Achile Mbembe

Wits Institute for Economic and Social Research, University of Witwatersrand, Duke University

John and Jean Comaroff’‘s intellectual influence has been immense. It is to be found in various areas of academic enquiry, from law, cultural studies, political economy to sociology, social studies of health and religion, arts and design…Their very significant intellectual influence and moral authority [has been] strenuously  dedicated…to nurturing high quality scholarly  communities. They brought together many of us through consistent ethical behavior, always respectful and responsible conduct, and a huge and extraordinary generosity and sense of humor. [Their] work has consistently brought together finely detailed ethnography, a broad hermeneutic approach to the interpretation of cultural practices, and a striking literary – and almost cinematic – sensibility…This is what has allowed them to write captivating and theoretically sophisticated books. I cannot insist enough on the priceless work Jean and John Comaroff have done in firmly placing the African continent on the international research agenda and contemporary intellectual debates. Through their own research, they have shown that there is no better vantage point than “ex-centric” locations to look at the contemporary planetary order in its totality.