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UMass Sesquicentennial

University of Massachusetts Amherst

History Department

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John Higginson



Office: Herter 705
Telephone: (413) 545-1920
Fax: (413) 545-6137

Research Interests and Professional Activities

Professor John Higginson's most recent book, Collective Violence and the Agrarian Origins of South African Apartheid, 1900-1948 was published by Cambridge University Press in November of 2014. Other publications include articles in African Economic History, International Journal of African Historical Studies, and the Revue canadienne des ├ętudes africaines. A monograph entitled A Working Class in the Making: The Union Miniere du Haut-Katanga and the African Mineworkers, 1907-1949, was published by University of Wisconsin Press in 1989. His article "Liberating the Captives: Watchtower as an Avatar of Colonial Revolt in Southern Africa and Katanga Province, Belgian Congo, 1907-1941," was published in The Journal of Social History. His "Shaping the Mirror of Sovereignty: the Quest for a Democratic society in the American South and South Africa, 1844-1902" appeared in M.N. Matselela's South African and the United States: The Protracted Encounter (New York: Verso Press, 1997). Higginson's "Upending The Century of Wrong: Agrarian Elites, Collective Violence, and the Transformation of State Power in the American South and South Africa, 1865-1914," was published by Social Identities (Volume 4, Number 3) in 1998. His "Le Pari Congolais: Whose Congo? Whose Gamble" appeared in the Belgain Historical Journal, Brood En Rozen (1999/2). The Journal of Social History published his "Hell in Small Places: Agrarian Elites and Collective Violence in South Africa's Western Transvaal, 1900-1907" in 2001. In 1993-94, he was the recipient of the Research and Writing Fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation. At present he is working on a book entitled The Hidden Cost of Industrialization: State Violence and the Economic Transformation of Southern Africa, 1900-1980.

Research Areas: South Africa, comparative labor history.

Recent Courses Offered:
693A: Agriculture & Industry in South Africa and U.S. South

605: Approaches to World History

394SH: Race and Atrocious Wars