Emeritus Professor Vivian Bickford-Smith received his PhD from Cambridge University and specialises in modern history with a South African regional focus. His research has been mainly in three sometimes overlapping areas: urban history, film and history, and ethnicity and nationalism. Within all three, Vivian has been particularly interested in exploring the creation, interaction and perception of supposedly discrete ethnic, racial and national identities, ambivalence in terms of such identities, and creolisation. He has also been interested in exploring methods, consequences and motivations behind how the past has been conveyed in specific written and visual forms such as cinematic history and popular or official city history books. In terms of urban history, many publications have been on the history of Cape Town.

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