Associate Professor Lance van Sittert received his PhD from the University of Cape Town and specialises in (South) African environmental history. His research is informed by a formative training in Marxist social history and concerned to trace African environments and their constitutive elements as shifting terrains of social construction and contestation over time.

Lance is particularly interested in interdisciplinary work enabled by the historical turn in the natural sciences; environmental justice in the fisheries; the animal turn; indigenous environmental knowledge; quantitative social history and digital archiving.

Lance was given a C1 rating by the NRF in 2010.

Research Interests and Areas of Supervision:

  • Environmental history
  • Nineteenth and twentieth-century South Africa

Select publications:

  • “Nation Building Knowledge: Dutch Indigenous Knowledge and the Invention of White South Africanism, 1890-1909” in David Gordon and Shepard Krech (eds.) Indigenous Knowledge and the Environment in Africa and North America (Ohio University Press, 2012)
  • “‘The Ornithorhynchus of the Western World’: Environmental Determinism in Eric Anderson Walker’s South African History, 1911–1936”, South African Historical Journal, 60: 1 (2008), pp. 7-40.
  • (Co-authored with Sandra Swart), “Canis Familiaris: A Dog History of South Africa” in Lance van Sittert and Sandra Swart (eds.), Canis Africanis: A Dog History of South Africa (Leiden: Brill, 2008), pp. 1-34.
  • “Class and Canicide in Little Bess: The 1893 Port Elizabeth Rabies Epidemic” in Lance van Sittert and Sandra Swart (eds.), Canis Africanis: A Dog History of South Africa (Leiden: Brill, 2008), pp. 111-144.
  • (Co-authored with Stefano Ponte) “The Chimera of Redistribution in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) in Industrial FISHERIES”, African Affairs, 106: 424 (2007), pp. 437-462.
  • (Co-authored with Stefano Ponte and Simon Roberts), “Black Economic Empowerment, Business and the State in South Africa”, Development and Change, 38: 5 (2007), pp. 933-955.
  • “The Tyranny of the Past: Why Local Histories Matter in the South African Fisheries”, Journal of Ocean and Coastal management, 46, 1 (2003), pp. 199-219.
  • “‘Our Irrepressible Fellow-Colonist’: The Biological Invasion of Prickly Pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) in the Eastern Cape c. 1890-c. 1910”, Journal of Historical Geography 28: 3 (2002), pp. 397-419.