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Saul Dubow elected Smuts Professor of Commonwealth History

last modified Oct 19, 2016 09:41 AM

The Faculty of History is very pleased to announce the election of Saul Dubow as the next Smuts Professor of Commonwealth History.  He succeeds Megan Vaughan, now Professor of African History and Health at University College London. 

Born in Cape Town, Professor Dubow did his BA at the University of Cape Town and his doctorate at Oxford.  After a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London, he taught at the University of Sussex before moving to Queen Mary, University of London, in 2012 as Professor of African History. 

In his area of research expertise, nineteenth- and twentieth-century South Africa, he has made major contributions to the understanding of the systems of racial segregation and apartheid through linked studies of its ideological, intellectual, cultural and institutional aspects.  His interests include transnational and world history and, in particular, the growing field of global intellectual history. 

His first book, Racial Segregation and the Origins of Apartheid (1989), opened up hitherto under-researched aspects of the institutional, ideological and intellectual underpinnings of early twentieth-century segregation in South Africa.  His interest in the salience of ideas and the workings of dominant ideologies found further expression in Scientific Racism in South Africa (1995) and  A Commonwealth of Knowledge:  Science, Sensibility and Colonial Identity in South Africa (2006), which addressed the relationship between social and scientific thought, national identity, and political power in South Africa over nearly two hundred years. 

His most recent major work was Apartheid 1948-1994 (2014), a new interpretation.  His shorter books include a well-received and widely used history of the African National Congress (2000) and The Struggle for Human Rights in South Africa (2012).