Leo Zeilig is a writer and researcher. He has written extensively on African politics and history, including books on working-class struggle and the development of revolutionary movements and biographies on some of Africa’s most important political thinkers and activists. In different ways, each book examines the growth of decolonization, the failures of independence and the development of radical politics on the continent. In all of his writing Leo presents the continent as being at the centre of globalization.
Leo is an editor of the Review of African Political Economy—the radical African-studies journal founded by activists and scholars in 1974—and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London where he set-up and coordinates the Ruth First Papers Project.
Leo’s critically acclaimed novel Eddie the Kid was published by Zero Books in 2013. Eddie the Kid is about the life of an activist in London during the anti-war movement in the early 2000s. It was praised in The Guardian: ‘This passionate, sad and well-told book offers a compelling portrait of a flawed young radical.’ Eddie the Kid won the 2014 Creative Work prize at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. Leo is writing his second novel, An Ounce of Practice.
Leo is an editor of the Review of African Political Economy and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London. He has written in a number of academic domains, including sociology, political science, political economy, geography and history. Here are a few of the academic articles, chapters and reports he has written in recent years.
A new book by Leo Zeilig focuses on one of Africa and the modern era’s most celebrated revolutionaries, whose views remain influential long after his death. This is an extract from The Conversation. Many people spoke well that day. Delegates had come from across the African continent to independent Ghana for the All-African Peoples’ Conference […]
The celebrated historian of South Africa, Shula Mark, writes about the seminar series she ran for years at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in London. The seminars were vital for revisiting, revising and interrogating Southern African history and pulling together an extraordinary generation of exiled researchers and writers who have helped shaped our understanding of Southern […]
This month sees the publication of my biography of Frantz Fanon, here is the publishers blurb: ‘Frantz Fanon is best known as one of the leading twentieth-century political thinkers and activists against colonialism and imperialism and as the author of the iconic book “Wretched of the Earth”. Leo Zeilig here details the life of Fanon […]
The extraordinary student movement that has been rippling across South Africa raises the question of student agency in movements for social change. What role have students on the continent played in empowering protest movements? Have students been successful in touching off wider protests in society? In 2007 I published a book Revolt and Protest: Student […]