Edwin S Munger 1922 - 2010: Academic bridge-builder in South Africa.

13 January 2012

• Summary: Edwin S. Munger,(1921-2010), professor of Political Geography at Caltech Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California was a renowned specialist on Africa, race and ethnic relations. In his scores of trips to the African continent, he visited every country and lived in South Africa and some others for extended periods. While he expressed opposition to race discrimination and the negative aspects of apartheid measures, he also strongly rejected violence and international pressures to isolate South Africa. He saw such pressures as counterproductive in affecting change. This article deals with his endeavour to build bridges of understanding between and with South Africans so as to bring about change in these policies and as a counter to the growing international pressures to impose harmful sanctions and isolation. It sketches the means by which Munger pursued his objectives through various organisations, among them the leader exchange programmes under US-SALEP, the African Studies Association, Nieman Fellowship Awards and the Cape of Good Hope Foundation.