326pp., illus., map, paperback, Cape Town, 2019
A case study of the Eastern Cape motor city of East London, a site of significant industrial job losses over the past two decades.
"This truly remarkable book provides an outstanding and highly innovative call for how re-thinking the idea of the university can lead to a regeneration of East London, South Africa's 'rust-belt' city. With the settler-nationalist dream of a 'motor city' fading, the book reflects on the contradictory nature of post-apartheid urbanism, and how this relates to changing cultural configurations and the recent rise of an African middle class. Written by one of South Africa's most engaged anthropologists, this book will attract widespread attention globally as well as locally." Roger Southall, Professor Emeritus in Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand
"This highly readable, richly ethnographic and interdisciplinary book significantly expands our understanding of East London's cultural history, its contemporary challenges and future possibilities. if you are looking for a fiercely researched South African urban study that engages closely with dynamics on the global Rust Belt, then this is the book for you." Peter Alegi, Professor of History, Michigan State University
Leslie Bank is Deputy Executive Director of the Human Sciences Research Council.