
Fact: Essays on the Global Condition (London: Verso Books, 2013); Kuan- Hsing
Chen, Asia as Method: Toward Deimperialization (Durham, NC: Duke University
Press, 2010); and Walter Mignolo, The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global
Futures, Decolonial Options (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011).
2 On the complexity and tensions inherent in this gesture, see Srinivas Aravamu-
dan, Enlightenment Orientalism: Resisting the Rise of the Novel (Chicago: Univer-
sity of Chicago Press, 2012).
3 See François Bernier; and Sue Peabody and Tyler Edward Stovall, eds., The Color
of Liberty: Histories of Race in France (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003);
see also Charles W. Mills, The Racial Contract (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press,
4 William Max Nelson, “Making Men: Enlightenment Ideas of Racial Engineer-
ing,” American Historical Review 115, no. 2 (2010): 1364–94; James Delbourgo,
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