312 pp., illus., paperback, Pietermaritzburg, 2013
A social history of Inanda Seminary, the oldest extant high school for southern African girls, operating outside of Durban since 1869.
"Megan Healy-Clancy's main characters - missionaries, teachers, head mistresses, pupils, alumni - somehow survive and often thrive in the protected world of Inanda Seminary over a sweeping period of nearly 150 years. She weaves their stories into a commanding portrayal of the imperatives of colonial power, chiefly patriarchy and segregationist supremacy. The highly educated women who emerge from the single Christian girls' school have exerted a disproportionately significant influence on our society, playing their parts as nurses and teachers in earlier years, and as doctors, politicians and other professionals today. While missionary schools all over the country were summarily closed under apartheid in one of the most shocking precursor events to our dire education situation today, Inanda survived to make it's mark on the development and stability of an African middle class. A fascinating piece of work." Belinda Bozzoli, University of the Witwatersrand.
Social historian, Megan Healy-Clancy teaches history, literature and social studies at Harvard University.