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.

Overview  |  Research  |  Grants/Awards  |  Teaching  |  Publications


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.

Curricum Vitae

Download Nancy J. Jacobs's Curriculum Vitae in PDF Format

NANCY J. JACOBS, M.A. in African Studies, University of California Los Angeles, 1987; Ph.D. in History, Indiana University, Bloomington, 1995
Associate Professor
Phone: 401-863-9342

Nancy J. Jacobs's Brown Research URL:

On The Web:
Environment, Power, and Injustice: A South African History
Brown group advocates for South African asbestos victims
Animated Atlas of African History

Brown collaborators:

Are you Nancy J. Jacobs? Click here to edit your research profile.

Back to search page

Research at Brown: The Directory of Research and Researchers: Research Profile Brown Research home page
Contact Us Search