Daniel Magaziner

Daniel Magaziner's picture
Associate Professor of History
+1 (203) 432-6110


Fields of interest: 

South Africa, modern Africa, religion, political thought, popular culture and the African Diaspora


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. 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.

He is currently working on two book projects. The first is about the intellectual history of art education in 20thcentury South Africa, focusing especially on black teachers who were trained and employed by the white minority apartheid. His book, The Art of Life in South Africa, will be 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. Dan’s second ongoing project, tentatively entitled A History of Post-Colonial Style, considers the history of architecture, design and urban planning in post-colonial Africa.

At Yale, Dan teaches courses on South Africa, modern Africa, religion, political thought, popular culture and the African Diaspora. In 2016, he was awarded Yale College’s Sarai Ribicoff ’79 Prize for teaching excellence.