Book exploring institutional racism in South African public education earns top award for UTSC prof

Mark Hunter
Professor Mark Hunter has received the top award from the Canadian Association of African Studies for his book that explores institutional racism in South African public education (Submitted photo)

A professor’s book exploring the enduring legacy of institutional racism on South Africa’s education system has earned a top award from the Canadian Association of African Studies.

Professor Mark Hunter from the Department of Human Geography at U of T Scarborough is this year’s recipient of the Joel Gregory prize for his book Race for Education: Gender, White Tone, and Schooling in South Africa.

“It is a great honour to receive this recognition and I thank my partner, Professor Atiqa Hachimi and our daughter who, herself, attended three schools in South Africa during the research,” says Hunter.

“I hope the book can add to current discussions about racism’s stubborn but dynamic presence in institutions around the world.”

Hunter’s book is a decade-long ethnography that follows individual families and schools during South Africa’s political transition following apartheid, and the subsequent demand to decolonize and make public education more affordable. 

The book expertly engages with discussions on race and class dynamics in South Africa in an insightful way. It is extremely empirically rich and a pleasure to read,” said the award committee in selecting the book.

Hunter’s research projects look at the social roots of everyday inequalities in health, education, addiction and labour with a particular focus on South Africa, which he has studied for more than 30 years.

The Joel Gregory Prize is the most prestigious prize awarded by the Canadian Association of African Studies. It’s given once every two years to the top book published in African Studies in the social sciences and humanities by a scholar with connections to Canada.