n Historia - An important contribution to the intellectual history of South Africa
Inside African Anthropology: Monica Wilson and her Interpreters, Andrew Bank and Leslie J. Bank (Eds.) : book review

Volume 59, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0018-229X



This is a quite excellent and important edited volume. The book sets out to challenge the "official history" of anthropology in southern Africa by explicating the role of Monica Hunter Wilson's African research assistants in the production of her ethnographies. Resisting the exhausted trope of anthropology's "hidden colonialism", Wilson's relationships with her key assistants Godfrey Pitje, Livingstone Mqotsi and Archie Mafeje are presented as fundamentally collaborative (though not always fully acknowledged) and the knowledge produced out of these relationships characterised as "much more complex than simple dualistic models allow" (p 6).

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