2018 Ruth First Memorial Lecture: The Politics of Knowledge in South Africa

Ruth First Lecture


March 12, 2018


Alumni Lounge, Usdan Student Center 


Dan Magaziner is a historian of 20th century Africa. He received his PhD in 2007 from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and taught at Cornell University before coming to Yale in 2011. An intellectual historian specializing in South Africa, he published his first book, The Law and the Prophets: Black Consciousness in South Africa, 1968–1977, in 2010. The Law and the Prophets is a history of political thought in 1970s South Africa, focusing especially on the ways that young South African activists deployed radical Christian, indigenous African and global 1960s ideas to reinvigorate resistance to the apartheid state. His book, The Art of Life in South Africa, was published in South Africa and the United States in 2016. The book reframes our image of black cultural and intellectual life under apartheid; it is a meditation on the nature of creativity and about how historical actors work with the possible to fashion beauty from their time and place.

Department of History