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Researcher and founder member of the History Workshop, University of the Witwatersrand

Luli Callinicos is a social historian, lecturer and esteemed scholar. She is a founder member of the Wits University History Workshop, and received an Honorary Doctorate from Fort Hare in 2005. Her activism in the liberation struggle began in her youth as a member of the Congress of Democrats. A lifelong educator, she taught English literacy to workers of the South African Congress of Trade Unions. She contributed to the journal Fighting Talk, which was edited by Ruth First. She has written numerous books including Gold and Workers (1981), Working life: factories, townships and popular culture (1987) which won a Noma Award for Publishing in Africa, and A place in the city: the Rand on the eve of Apartheid (1993.) She is also the author of The World that made Mandela (2000.), Oliver Tambo: Beyond the Ngele Mountains (2004) and Who Built Jozi? (2012). Luli Callinicos is an NIHSS board member and a Council member of Robben Island Museum. She has served as Chair of the National Heritage Council, founder and Board member of the Workers’ Library and Museum, a member of the Council of the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), the Freedom Park Trust and has participated in and continues to contribute to a host of heritage and history education task teams and advisory panels.


  • –present
    History Lecturer , University of the Witwatersrand