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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

Degree: Ph.D., University of Michigan (1979).
Fields of interest: South Africa, comparative labor history.

Graduate Courses Offered:
Agriculture & Industry in South Africa and U.S. South

Research Interests and Professional Activities
His forthcoming book Collective Violence and the Agrarian Origins of South African Apartheid, 1900-1948 will be released by Cambridge University Press in spring 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. 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. 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. In 1993-94, he was the recipient of the Research and Writing Fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation. 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 Belgian Historical Journal, Brood En Rozen (1999/2) last year. 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.