Inside African Anthropology: Monica Wilson and her Interpreters

Overview

Inside African Anthropology offers an incisive biography of the life and work of South Africa's foremost social anthropologist, Monica Hunter Wilson. By exploring her main fieldwork and intellectual projects in southern Africa between the 1920s and 1960s through a massive personal archive, the book offers insights into the personal and intellectual life of a leading African anthropologist. Beginning with her origins in the remote Eastern Cape, the authors follow Wilson to Cambridge University and back into the ...

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Inside African Anthropology: Monica Wilson and her Interpreters

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Overview

Inside African Anthropology offers an incisive biography of the life and work of South Africa's foremost social anthropologist, Monica Hunter Wilson. By exploring her main fieldwork and intellectual projects in southern Africa between the 1920s and 1960s through a massive personal archive, the book offers insights into the personal and intellectual life of a leading African anthropologist. Beginning with her origins in the remote Eastern Cape, the authors follow Wilson to Cambridge University and back into the field among the Mpondo of South Africa, where her studies resulted in her 1936 book Reaction to Conquest. Her fieldwork focus then shifted to Tanzania, where she teamed up with her husband, Godfrey Wilson. She later returned to South Africa to begin her teaching career at Fort Hare University and record her Tanzanian research. In the 1960s, Wilson embarked on a new urban ethnography with a young South African anthropologist, Archie Mafeje, one of the many black scholars she trained. This study also provides a meticulously researched exploration of the indispensible contributions of African research assistants and co-researchers to the production of this famous woman scholar's cultural knowledge about mid-twentieth century Africa.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107029385
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2013
  • Series: International African Library Series, #44
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Bank is Associate Professor in the History Department at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He has been commissioning editor of the journal Kronos: Southern African Histories since 2001 and is a member of the editorial board for the South African Historical Journal.

Leslie J. Bank is Professor of Social Anthropology and Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa. He is the author of Home Spaces, Street Styles: Contesting Power and Identity in a South African City (2011). He is a member of the editorial board of the International Africa Institute journal, Africa, and is the current president of the Association for Anthropology in Southern Africa.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Andrew Bank; Part I. Pondoland and the Eastern Cape: 1. Family, friends, and mentors: Monica Hunter at Lovedale and Cambridge, 1908–30 Andrew Bank; 2. The 'intimate politics' of fieldwork: Monica Hunter and her African assistants, Pondoland and the Eastern Cape, 1931–2 Andrew Bank; 3. City dreams, country magic: re-reading Monica Wilson's East London fieldnotes Leslie J. Bank; Part II. Bunyakyusa: 4. Pondo pins and Nyakyusa hammers: Monica and Godfrey in Bunyakyusa Rebecca Marsland; 5. Working with the Wilsons: the brief career of a 'Nyakyusa clerk', Leonard Mwaisumo (1910–38) Sekibakiba Peter Lekgoathi, Timothy Mwakasekele and Andrew Bank; Part III. Fort Hare and the University of Cape Town: 6. 'Your intellectual son': Monica Wilson and her students at Fort Hare, 1944–6 Seán Morrow; 7. Witchcraft and the academy: Livingstone Mqotsi, Monica Wilson, and the Middledrift healers, 1945–57 Leslie J. Bank; 8. 'Speaking from inside': Archie Mafeje, Monica Wilson, and the co-production of Langa: A study of social groups in an African township Andrew Bank with Vuyiswa Swana; Part IV. Legacy: 9. 'Part of one whole': anthropology and history in the work of Monica Wilson Seán Morrow and Christopher Saunders; 10. Gleanings and leavings: encounters in hindsight Pamela Reynolds; Bibliography.

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