Curriculum Vitae sean redding

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Curriculum Vitae




Home: 46 Orchard St. Work: Department of History

Amherst, MA 01002 Amherst College

(413) 256-6131 Amherst, MA 01002-5000

(413) 542-2032

Cell: (413) 222-8443


Fax: (413) 542-2727


Yale University

New Haven, CT 06520

Ph.D. in History (1987)

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore, PA

B.A. with High Honors in History (1978)

Elected to Phi Beta Kappa (1978)


Amherst College

Department of History

1986-1987, Visiting Assistant Professor

1987-1994, Assistant Professor

1995-2001, Associate Professor

2002-2014, Professor

2014-present, Zaphaniah Swift Moore Professor of History

University of Michigan

Department of History

Winter Term (one semester) 2006, Visiting Professor
Nyanga Senior Secondary School

Engcobo, Transkei, Republic of South Africa

1979, Instructor, English, Standards 9 and 10 (equivalent to grades 11 and 12).


Editor, African Studies Review (2010-present). One of two (principal) editors, as well as part of an editorial team with two book review and film review editors. Select and edit articles for publication in the multi-disciplinary journal of the African Studies Association. Have helped to compile special issues on various topics, including Homophobia in Africa, Gender Violence in Africa, Relations between China and Africa, the Informal Economy in Africa, as well as upcoming issues on Surveillance and Security in Africa, and on Women in Africa. Have also assisted in the streamlining of the editorial process.

Peer reviewer for manuscripts for numerous journals, including International Journal of African Historical Studies, Journal of Southern African Studies, Journal of African History, South African Historical Journal, Law and Social Inquiry, Meridians, Comparative Studies in Society and History, African Studies, and Agricultural History.
Referee for book manuscripts for several academic publishers, including Blackwell, Palgrave, University of Virginia Press, University of Ohio Press, and University of Rochester Press.


Sorcery and Sovereignty: Taxation, Power, and Rebellion in South Africa, 1880-1963, Ohio University Press, 2006.

Manuscript in preparation:

Violence in Rural South Africa, 1902-1965, book length manuscript.
Forthcoming Article:

“African Women as Spiritual Actors in Rural South Africa, 1880-1950.” Article-length manuscript currently out on review with peer-reviewed journal.

Published Articles: (** indicates peer-reviewed journal article)

“Armed Struggle in the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa,” in Encyclopedia of South Africa, edited by Krista Johnson and Sean Jacobs, Lynne Reinner Publishers, 2011.
**“Faction Fights, Student Protests and Rebellion: The Politics of Beer Drinks and Bad Food in the Transkei, South Africa, 1955-1963,” in African Studies Review, 2010.
**“’Maybe Freedom Will Come from You’: Christian Prophecies and Rumors in the Development of the Revolt in the Transkei, South Africa, 1948-1961,” in Journal of Religion in Africa, 2010.
“’Wasted Riches: Robert Mugabe and the Desolation of Zimbabwe,” co-authored with Sue Onslow, in Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, 2009.
**“Deaths in the Family: Familial Violence and Witchcraft Accusations in Rural Transkei, South Africa, 1904-65,” in Journal of Southern African Studies, 2004.
“Women and Gender Roles in Africa since 1918: Gender as a Determinant of Status,” in Blackwell’s Companion to the History of Gender, edited by Teresa Meade and Merry Wiesner-Hanks, Basil Blackwell, 2004.
“Witchcraft, Women, and Taxation in the Transkei, South Africa, 1930-63,” in Stepping Forward: Black Women in Africa and the Americas, edited by Catherine Higgs, Earline Rae Ferguson, and Barbara Moss, Ohio University Press, 2002.
**“A Blood-Stained Tax: Poll Tax and the Bambatha Rebellion in South Africa,” African Studies Review, 2000.
**“Government Witchcraft: Taxation, the Supernatural, and the Mpondo Revolt in the Transkei, South Africa, 1955-63,” African Affairs, 1996.
**“Sorcery and Sovereignty: Taxation, Witchcraft, and Political Symbols in the 1880 Transkeian Rebellion,” Journal of Southern African Studies, 1996.
“African Women and Migration in Umtata, Transkei, 1880-1935,” in Courtyards, Markets, City Streets: Urban Women in Africa, edited by Kathleen Sheldon, Westview Press, 1996.
**“Legal Minors and Social Children: Taxation and African Women in the Transkei, 1880-1950,” African Studies Review, 1993.
**“Peasants and the Creation of an African Middle Class in Umtata, 1880-1950,” International Journal of African Historical Studies, 1993.
“Beer-Brewing in Umtata: Women, Migrant Labor, and Social Control in a Rural Town,” in Liquor and Labor in Southern Africa, edited by Jonathan Crush and Charles Ambler, Ohio University Press and the University of Natal Press, 1992.
**“South African Blacks in a Small Town Setting: The Ironies of Control in Umtata, 1878-1955,” in Canadian Journal of African Studies, 26 (1992).
Recent Book Reviews

Review of The ANC Youth League, by Clive Glaser in African Studies Review, to be published 2015.

Review of In the Twilight of the Revolution: The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (South Africa) 1959-1994, by Kwandiwe Kondlo, in The Canadian Journal of African Studies, 2012.

Review of The Maphumulo Uprising: War, Law and Ritual in the Zulu Rebellion, and Remembering the Rebellion: The Zulu Uprising of 1906, both by Jeff Guy, in South African Historical Journal, 2010.

Review of “I Saw a Nightmare …”: Doing Violence to Memory: The Soweto Uprising, June 16, 1976, by Helena Pohlandt-McCormick, in American Historical Review, 2009.
Review of Democracy Compromised: Chiefs and the Politics of Land in South Africa, by Lungisile Ntsebeza, in H-Net Reviews, 2009.
Review of Power in Colonial Africa: Conflict and Discourse in Lesotho, 1870-1960, by Elizabeth Eldredge, in American Historical Review, 2008.
Review of Natures of Colonial Change: Environmental Relations in the Making of the Transkei, by Jacob Tropp, in Journal of Southern African Studies, 2008.
Review of Myth of Iron: Shaka in History, by Dan Wylie, in African Studies Review, 2007.
Review of Xhosa Beer Drinking Rituals: Power, Practice and Performance in the South African Rural Periphery, by Patrick McAllister, in H-Net Reviews, 2007.
Review of The Rise, Fall and Legacy of Apartheid, by P. Eric Louw, in Journal of African History, 2006.

Review of History after Apartheid: Visual Culture and Public Memory in a Democratic South Africa, by Annie Coombes, in Journal of African History, 2005


“’By Habit and Repute a Witchdoctor’: The Legal Conundrum of Trials under the Witchcraft Ordinance in Rural South Africa.” Presented at the Annual Meetings of the African Studies Association, Indianapolis, Indiana, November 2014.

Chaired and was a commentator on two panels on law and culture in South Africa at conference entitled: “Twenty Years of South African Constitutionalism: Constitutional Rights, Judicial Independence, and the Transition to Democracy,” at New York Law School, November 2014.
“Teaching Conflict and Social Change in African History in the Setting of a Liberal Arts College.” Presented at "African Studies in the Small Liberal Arts Context," funded by the Alliance to Advance Liberal Arts Colleges (AALAC), Swarthmore College, May 2014.
Chaired Roundtable on Religion in African Studies at the Annual Meetings of the African Studies Association, Philadelphia, November 2013.
“’The Girl Is Not Consulted’: Arranging Forced Marriages, Changing Lived Traditions, and the Impact of Segregationist Polices in the South African Rural Reserves, 1925-1965.” Presented at Conference entitled “Permanent Persuaders: Culture, Politics and Nationalism in the Eastern Cape, 1945-1965.” Fort Hare Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Fort Hare, East London Campus, and the African Studies Centre, Oxford University, August 2011.
“Forced Marriages and the Question of Rape in Rural South Africa.” Presented at the Berkshire Conference on Women’s History, University of Massachusetts Amherst, June 2011.
“Divination, Religious Conversion and Violence: African women’s spirituality in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, 1870 to 1945.” Presented at the Annual Conference of the African Studies Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 2009.
“Mission Christians and the Gospel of Violent Resistance: Christian participation in the anti-state violence of 1950s South Africa.” Presented at the North-Eastern Workshop on Southern Africa, Burlington, Vermont, October 2008.
“Violent Memories and Bad Neighbors: The Gukurahundi Campaign in Zimbabwe in the 1980s and the ANC’s Silence.” Presented at Conduct and Consequences: Expert Working Seminar on Post-Colonial Wars, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, May 2008.
“Knobkerries and Abduction Marriages: Violence and Generational Conflict in Rural South Africa, 1920-1960.” Presented at Symposium on ReWriting Africa, University of Michigan, April 2006.
“Mission Education, Gender Identities, and Political Violence in the Transkei: The Student ‘Revolt’ at St. John’s College, Umtata, 1961.” Presented at the Annual Convention of the African Studies Association, Washington, D.C., November 2005.
“The Deaths of Children and Witchcraft Accusations: Familial Control, Insecurity and Questioning the State in Rural South Africa, 1906-55.” Presented to the Annual Convention of the African Studies Association, Boston, November 2003.

Member, Amherst College Committee on Educational Policy

Member, Amherst College Strategic Planning Sub-Committee on International Education


Member, Amherst College Housing Committee


Member, Search Committee for Amherst College Provost

Fall semester 2012

Member, Amherst College Committee on International Education


Chair, History Department

2011, 2002-2004

Member, Amherst College Committee of Six.


Member and then Chair, Committee on Priorities and Resources.

2006-2008 (Chair for the academic year 2007-2008).

Member, Five College African Studies Council.

1987-90, 1992-2009, 2011-present.

Member, Selection Committee, Five College African Scholars Program.


Member, Amherst College Committee on Faculty Research Awards Program.



History Courses (**cross-listed in Black Studies)

**State and Society in Africa before the European Conquest

**Colonial and Post-Colonial Africa

**South African History

**Riot and Rebellion in Colonial and Post-Colonial Africa

Writing the Past

First-Year Seminars



The Bridge to the Twentieth Century


Imaging the Other

Africa: Power and Iconography


Perseverance Gijima, ’14, “Land Reforms in Post-Colonial Zimbabwe.”

Aubrey Jones, ’13, “The Nature of Identity: Gender, Race, and Environmental Protection in Kenya, 1900-Present.”
Casey McNamara, ’13, “Oil and Politics in Africa: The Cases of Biafra and Equatorial Guinea.”
Charles Oluwunmi, ’13 (Political Science), “Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria: Political Insurgency or Terrorist Movement?”
Morgan Kline, ’12 (Interdisciplinary major), “The Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda, a video documentary.”
Jamie Cohen, ’10 (interdisciplinary major), “Moving Beyond Doctors: Nurse-based treatment models for HIV/AIDS patients in South Africa.”
Trevor Lewis, ’10 (interdisciplinary major), “The Political Economy of Refugee Camps in Kenya in the 1990s.”
Kathy Nolan, ’10 (interdisciplinary major), “Economic Development as an Outcome of War in Northern Uganda, 1987-2009.”
Jenny Mancino, ’09 (Black Studies), “’Honorary Men’: Gender Dynamics in the South African Students’ Organisation and Black Consciousness, 1968-1977.”
Timnet Gedar ’08, “The Rise and Fall of Eritrean Nationalism.”
Janani Ramachandran ’08, “French Colonial Medicine in Algeria, 1840-1910.”
Jordan McKay ’07, “The Overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah.”
Hanna Lee ’06 (Black Studies major), “Bantu Education and Its Legacy in South Africa.”
Michael Baca ‘06, “Imaginary Proxies: The Superpowers in Angola.”
Emily Silberstein ’06 (Women’s and Gender Studies), “Land Reform in Rural, Post-Apartheid South Africa and Its Effects on African Women.”
Adwoa Bart-Plange ‘05, “The Threat of Independent Women in Colonial Ashanti and Zululand.”

African Studies Association.

American Historical Association.


Afrikaans (limited reading and speaking knowledge).

French (reasonably fluent).

Xhosa (limited speaking knowledge).

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