Judge Dennis Davis

University of Cape Ttown

As a South African, I like to claim John Comaroff as one of our own in the light of his prodigious achievements in academic and general intellectual life. We first met when as a 15 year old member of a Jewish youth movement, I received lectures from him on Karl Marx. That said a lot about John:  educating school pupils in progressive thought was a bold move in repressive, racist Apartheid South Africa. It has thus not been a surprise that his teaching and writings over almost a half a century have so profoundly moved the progressive needle in his chosen fields and, more than this, have focused attention on the effects of colonialism, racism, and repression on the countries of the South. Few have researched more deeply and written more perceptively in an area which for decades was almost forgotten terrain. But it is in his mentoring of students that he has been a model for how to support and encourage students. I have personally witnessed the care, concern and intellectual guidance that he has given to [them]… I have never encountered a more dedicated teacher and academic mentor. Expressed in one word –John Comaroff is a true mensch.