The Department of History is one of the leading History departments in South Africa. Areas of specialization in the Department are women and gender studies, public history, visual history, land and agrarian history, liberation history, urban history, African history, and teacher education.

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  • The blur of history: Student protest and photographic clarity in South African universities, 2015–2016 

    Hayes, Patricia (University of the Western Cape, 2017)
    I have three points I would like to put forward – about strong photographs, about clarity and about blur. I also have a number of photographs dating from October 2015 at the University of the Western Cape that will be ...
  • Betwixt the oceans: The Chief Immigration Officer in Cape Town, Clarence Wilfred Cousins (1905–1915) 

    Dhupelia-Mesthrie, Uma (Taylor & Francis, 2016)
    Drawing on the personal and official papers of an immigration officer, this article highlights his personality, social life, and the quotidian aspects of his work at the port. By placing the officer at the centre, instead ...
  • Eastern Cape Bloodlines I: Assembling the Human 

    Rousseau, Nicky (Taylor & Francis, 2016)
    This is an article less about red as installation, colour or symbol, and more about assembly.1 I have used Red, the installation by Simon Gush, as provocation to think of exhumation, its work and processes of ...
  • Durban and Cape Town as port cities: Reconsidering Southern African studies from the Indian Ocean 

    Hofmeyr, Isabel; Dhupelia-Mesthrie, Uma; Kaarsholm, Preben (Taylor & Francis, 2016)
    This special issue arose out of a workshop titled ‘Durban and Cape Town as Indian Ocean Port Cities: Reconsidering Southern African Studies from the Indian Ocean’, held at the University of the Western Cape in September ...
  • ‘The voices of the people involved’: Red, representation and histories of labour 

    Witz, Leslie (Published by History Department, University of the Western Cape, 2016)
    The installation artwork Red by Simon Gush (with his collaborators James Cairns and Mokotjo Mohulo) evokes two senses of representation. One is of symbolism, meaning, visual strategies, juxtapositions, silences and so on. ...
  • Red assembly: The work remains 

    Witz, Leslie; Pohlandt-McCormick, Helena; Minkley, Gary; Mowitt, John (Published by History Department, University of the Western Cape, 2016)
    The work that emerged from the encounter with Red, an art installation by Simon Gush and his collaborators, in the workshop ‘Red Assembly’, held in East London in August 2015, is assembled here in Kronos, the journal of ...
  • Re-locating memories: transnational and local narratives of Indian South Africans in Cape Town 

    Dhupelia-Mesthrie, Uma (SAGE Publications, 2017)
    This article plays on the word re-location to examine the memories of Indians in South Africa through oral histories about relocation as a result of the Group Areas Act, to memories of parents and grandparents relocating ...
  • Mueda massacre: the musical archive 

    Israel, Paolo (Taylor & Francis, 2017)
    As in Pidjiguiti in Guiné-Bissau or Baixa de Cassanje in Angola, the massacre that occurred in the northern Mozambican town of Mueda on 16 June 1960 has been inscribed in the nationalist narrative as the breaking point ...
  • Shades of empire: police photography in German South-West Africa 

    Rizzo, Lorena (Taylor & Francis, 2013)
    This article looks at a photographic album produced by the German police in colonial Namibia just before World War I. Late 19th- and early 20th-century police photography has often been interpreted as a form of visual ...
  • Cape Indians, Apartheid and Higher Education 

    Dhupelia-Mesthrie, Uma (University of the Western Cape, 2013)
    On a Sunday afternoon, 15 November 2009, the Luxurama Theatre in Wynberg was filled to capacity as Indians in Cape Town gathered to launch the Cape Town 1860 Legacy Foundation in preparation for the 2010 events commemorating ...
  • Untangling the Lion's Tale: Violent masculinity and the ethics of biography in the 'Curious' case of the apartheid-era policeman Donald Card 

    Bank, Leslie J.; Bank, Andrew (Routledge Taylor Francis Group, 2013)
    Donald Card (1928–) is a former policeman in South Africa who became the subject of international media attention on 21 September 2004. In a highly publicised and symbolic ceremony of reconciliation inaugurating the ...
  • Towards a critical heritage studies 

    Rassool, Ciraj (Taylor & Francis, 2013)
    Anna Karlström’s article made me think of the inaugural conference of the International Association of Critical Heritage Studies held in Gothenburg in June 2012. At the conference, heritage scholars and graduate ...
  • Paper regimes 

    Dhupelia-Mesthrie, Uma (University of the Western Cape, 2014)
    In 1915 Baba Bapoo, a store assistant in Cape Town, was thrown into a state of great mental and emotional stress when he lost his permit en route to India. This was the only document that could guarantee his re-admission ...
  • Speaking about building Rylands (1960s to 1980s): a Cape Flats history 

    Dhupelia-Mesthrie, Uma (Taylor and Francis, 2014)
    This article draws on oral histories of Rylands, a former Indian group area on the Cape Flats. It shifts focus from narratives of dispossession to narratives of the making of a relocation site. The Cape Flats has generally ...
  • False fathers and false sons: Immigration officials in Cape Town, documents and verifying minor sons from India in the first half of the twentieth century 

    Dhupelia-Mesthrie, Uma (University of the Western Cape, 2014)
    This article examines the rituals of admission to Cape Town, developed by the immigration bureaucracy at the port, for minor sons from India. It provides a context for why the entry of sons of established Indian residents ...
  • The political sublime: reading Kok Nam, Mozambican photographer (1939-2012) 

    Assubuji, Rui; Hayes, Patricia (University of the Western Cape, 2013)
    Kok Nam began his photographic career at Studio Focus in Lourenço Marques in the 1950s, graduated to the newspaper Notícias and joined Tempo magazine in the early 1970s. Most recently he worked at the journal Savana as a ...
  • Living in exile: daily life and international relations at SWAPO’s Kongwa Camp 

    Williams, Christian A. (Published by History Department, University of the Western Cape, 2011)
    From 1964, when it was first granted by the Tanzanian government to OAU recognized liberation movements, Kongwa camp has been a key site in southern Africa’s exile history. First SWAPO and FRELIMO, and later the ANC, MPLA ...
  • Reading and representing African refugees in New York 

    Field, Sean (Published by University of the Western Cape, 2011)
    Tracy Kidder and Jonny Steinberg have constructed evocative biographies of African refugees’ dislocation, journeys and struggles to settle in the USA. These books are reviewed through the lens of how South African readers ...
  • The South Africa-Angola talks, 1976-1984: a little-known cold war thread 

    Saunders, Christopher (University of Cape Town) (Published by History Dept, University of the Western Cape, 2011)
    That South Africa invaded Angola in 1975, in an abortive attempt to prevent a Marxist government coming to power there, and that the South African Defence Force then repeatedly attacked Angola from 1978, is relatively well ...
  • Rationalizing gukurahundi: cold war and South African foreign relations with Zimbabwe, 1981-1983 

    Scarnecchia, Timothy (Kent State University) (Published by University of the Western Cape, 2011)
    This article examines the role of diplomatic relations during the first stages of the 1983 Gukurahundi in Zimbabwe. Based on a preliminary reading of South African Department of Foreign Affairs files for 1983, the article ...

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