John Wright: A Hyperlinked Biographical Note

John Wright, born in 1942, is an Emeritus Professor of History at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a research associate of the Archive and Public Culture Research Initiative at the University of Cape Town. Over his long career, Wright has written extensively about the history of the KwaZulu-Natal region before European colonialism. Much of his work has also centred on giving shape to The James Stuart Archive of Recorded Oral Evidence, a project he first began working on, in partnership with Colin Webb, in 1971. To date, six volumes have been published. Work on a seventh, co-edited by Mbongiseni Buthelezi, is ongoing. Much of Wright’s recent work has focused on critical engagement with archives and resources on southern Africa’s distant past.

Relevant Works

Kros, Cynthia, Helen Ludlow, John Wright, and Mbongisnei Buthelezi. Archives of Times Past: Conversations about South Africa’s Deep History. Scottsville: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2022.

Hamilton, Carolyn and John Wright. “Moving Beyond Ethnic Framing: Political Differentiation in the Chiefdoms of the KwaZulu-Natal Region before 1830”.  Journal of Southern African Studies 43, no. 4 (2017), 663-679.

Wright, John. “Ndukwana, Socwatsha, Thununu and Stuart, and their Living Archive of History”. The Digging Stick 33, no. 3 (2016), 15-19.

Wright, John. “Socwatsha kaPhaphu, James Stuart, and Their Conversations on the Past, 1897–1922”. Kronos 41, no. 1 (2015), 142-165.

Webb, Colin and John Wright. The James Stuart Archive of Recorded Oral Evidence Relating to the History of the Zulu and Neighbouring Peoples volume 6. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, 2014.

Wright, John. “A.T. Bryant and the ‘Lala’”.  Journal of Southern African Studies 38, no. 2 (2012), 355-368.

Wright, John. “Ndukwana kaMbengwana as an Interlocutor on the History of the Zulu Kingdom, 1879-1903”. History in Africa 38, no. 1 (2011), 343-368.

Wright, John. “Shaka Zulu”. Entry in Dictionary of African Biography, edited by Gates, Henry Louis and Emmanuel Akyeampong. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Wright, John. “The Thuli and Cele paramountcies in the coastlands of Natal, c. 1770–c. 1820”. Southern African Humanities 21, no. 1 (2009), 177–194.

Wright, John. “Turbulent Times: Political Transformations in the North and East, 1760s–1830s”. In The Cambridge History of South Africa Volume 1: From Early Times to 1885, edited by Hamilton, Carolyn, Bernard Mbenga and Robert Ross, 211-252. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Wright, John. “Rediscovering the Ndwandwe Kingdom”. In Five Hundred Years Rediscovered: Southern African Precedents and Prospects, edited by Swanepoel, Natalie, Amanda Esterhuysen, and Philip Bonner, 217-238. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2008.

Wright, John. “Revisiting the Stereotype of Shaka’s “devastations””. In Zulu Identities: Being Zulu, Past and Present, edited by Carton, Benedict, John Laband and Jabulani Sithole, 69-81. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2008.

Wright, John. “Beyond the Zulu Aftermath: Migrations, Identities, Histories”. Journal of Natal and Zulu History 24 and 25 (2006-2007), 1-36.

Wright, John. “Mfecane”. In Encyclopedia of African History 2, edited by Shillington, Kevin, 979-80.  New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2005.

Wright, John. “Reconstituting Shaka Zulu for the 21st Century: Part One”. Department of History Lecture series, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2004.

Webb, Colin and John Wright. The James Stuart Archive of Recorded Oral Evidence Relating to the History of the Zulu and Neighbouring Peoples volume 5. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, 2001.

Wright, John. “Making the James Stuart Archive”. History in Africa 23 (1996), 333-350.

Wright, John. “Beyond the Concept of the ‘Zulu Explosion’”.  In The Mfecane Aftermath: Reconstructive Debates in Southern African History, edited by Hamilton, Carolyn, 107-121. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1995.

Wright, John. “Mfecane debates”. Southern African Review of Books, no. 39/40 (September-December 1995), 18-19.

Wright, John. “Political Transformations in the Thukela-Mzimkhulu Region in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries”.  In The Mfecane Aftermath: Reconstructive Debates in Southern African History, edited by Hamilton, Carolyn, 163-182. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1995.

Wright, John. “A.T. Bryant and the ‘wars of Shaka’”. History in Africa 18 (1991), 409-425.

Hamilton, Carolyn and John Wright. “The Making of the Amalala: Ethnicity, Ideology and Relations of Subordination in a Precolonial Context”. South African Historical Journal 22, no. 1 (1990), 3-23.

Wright, John. “Political Mythology and the Making of Natal’s Mfecane”. Canadian Journal of African Studies 23 (1989), 272-291.

Wright, John. “The Dynamics of Power and Conflict in the Thukela-Mzimkhulu Region of the Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries: A Critical Reconstruction”. Ph.D. thesis, University of the Witwatersrand, 1989.

Wright, John and Carolyn Hamilton. “Traditions and Transformations: The Phongolo-Mzimkhulu Region in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries”. In Natal and Zululand: From Earliest Time to 1910: A New History, edited by Duminy, Andrew and Bill Guest, 49-82. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, 1989.

Wright, John. “Politics, Ideology, and the Invention of the ‘Nguni’”. In Resistance and Ideology in Settler Societies, edited by Lodge, Tom, 96-118. Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1986.

Webb, Colin and John Wright. The James Stuart Archive of Recorded Oral Evidence Relating to the History of the Zulu and Neighbouring Peoples volume 4. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, 1986.

Wright, John and Andrew Manson. The Hlubi Chiefdom in Zululand-Natal: a History. Ladysmith: Tugela Press, 1983.

Webb, Colin and John Wright. The James Stuart Archive of Recorded Oral Evidence Relating to the History of the Zulu and Neighbouring Peoples volume 3. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, 1982.

Wright, John. “Control of Women’s Labour in the Zulu Kingdom”. In Before and after Shaka: Papers in Nguni history, edited by Peires, Jeffrey, 82-99. Grahamstown, South African Institute of Social and Economic Research, Rhodes University, 1981.

Webb, Colin and John Wright. The James Stuart Archive of Recorded Oral Evidence Relating to the History of the Zulu and Neighbouring Peoples volume 2. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, 1979.

Wright, John. “Pre-Shakan Age-Group Formation Among the Northern Nguni”. In Production and reproduction in the Zulu kingdom: Workshop Papers, edited by Hall, Martin and John Wright, 22-30. Pietermaritzburg: Department of Historical and Political Studies at the University of Natal, 1977.

Webb, Colin and John Wright. The James Stuart Archive of Recorded Oral Evidence Relating to the History of the Zulu and Neighbouring Peoples volume 1. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, 1976.

Wright, John. Bushmen Raiders of the Drakensberg 1840-1870. Pietermaritzburg, University of Natal Press, 1971.

 

 

Online from: 7 Feb 2022