Fraser Taylor Winner Announced

The Fraser Taylor prize for the best graduate essay presented at the CAAS conference 2010 (Carleton University) has been awarded to Ralph Callebert for his paper “Cleaning the Wharves: Pilferage, Bribery, and Social Connections in the Durban Docks in the 1950s.”   Using archival material and extensive oral history -  interviewing sixty-five of the former dock workers now in their 70s and 80s – Callebert reconstructs “pilferage and bribery” as a livelihood strategy rather than a reaction to proletarianisation, and so makes us revisit resistance, the informal economy and “straddling” in the economic sphere.   The paper has all the elements of a publishable piece: it is highly original, compelling, nuanced, marries the conceptual and the empirical, and contextualises the dock workers’ strategies with comparable groups. Its erudition has impressed both the adjudication committee, who unanimously ranked the paper first amongst a particularly strong set of submissions, and referees for the Canadian Journal of African Studies who have already approved “Cleaning the Wharves” for publication.   An impressive piece of work.


© 2010 CAAS-ACEA