Daniel 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. The Law and the Prophets grew out of his dissertation research at Wisconsin, for which he was awarded a Fulbright Hays, and various other awards.
His new research project, tentatively entitled On a Contested Canvas: Artists and the Art of Life in 20th Century South Africa, is an intellectual, cultural and social history of black visual artists in South Africa. Covering the 1920s to the 1980s, the project revisits several well-known themes in the South African past – the New African, the impact of World War II, the Sophiatown Renaissance, Bantu Education, the rise of Black Consciousness and the politics of cultural struggle – and demonstrates how history through the eyes of non-traditional historical actors (artists, art students, art teachers, gallery owners, etc.) looks spectacularly different.
At Yale, Daniel teaches courses on South Africa, modern Africa, religion, political thought, popular culture and the African Diaspora.