Drawing on a massive personal archive, Inside African Anthropology. Monica Wilson and Her Interpreters  offers rare insights into the history and making of southern African anthropology through an analysis of the life and work of Monica Wilson, amongst South Africa’s most distinguished anthropologists.

The book was launched at an event hosted by the International African Institute. The event included a discussion on ‘the unofficial history of African Anthropology’ with speakers Wayne Dooling, Deborah James, Shula Marks, the book’s co-editor Andrew Bank, and contributors Rebecca Marsland and Timothy Mwakasekele.

Adam Kuper, Centennial professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics, who also attended the event, praised the book as ‘A superb, multi-faceted account of Monica Wilson’s career. She was a distinguished ethnographer, a pioneering woman academic, and one of the few gallant scholars who uncovered the real consequences of Apartheid.’

Rebecca Marsland, lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, whose chapter addresses the politics of recognition of Monica Wilson as a woman anthropologist, fieldworker and (co-)author, spoke about Monica’s fieldwork in Bunyakyusa (in 1930s Tanganyika) with her husband Godfrey Wilson. She described their gendered and complementary fieldwork, and the importance of this period to Monica’s memory of Godfrey after his tragic death in 1944.

Francis Wilson, Monica Wilson’s son and economist at UCT, wrote in a message of congratulations to the editors ‘I think Monica would really appreciate the way you brought out, in and the uncovering of her collaborative relationships with Godfrey Pitje, Livingstone Mqotsi and Archie Mafeje, and in Pamela Reynolds’s own chapter, her remarkable impact on several generations of young scholars. She was a great teacher and that has not always been recognised.’

The book is available to purchase  here at a discount of 20%  by entering the discount code BANK20 upon checkout (offer is valid until the 30th September 2013). 

To mark the publication of this landmark volume on Monica Wilson’s contribution to the ethnography of southern Africa the International African Institute and Cambridge University Press are pleased to offer free access to Monica Wilson’s (née Hunter) and Godfrey Wilson’s articles published in the journal Africa.

View the selection of all six articles here. These articles have recently come available online as part of the digitised archive of the journal from 1928.

Included in the selection are the following articles:

An African Christian Morality
Monica Hunter

An African Morality
Godfrey Wilson

Anthropology as a Public Service
Godfrey Wilson

The Effects of Contact with Europeans on the Status of Pondo Women
Monica Hunter

Introdution to Nyakyusa Law
Godfrey Wilson

Zig-Zag Change
Monica Wilson

Readers may also be interested in an obituary of Monica Wilson by David Brokensha published in Africa in 1983. This, along with all six articles are available here.

The below image was taken at the IAI event to launch the book.

reception monica

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