My book project is "Birders of Africa: History of a Network." Drawing on Actor Network Theory and employing the approach of micro-history, I examine intersections between African and European birders. I explore how local African, scientific, and colonial forces structured these relationships. Through close examination of individual lives, I identify the aspirations and affective ties that drew birders to seek expertise and status through their collaborations.
I received an MA in African Studies from UCLA and a PhD in History from Indiana University. South African historiography had a strong tradition of social history, but looking at rural areas, I felt that a stronger consideration of environmental factors was necessary to understand the decline of agriculture and increase in dependence on wage labor among black South Africans. This was the subject of my dissertation research and of my subsequent monograph, Environment, Power, and Injustice: A South African History (Cambridge 2003). The common theme between my first book and my current research on people and birds is that both probe the nexus between environment, social division, and power.
NANCY J. JACOBS, M.A. in African Studies, University of California Los Angeles, 1987; Ph.D. in History, Indiana University, Bloomington, 1995
On The Web:
Environment, Power, and Injustice: A South African History
Brown group advocates for South African asbestos victims
Animated Atlas of African History
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