Stanley Trapido Seminars

A list of the Stanley Trapido Seminars from 2014 to 2018 is followed by a description of Stanley Trapido's life and influence.


12 November, Irina Filatova (University of Moscow), The Gift of the Givers: the Soviet Union and the End of Apartheid

29 October, Alfred Tembo (University of Zambia), Strangers in our midst: the dilemma of Polish refuguees in Zambia during the Second World War 

8 October, Tony Hopkins (University of Cambridge), American Empire: A Short Account of a Lengthy History

17 September, Matteo Grilli (University of the Free State), Pan-Africanism and Nationalism in Lesotho: The Basutoland Congress Party and its international connections at the time of the struggle for independence (1952-1966)

20 August, Rory Pilossof (University of the Free State), Return of the Founder? L Ron Hubbard and the Growth of Scientology in Southern Rhodesia

3 September, Kundai Manamere (University of the Free State), The Native as a Reservoir of Malaria: Ethics, Human Subject Research and Anti-malaria Campaigns in Colonial Zimbabwe, mid 1940s to 1979

9 April, Hlengiwe Dlamini (University of the Free State), The African Union Position on Coup d'Etats: An Analysis of the Zimbabwean November 2017 Coup d'Etat 

19 March, Karen Harris (University of Pretoria), BEE-ing Chinese in South Africa: Black not White?


27 November, Duncan Money (University of the Free State), A Second Arizona: The Copperbelt as an American Colony, 1926-39

13 November, Admire Mseba (University of the Free State), The Environment, Science and Inter-Territorial Relations: the Mobile Pestilence Challenge in Southern Africa, c.1928 -1975

30 October, Chris Holdridge (University of the Free State), Convicts and Paupers: Undesirable White Immigration to the Cape Colony before the Mineral Revolution

16 October, Dan Spence (University of the Free State), Windies of Change? The Collapse of the West Indies Federation and British Re-Colonisation in the Caribbean

2 October, David Patrick (University of the Free State), Unworthy Victims: Rwanda, Bosnia, and the Western Press

11 September, Lindie Koorts (University of the Free State), Palatable and unpalatable leaders: Apartheid and post-apartheid Afrikaner biography

28 August, Matteo Grilli (University of the Free State), Nkrumah’s Ghana, Lesotho and the struggle against apartheid

14 August, Rory Pilossof (University of the Free State), Return of the Founder? L Ron Hubbard and the Growth of Scientology in Southern Rhodesia

5 June. Lazlo Passemiers (University of the Free State), White fright, flight and fight: the Congo crisis and white solidarities in southern Africa

15 May, Danelle van Zyl-Hermann (University of the Free State), The case of Arrie Paulus: Race, class and the currency of rumour in late and post-apartheid South Africa

24 April, Ana Stevenson (University of the Free State), Imagining Apartheid and Post-Apartheid South Africa in Gloria Steinem’s Ms. Magazine

10 April, Tinashe Nyamunda (University of the Free State), When monetary policy fails:hyperinflation and liquidity crunch in Zimbabwe, 2003

27 March, Jack Hogan (University of the Free State), Of Deviants and District Commissioners: The difficult adolescence of a settler colony

15 March, Hlengiwe Dlamini (University of the Free State), Photographs as Complementary Sources of the History of Swaziland: Visual Images of the Makers of Swaziland’s Pre-Independence Constitution

13 February, Clement Masakure (University of the Free State), The stasis between integration and segregation at Salisbury Hospital, Southern Rhodesia, 1890s-1950


14 November, Brian Raftopoulos (University of the Western Cape), Belonging in the City: Persistent contestations in Zimbabwe

10 October, Bizeck Phiri (University of Zambia), The University of Zambia—The First Fifty Years, 1966-2016: Past, Present and Future

12 September, Alois Mlambo (University of Pretoria), The making of a nation of vendors: Zimbabwe's economic decline in historical perspective, 1980 to 2015

15 August, Sarah Frank (University of the Free State), Hostages of Empire: Colonial prisoners of war and Vichy France

16 May, Neil Roos (University of the Free State), Histories of the affective:  how do we understand the emotional states of apartheid society?

18 April, Bongani Gumbo (University of Botswana), Combining Multiple Livelihood Strategies in Cross-border Trade at Kasane, Botswana, 1980-2000

14 March, Gerald Mazarire (Midlands State University), Zimbabwean Historiography: Past and Present

15 February, Fiona Ross (University of Cape Town), Raw Life and Respectability: Poverty and everyday life in a post-apartheid community


9 November, Tony Hopkins (Cambridge Universiteit), The Real American Empire

19 Oktober, Mohamed Adhikari (Universiteit van Kaapstad),‘It is a mercy to the red devils to exterminate them’: Civilian-driven settler genocides of hunter-gatherer peoples in global perspective

14 September, André Wessels (Universiteit van die Vrystaat), South Africa’s 'Border War', 1966-1989: The struggle for 'the truth' continues

11 Augustus, Mucha Musemwa (Universiteit van die Witwatersrand), Climate and Societal Interaction in Southwestern Matebeleland, Colonial Zimbabwe: The Drought of 1964-66 and its Antecedents

31 Augustus, Jonathan Jansen (University of the Free State) ‘When you come to the end of a perfect day’: Reporting on campus intimacies in the aftermath of an atrocity

18 Mei, Paul Maylam (Rhodes Universiteit) Imperialism, segregation, apartheid and tertiary education: a case-study of Rhodes University and its history

16 Mei, Neil Roos (Universiteit van die Vrystaat), Histories of the affective:  how do we understand the emotional states of apartheid society? 

18 April, Bongani Gumbo (Universiteit van Botswana), Combining Multiple Livelihood Strategies in Cross-border Trade at Kasane, Botswana, 1980-2000

7 April, John and Jean Comaroff (Harvard Universiteit), The Return of Khulekani Khumalo, Zombie Captive: Identity, Law, and Personhood in South Africa

16 Maart, Allen en Barbara Isaacman (Universiteit van Minnesota), Samora Machel and the Mozambican Revolution 1964-1986

14 Maart, Gerald Mazarire (Midlands State Universiteit), Zimbabwean Historiography: Past and Present

16 Februarie, Sandra Swart (Universiteit Stellenbosch), Dangerous Knowledge: the discipline of history and raising the dead

15 Februarie, Fiona Ross (Universiteit Kaapstad), Raw Life and Respectability: Poverty and everyday life in a post-apartheid community


10 November, Giacomo Macola (University of Kent), The Gun in Central Africa: A Social History to the Early 20th Century

13 October, Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni (University of South Africa), The Idea of South Africa. From Bantucisation to Rainbowism

15 September, David Moore (Universiteit van Johannesburg), Generations Opening Democratic Space: Comparisons and Contrasts across Zimbabwe’s Political History

11 August, Charles van Onselen (Universiteit van Pretoria), The Political Economy of the South African Republic, 1881-1895

About Stanley Trapido

On Monday 11 August 2014, the International Studies Group and the History Department hosted Professor Charles van Onselen, who delivered the inaugural Stanley Trapido seminar. The seminar honours the life and work of one of the most important and influential historians South Africa has ever produced.

Born in Krugersdorp in 1933, Stanley Trapido studied at the University of the Witwatersrand and held posts at the University of Cape Town, University of Natal, University of Durham, and University of Oxford. Along with his wife, the Booker Prize-nominated author Barbara Trapido, Stan was an important figure among a small group of South African intellectuals who emigrated to England following the Sharpeville massacre of 1960. In England, Stan began to shape what is now known as the 'revisionist' school of South African historiography, arguing for the importance of analyses of capital and class formation, which he maintained informed the racial ideologies that culminated in apartheid.

As a researcher, Trapido was known for both his lucid writing style and his perfectionism. He published articles in leading international journals and co-edited (with Shula Marks) now canonical texts such as The Politics of Race, Class and Nationalism in 20th century South Africa. Avoiding the parochialism of much historical writing that is bound by the confines of the nation state, Trapido pushed himself and others to place South Africa’s industrialisation into comparative international perspective, drawing parallels from studies of American slavery, European economic development, and English working-class history. Among his broad research interests, he worked on: agricultural landlords, labour tenants, peasants, Afrikaner nationalism, and Dutch mercantile capitalism. He is perhaps best known for his work on the causes and consequences of the South African War of 1899-1902, and it was to this broad time period that Charles van Onselen spoke in his paper ‘The Political Economy of the South African Republic, 1881-1895.’

Van Onselen’s lecture provided a major reinterpretation of the origins and causes of the Jameson Raid, whilst emphasising that Paul Kruger’s ZAR was a state beset by crime and corruption. It was particularly fitting that Charles van Onselen gave the inaugural seminar paper, as Stanley Trapido supervised his Oxford doctoral thesis. The International Studies Group and the History Department were also honoured by Barbara Trapido’s attendance at the seminar, and wish to thank her for donating Stan’s academic library to the UFS.

Seminar Convenor: Prof Ian Phimister