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Xolela Mangcu (Professor)

Xolela Mangcu is Professor of Sociology at the University of Cape Town, and Oppenheimer Fellow at the Hutchins Centre for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He is the author and co-author of nine books, and more than two dozen journal articles and book chapters, including Biko: A Biography (Tafelberg 2012), which  was subsequently published in  London and New York by one of Europe’s leading academic publishers I.B. Tauris (2013).

Biko has been widely reviewed internationally and locally, in both academic publications and popular media. It was the finalist for the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction, the Recht Malan Prize, the South African Books Award and most recently, the UCT Meritorious Book Award.  

His book on race in contemporary South Africa, The Colour of Our Future, was published by Wits University Press in 2015.

Mangcu is widely known for his columns in Business Day, the Weekender,  the Sunday Independent, the Sowetan, and his op-ed articles in City Press and the Sunday Times. He is also a regular contributor to the international magazine on African current affairs, The New African.

The Sunday Times has described Mangcu as “possibly the most prolific public intellectual in South Africa.” The academic Peter Vale has described him as ‘the most interesting, certainly the most engaging voice amongst the new generation of public intellectuals in South Africa.’

Mangcu  was also the Founder of the Platform for Public Deliberation and Founding Executive Director of the Steve Biko Foundation.

He has also held fellowships at the Brookings Institution, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Rockefeller Foundation

He obtained his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and holds MSc (Development Planning) and BA (Sociology) degrees from Wits University.

At UCT he teaches Sociology second-year courses in social theory and culture and social life in the 21st century, a course on the sociology of development at Honours level, and a Master’s level social theory course. His research interests are in African intellectual history and biography, comparative race studies, and transformation of higher education in South Africa.

You can download Professor Mangcu's CV (including publication history) here.