Prof. Leslie Bank

DEPARTMENT: Inclusive Economic Development (IED)
TELEPHONE: 021 466 7936

Prof Bank is the deputy executive director of the HSRC?s Economic Performance and Development research programme.

He is a specialist in social, economic and historical research and has been involved in project-based and development research for more than 20 years. His current interests relate to the cultural and popular economy, urban-rural migration and the potential role of universities as agents for city and regional development in southern Africa. He also works on projects in rural development, governance and land issues.

Bank is the recipient of the vice chancellor's senior research medal at the University of Fort Hare. He has received research fellowships from Fulbright, the Ford Foundation and the Oppenheimer Trust to institutions such as Emory, Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Previously, Bank was a research fellow at the African Studies Centre at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. He was also a professor of social anthropology and founding director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Fort Hare. He was also the co-ordinator of the African Studies master?s programme at Fort Hare.

Bank has authored a number of monographs and academic articles. His three most recent books are Imonit Modern: Picturing the Life and Times of a South African Location (Best RED, HSRC Press, 1917, with Mxolisi Qebeyi), The Limits of Auto-freedom: Urbanism, City Building and the University on the South Africa Rust Belt (HSRC Press, 2018, in press) and an edited collection with Dr. Nico Cloete, Anchored in Place: Rethinking Universities and Development (African Minds, 2018, in press). His previous books include Home Spaces, Street Styles: Contesting Power and Identity in a South African City (Pluto Press, London, 2011) and (with Andrew Bank) Inside African Anthropology: Monica Wilson and her Interpreters (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

He has also edited special journal collections and is a member of the editorial board of the International Africa Institute journal, Africa, as well as one of the commissioning editors for a Cambridge University Press book series on Africa. Bank was a past president of the Association for Anthropology in southern Africa (2011-2015). He is currently completing an edited book with economists, Professors Dorrit Posel and Francis Wilson, entitled Migrant Labour After Apartheid (HSRC Press, forthcoming 2019) and is now working on the social and cultural infrastructures of urbanisation in South Africa. He runs the place-making and development group in the EPD unit.