John Wright

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John Wright

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08 November 1942 - present

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[Source - John Wright, 2016: I was born and brought up the in the shadow of the Natal Drakensberg. I worked for 44 years as a student, archivist, journalist and academic historian in Pietermaritzburg, and, in my youth, for two years as a journalist exiled in Johannesburg. At the end of 2005, I retired from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and in 2007 moved to a new life in the Big Smoke and the bright lights. The Rock Art Research Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand provides me with a research base. I continue with long-standing research projects in the precolonial history of the KwaZulu-Natal region, and feel my way into new historical landscapes on the Highveld. I discovered the excitements of doing archival research when working on my master’s thesis in the Natal Archives in the late 1960s. This was published by the University of Natal Press in 1971 with the title ‘Bushman Raiders of the Drakensberg 1840-1870’. More than forty years later, I am chuffed to find that the book has become an active archive in its own right among a new generation of students at the Rock Art Research Institute. I discovered the excitements of consciously giving shape to a documentary archive in the work that I did with Colin Webb from 1971 until his death in 1992, and then alone, on the volumes of what became The James Stuart Archive (the title was thought up by Colin Webb). I have lived with this work for my entire life.]

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