Patrick Harries

Patrick Harries is a professor of history at the University of Basel and author of Work, Culture and Identity: Migrant Laborers in Mozambique and South Africa, c. 1860–1910.

Listed in: African Studies · History · African History · Anthropology

Butterflies & Barbarians · Swiss Missionaries and Systems of Knowledge in South-East Africa
By Patrick Harries

Swiss missionaries played a primary and little-known role in explaining Africa to the literate world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This book emphasizes how these European intellectuals, brought to the deep rural areas of southern Africa by their vocation, formulated and ordered knowledge about the continent. Central to this group was Junod, who became a pioneering collector in the fields of entomology and botany.

“Harries points out in detail the intellectual heritage of the missionaries in terms of their anthropological, religious, geographical, scientific, and linguistic beliefs.... The book is deeply researched and gives the reader a strong sense of the ferment out of which missionaries tried to make sense of their vocations.”

International Journal of African Historical Studies