Fort Hare Institute of Social and Economic Research (FHISER, Director)

Leslie Bank is a Professor of Social Anthropology and Director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Fort Hare. He is the recipient of research fellowships from Fulbright, the Ford Foundation and the Oppenheimer Trust to Emory, Oxford and Cambridge Universities. He also served as a research fellow at the African Studies Centre at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. He is the author of Home Spaces, Street Styles: Contesting Power and Identity in a South African City (Pluto Press, 2011) and co-editor of Inside African Anthropology: Monica Wilson and her Interpreters (Cambridge Press, 2012). He has edited special journal collections on rural development, land and regional history in Africa. He is a member of the editorial board of the International Africa Institute journal, Africa, and is the current President of the Association for Anthropology in Southern Africa.


dr teresa connoR

Senior Researcher

Dr Teresa Connor holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from Rhodes University. She has extensive experience as a development consultant and has specialised in land issues, population displacement, environmental and conservation research. She is currently working on a book on farms in the borderlands of the Eastern Cape, which will be published by KZN University Press.


Dr octavia sibanda


Dr Octavia Sibanda has a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Fort Hare. She is especially interested in questions of race and gender in South and Southern Africa. Dr Sibanda has been active in the Association for Anthropology in Southern Africa and currently serves on the executive of that organisation.

francis sibanda

(PhD candidate, Development Studies)    

Francis’ research interests are in urban studies. He obtained a Masters Degree from the University of KwaZulu Natal’s School of Built Environment and Development Studies. His Masters’ thesis was on mega-projects and their development processes and dynamics. The re-development of the East London beachfront was used as a case study for his investigation on mega-projects.



Anam Mjekula supports FHISER's administration and managment in day to day project operations. She also provides key help to the incoming African Studies Masters' students providing students with communication as to programme events, deadlines, and seminar times for guest lectures.