Mark Hunter

Mark Hunter
Telephone number
(416) 208-4764
Building HL 546

Using historical-ethnographical methods, and a spatial lens, my research aims to provide an original perspective on the social roots of everyday inequalities in health, education, addiction, and labour—that is I am concerned with documenting, theorizing, and challenging ‘structural violence.’ I hope to unravel the political economic forces at work while recording, with all the contradictions of a white man undertaking the research, the humanity and struggles of marginalized groups. Focused on South Africa, a country I have had the privilege of working in for more than 30 years, my research thus addresses how acts embedded in sexuality, friendship, labour, families, education, and drug use, are shaped by and shape social and spatial inequalities.


PhD, Geography, University of California, Berkeley - 2005

Master's, Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal - 1998

B.A. (hons), Politics, University of Sussex, 1992

Teaching Interests

Undergraduate courses

  • GGRB28 Geographies of Disease  
  • GGRD10 Health and Sexuality  
  • GGRC50 Geographies of Education  
  • GGRC31 Qualitative Geographical Methods  

Graduate courses 

  • JPG1815 Political Economy, the Body, and Health  
  • JPG1520 Contested Geographies of Class Formation  
  • GGR1105 Human Geography Core Course  

Research Interests

  • Education, race and class 
  • Sexuality 
  • South Africa 
  • Drug use 
  • Gender/masculinities 

Awards and Grants

  • 2020 Joel Gregory Prize, Canadian Association of African Studies. For Race for Education: Gender, White Tone and Schooling in South Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
  • 2010 Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology, Royal Anthropological Institute and 2010 C. Wright Mills Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems for Love in the Time of AIDS: Inequality, Gender, and Rights in South Africa. Indiana University Press and University of KwaZulu-Natal Press. 
  • 2017-23. SSHRC Insight Grant, “Parasites: a social geography of heroin, estrangement, and gendered sociality in South Africa” 
  • 2012-17. SSHRC Insight Grant, "Moving Class: An Historical-Ethnography of Schooling in Durban, South Africa" 
  • 2008-12. SSHRC Standard Research, "Child Politics in South Africa: Children, Geography and Social Mobility after Apartheid" 
  • 2007-9. Connaught Matching Grant, "Children of the New South Africa: Children, Health, and Geography after Apartheid" 


  • Sharad Chari, Mark Hunter, and Melanie Samson. 2022. Ethnographies of Power: Working Radical Concepts with Gillian Hart (Johannesburg: Wits University Press; New York: New York University Press).  
  • Mark Hunter. 2019. Race for Education: Gender, White Tone, and Schooling in South Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Paperback, hardback, and ebook.  
  • Mark Hunter. 2010. Love in the Time of AIDS: Inequality, Gender, and Rights in South Africa. Bloomington: Indiana University Press (African Studies series); Pietermaritzburg, University of KwaZulu-Natal Press. Paperback, hardback, and ebook. 
  • Mark Hunter. 2020. Heroin hustles: Drugs and the laboring poor in South Africa. Social Science and Medicine. 11 (265), November 2020, 113329. 
  • Mark Hunter. 2020. Race and the Geographies of Education: Markets, White Tone, and Racial Neoliberalism. Annals of the American Association of Geographers. 110 (4): 1224-1243.