Dr Rebecca Swartz
Senior Lecturer
IB 29
Flippie Groenewoud Building: Block B 135

Short CV

Rebecca Swartz is a senior lecturer in the department of History at the University of the Free State. She is a historian of British imperialism in the nineteenth century, focusing on the intersections between childhood, race, and humanitarianism. Her research interests include histories of education, child migration, and missions in settler colonial contexts. She is currently working on histories of childhoods in the post-emancipation Cape colony, with a focus on the relationship between understandings of childhood, freedom, and labour. Rebecca published her first monograph entitled Education and Empire: Children, Race and Humanitarianism in the British Settler Colonies, 1833-1880 in the Palgrave Cambridge Studies in Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series. This book won the International Standing Conference on the History of Education First Book Prize and the Society for the History of Childhood and Youth Grace Abbott Book Award. She serves as book reviews editor for History of Education and a co-editor of Historia. She has a Y1 rating from the NRF.


Monograph and edited collection

Education and Empire: Children, Race and Humanitarianism in the British Settler Colonies 1833-1880 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2019) 

Peter Kallaway and Rebecca Swartz (eds.), Empire and Education in Africa: The Shaping of a Comparative Perspective (New York: Peter Lang, 2016).

Chapters and articles (Selected)

`Histories of Empire and Histories of Education`History of Education, online first,(2022)

Rebecca Swartz, ‘Artisans and Aristocracy: Industrial Boarding Schools for Elite Africans in the Cape colony’, in Global Perspectives on Boarding Schools in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuriesed. by Daniel Gerster and Felicity Jensz (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022), 59-78.

Rebecca Swartz, `Children’s experiences of the Children’s Friend Society emigration scheme to the colonial Cape, 1833-1841: Snapshots from compliance to rebellion’, in Children’s Experiences of Welfare in Modern Britain, ed. by Sian Pooley and Jonathan Taylor (London: Institute of Historical Research Press, 2021), 27-48.

George Bishi, Victor Gwande, Kundai Manamere, Duncan Money, Ana Stevenson, Rebecca Swartz & Sarah-Jane Walton, ‘A trove for historians of Africa: reflections from the International Studies Group and research associates’History Australia (2021)

Rebecca Swartz, ‘Children in between: Child migrants from England to the Cape in the 1830s’History Workshop Journal 91(1) (2021), 71-90.

Rebecca Swartz  ‘Child apprenticeship in the Cape colony: The case of the Children’s Friend Society Emigration scheme, 1833-1841,’ Slavery & Abolition 42(3) (2021), 567-588.

Rebecca Swartz  ‘Civilisation and Colonial Education: Natal and Western Australia in comparative perspective’History of Education, 47 (3) (2018), 368-383.

Rebecca Swartz and Peter Kallaway, ‘Editorial: Imperial, global and local in histories of colonial education’, History of Education, 47(3) (2018), 362-367.

Rebecca Swartz ‘Educating emotions in Natal and Western Australia, 1854-1865’Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 18 (2) (2017), n.p.

Rebecca Swartz and Johan Wassermann, ‘“Britishness”, colonial governance and education: St Helenian children in colonial Natal in the 1870s’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 44(6) (2016), 881-899.

Rebecca Swartz, ‘“Good citizens and gentlemen”: Gender, reputation and identity at the South African College, 1880-1910’, South African Historical Journal, 68(4) (2016), 517-535.


Twitter: @histosaurusbex









T: +27 51 401 2240 or humanities@ufs.ac.za

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Neliswa Emeni-Tientcheu: +27 51 401 2536
Phyllis Masilo: +27 51 401 9683

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