Department of History
University of South Africa
Phone: +27 11 656 3336
Mobile: +27 82 824 7766
Jane Carruthers is Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at Unisa. She was one of South Africa’s first environmental historians and has published widely on this topic. Other fields of research include the history of science, colonial art, cartography and comparative Australian-South African history.
She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town in 1988, where she had obtained her B.A. degree in 1966. She went to school at Parktown Convent in Johannesburg and obtained her B.A. (Hons) and M.A. degrees from the University of South Africa in 1975 and 1980 respectively.
She lives in Morningside Manor, Johannesburg, and is married to Vincent Carruthers, wildlife author and environmental consultant.
Jane Carruthers is a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa and is an elected Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa.
She was chair of the Academic Advisory Board of the Rachel Carson Center, a joint initiative of LMU Munich and the Deutsches Museum, from 2009 to 2014. Generously supported by the German Ministry of Research and Education, its goal is to further research and discussion in the field of international environmental studies and to strengthen the role of the humanities in the current political and scientific debates about the environment.
She was the first, and now past, President of the International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations (ICEHO), based at Duke University, Durham NC, the aim of which is to foster international communication among environmental history organizations. Specific goals include sharing information, learning from the successes and failures of others, and discussing common issues, concerns, and challenges.
She is also:
o Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge University
o Former President: South African Historical Society www.sahs.org.za
o Former Chair: National Research Foundation Subject Specialist Committee (Historical Studies)
o Advisory Board Member, Centre for Environmental History, Australian National University, Canberra
o Centre for Environmental History, International Advisory Group, University of Stirling, Scotland
o Trustee: Skye Foundation
o Fellow at STIAS (Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Studies), 2015
oHumanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra
o History Program, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra
o Fred Alexander Fellow, Department of History, University of Western Australia, Perth
Best Known Books
The Kruger National Park: A Social and Political History. Pietermaritzburg: Natal University Press, 1995.
Co-author: The Life and Work of Thomas Baines, with Marion Arnold. Cape Town: Fernwood Press, 1995.
Exclusive Books Publisher’s Choice prizewinner 1995.
Wildlife and Warfare: The Life of James Stevenson-Hamilton. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, 2001.
Nominated for the Alan Paton literary award for non-fiction
Jane has a chapter entitled ‘Why Celebrate a Controversy?” South Africa, the United States, and National Parks’ in a new book just launched in 2016.
Edited by Adrian Howkins, Jared Orsi and Mark Fiege and based on a workshop held at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, National Parks beyond the Nation: Global Perspectives on "America's Best Idea" has been published by the University of Oklahoma Press, 2016.
“The idea of a national park was an American invention of historic consequences marking the beginning of a worldwide movement,” the U.S. National Park Service asserts in its 2006 Management Policies. National Parks beyond the Nation brings together the work of fifteen scholars and writers to reveal the tremendous diversity of the global national park experience—an experience sometimes influencing, sometimes influenced by, and sometimes with no reference whatever to the United States.
Writer and historian Wallace Stegner once called national parks “America’s best idea.” The contributors to this volume use that exceptionalist claim as a starting point for thinking about an international history of national parks. They explore the historical interactions and influences—intellectual, political, and material—within and between national park systems in Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Indonesia, Antarctica, Brazil, and other countries. What is the role of science in the history of these preserves? Of politics? What purposes do they serve: Conservation? Education? Reverence toward nature? Tourist pleasure?
People have thought differently about national parks at different times and in different places; and neat physical boundaries have been disrupted by wandering animals, human movements, the spread of disease, and climate change. Viewing parks around the world, at various scales and across national frontiers, these essays offer a panoptic view of the common and contrasting cultural and environmental features of national parks worldwide.
DESIGNING WILDLIFE HABITATS
Beardsley, J. ed., Designing Wildlife Habitats. Washington, Dumbarton Oaks/Harvard, 2013. Jane Carruthers chapter entitled: ‘Designing a wilderness for wildlife: The case of the Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa’, pp.107-130. ISBN 978-0-88402-385-2
The vision of a garden shared peacefully by humans and animals is a familiar, but elusive, landscape trope. Whether threatened by habitat destruction or climate change, displaced by urbanization or invasive species, poisoned by industrial toxins, or hunted to extinction, many wild animals have failed to thrive in the company of people. There is growing scientific consensus that we are in the midst of the sixth great extinction in earth history, and the first caused by human activities.
THE EDGES OF ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY: HONOURING JANE CARRUTHERS
Mauch, C. and Robin, L. eds, The Edges of Environmental History: Honouring Jane Carruthers. Rachel Carson Center Perspectives, No. 1, 2014, pp. 9-16. ISSN 2190-5088. Carruthers chapter: ‘Environmental History with an African Edge’.
Edited by Christof Mauch and Libby Robin, and featuring artwork by Australian artist Mandy Martin, "The Edges of Environmental History" is a tribute to the wonderful career of RCC board member Professor Jane Carruthers. The volume explores some of the partnerships between environmental history and other intellectual endeavours, particularly those where Jane Carruthers’ work has been inspirational: animal studies, natural resource management, the history of biology, and the broader environmental humanities.
Visit the RCC Perspectives site to download a free copy in PDF or e-reader format.
‘Graeme Wynn: The Historical Geography of Environment and Empire from the edges’, Historical Geography 43, 2015, pp.181-184.
SOUTH AFRICAN HISTORICAL JOURNAL
‘To rescue the past from the nation: ‘All for One, One for All?: Leveraging National Interests with Regional Visions in Southern Africa’, South African Historical Journal 66(2), 2014, pp.207-216. DOI: 10.1080/02582473.927183
(Co-authors Dirk J. Roux and Charles M. Breen) ‘Reflections on the history of aquatic science in South Africa with particular reference to the period after 1994’, Water SA 40(2), April 2014, pp. 255-262. http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/wsa.v40i2.7 http://www.wrc.org.za ISSN 0378-4738 (Print) = Water SA Vol. 40 No. 2 April 2014 ISSN 1816-7950
TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF SOUTH AFRICA
‘Preface to “Some Royal but unmemoired Fellows” by A.C. Brown’,
Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, 2014. DOI 10.1080/0035919X.2014.882429
‘ “Operation Rhino”, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, 1961’, Global Environment: A Journal of History and Natural and Social Sciences, 11 (2013), pp. 195-196. ISSN 1973-3739
ENVIRONMENT AND HISTORY
‘The Royal Natal National Park, Kwazulu-Natal: Mountaineering, Tourism and Nature Conservation in South Africa’s First National Park c.1896 to c.1947’, Environment and History, 19 (2013), pp.459-485. ISSN 0967-3407
NOVA ACTA LEOPOLDINA
‘Vanishing herds? Transformations in wildlife hunting in southern Africa, 1830-2000’, Nova Acta Leopoldina, 114 (390), 2013, pp.35-45. ISSN 0369-5034
Date of birth: 6 April 1947
P.O. Box 368
Nationality: South African / United States of America
Pioneered environmental history in South Africa and is prominent internationally in this field.
Fields of research: Environmental history; History of science; Colonial art; comparative Australian-South African history.
Current research: History of science in South African national parks
Professor Emeritus: Department of History, University of South Africa
Past President: International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations
Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa
Member of the Advisory Board on major research project on the history of UNESCO World Cultural and Natural History, Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte, University of Mainz
Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge University
Chair: Academic Advisory Board, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Ludwig Maximilian University and Deutsches Museum, Munich
National Research Foundation Rated Researcher (B1)
Research Associate: Centre for Invasion Biology, University of Stellenbosch
Past President: Southern African Historical Society
Former Chair: National Research Foundation Subject Specialist Committee (Historical Studies).
Australian National University
University of Western Australia
National heritage, land reform, national park and nature conservation policy.
2011 to 2012: Research Professor, Department of History, University of South Africa
2008: Professor, Department of History, University of South Africa
2005 to 2008: Associate Professor, Department of History, University of South Africa
1995 to 2005: Senior Lecturer, Department of History, University of South Africa
1986 to 1995: Lecturer, Department of History, University of South Africa
1980 to 1985: Junior Lecturer, Department of History, University of South Africa
1968 to 1980: Human Resources Manager, Murray and Roberts Construction, Johannesburg
1988 Ph.D. (History) University of Cape Town
Thesis: ‘Game protection in the Transvaal, 1846 to 1926’
1980 M.A. (History) University of South Africa
Dissertation: ‘The growth of local self-government in the peri-urban areas north of Johannesburg, 1939 to 1969’
1975 B.A. Hons (History) University of South Africa (with distinction)
1964-1966 B.A. University of Cape Town
Committee member, National Union of South African Students (1964-1966)
1967 Johannesburg College of Education, Transvaal Teachers' Higher Diploma (with distinction)
1953-1963 Parktown Convent School, Oxford Road, Johannesburg
School prefect (1963); School prize for best all-round student (1963)
2014- Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the application of the city of Guimarães, Northern Portugal, as Green Capital of Europe.
2013 International conference, ‘The Edges of Environmental History: Honoring Jane Carruthers’. Convened in Munich, 22 August 2013. Proceedings published in July 2014 as Mauch, C. and Robin, L. eds, The Edges of Environmental History: Honouring Jane Carruthers. Rachel Carson Center Perspectives, No. 1, 2014. In English and in Portuguese.
2012 Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) (Elected 2012)
2011-2014 President: International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations
2008 National Research Foundation, rated researcher B1
2007-2009 President: Southern African Historical Society
2007 Council Member and Vice-President (to 2013), Royal Society of South Africa and Chair of the Northern Branch (to 2014)
2006 Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa (Elected 2006)
2005 Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge University (Elected 2005)
2003 Chancellor’s Prize for Research, University of South Africa
2001 Sole authored book Wildlife and Warfare nominated for the Alan Paton Prize for South African non-fiction
1996 Edited book The Jameson Raid: A Centennial Retrospective runner-up 1997 Alan Paton literary award for South African non-fiction.
1995 Co-authored book The Life and Work of Thomas Baines Exclusive Books Publisher’s Choice prize-winner 1995
2015 Fellow, STIAS – Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (January- April)
2005 Visiting Fellow, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra (July-August)
2004 Visiting Fellow, Clare Hall, Cambridge University (April-July)
2003 Visiting Fellow, History Program, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra (August-October)
2000 Fred Alexander Fellow, Department of History, University of Western Australia, Perth (July-August)
1999 Visiting Fellow, History Program, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra (February-May)
1962 Queen’s Guide
Editorial Boards - Current (Journals)
Botswana Notes and News, Gaborone
Conservation and Society, Bangalore
Environment and History, United Kingdom
Environmental Justice, United States of America
H-ASEH (moderated international online newsgroup co-ordinated by American Society for Environmental History)
H-SAFRICA (moderated international online newsgroup Southern African history)
Koedoe: African Protected Areas Conservation and Science.
Portal: Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, Sydney
Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa (Book review editor)
Editorial Boards - Past (Journals):
Contree, South Africa
Environmental History, United States of America
Kleio: A Journal of Historical Studies from Africa, South Africa (Editor 2004-2006)
South African Historical Journal (Editorial Board and Business Manager 1981-1991)
Sandton Historical Society: Annual Magazine, South Africa
Editorial Boards (Book series):
Palgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series
Berghahn, Environmental History Series
Brill Series, Climate and Culture (KWI, Institute of Advanced Study in the Humanities, Essen, Germany)
Routledge-Earthscan Routledge Environmental Humanities Series
Keynote address in Presidential Panel, 2nd World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal, July 2014
Keynote speaker for the Australian Academy of the Humanities, Symposium, Brisbane. November 2013
Keynote speaker for 24th Biennial Conference of the Southern African Historical Society, Gaborone, Botswana, June 2013
Plenary opening keynote speaker for 6th Symposium of Sociedad Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Historia Ambiental (SOLCHA) (Society of Latin American and Caribbean Environmental History), Villa de Leyva, Colombia, June 2012 www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZVWFUofmpc www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_tahxKULKY
Speaker at opening of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich, June 2010
President, International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations, 2011-2014
Chair, Academic Advisory Board, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Ludwig Maximilian University and Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany, 2009-2015
Member, Academic Advisory Board, international project on World Heritage Sites, Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte, University of Mainz.
Research Associate: Centre for Invasion Biology, University of Stellenbosch.
Program Committee: World Environmental History Congress, Copenhagen, August 2009
Program Committee: International Congress of Historical Geographers, to be held in London, July 2015.
Delivered Ruth Edgecombe Memorial Lecture, University of KwaZulu-Natal, October 2008
Plenary concluding keynote speaker at conference ‘Civilising nature’, German Historical Institute, Washington DC, June 2008
Plenary opening keynote speaker for 4th Congress of the European Society for Environmental History, Amsterdam, June 2007
Invited lead author for Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism’s Scientific Assessment of Elephant Management in South Africa, 2007
Invited to participate in the plenary opening session of the International Congress of Historical Studies, Sydney, 2005
One of 7 international editors for the Palgrave-Macmillan Dictionary of Transnational History, a major initiative that has contributed substantially to shaping the parameters of the discipline.
Work used as a textbook in a number of international universities.
Actively working in multi- and inter-disciplinary projects with scholars at the Australian National University and the University of Western Australia on comparative heritage issues, the history of imperial/colonial cartography.
American Society for Environmental History
Botanical Society, South Africa
European Society for Environmental History
1926 Club, Johannesburg (Chairman 1997)
Royal Society of South Africa (former Vice-President of the national society and former chair of the Northern Branch)
Society for Conservation Biology
Southern African Historical Society (President 2007-2009, former Business Manager and Council member)
South African Archaeological Society
The Van Riebeeck Society
Egoli Heritage Foundation
Sandton Historical Association
Unisa Medieval Society
Chair of Academic Advisory Board, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Ludwig Maximilian University and Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany.
Member of Advisory Board UNESCO World Cultural and Natural History, Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte, University of Mainz
Past President: International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations, Duke University, NC.
Research Associate, Centre for Invasion Biology, University of Stellenbosch.
Advisory Board Member, Centre for Environmental History, Australian National University, Canberra.
Board member: Centre for Environmental History, International Advisory Group, University of Stirling, Scotland.
Trustee: Skye Foundation (educational trust)
National Research Foundation, Subject Specialist Committee (Historical Studies), 2005-2007 (Chair 2007).
Former member of SAQA (South African Quality Assurance) Standards Generating Body for Historical Studies and previously for ‘Traditions, History and Legacies.’
European Society for Environmental History, Turku Book Prize Committee, 2016-
American Society for Environmental History, Leopold-Hidy Prize 2006-2012.
American Society for Environmental History, Alice Hamilton Prize, 2003.
American Society for Environmental History, Aldo Leopold Prize, 1995-1996
Please download Curriculum Vitae for full details, including book reviews, peer comments, professional memberships, seminar papers, public lectures, and publications in scientific journals.
Current Projects and News
Jane has been invited to Canberra in May 2016 as the international guest teacher for the 8th Environmental History PhD Workshop held under the auspices of the Centre for Environmental History, Australian National University.
Jane enjoyed a very successful and stimulating period as a Fellow at STIAS for three months at the beginning of 2015 and made good progress on her book project, a history of conservation science in South Africa’s national parks. During her time in Stellenbosch, she was also involved in a collaborative project that commemorates the Royal Society of South Africa’s publication in 1945 of an important report by a Committee chaired by C.L. Wicht on the management and conservation of the Cape flora. The work will be published in the Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa in 2016.
Jane has been engaged for some years on a history of conservation science in South Africa during the 20th century with a particular focus on the country’s national parks – a project supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The book manuscript is now nearing completion.
Jane is on the Advisory Board for the project “Knowledge of the World – Heritage of Mankind: The History of UNESCO World Heritage”, being conducted by the Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte - Leibniz-Institute of European History (IEG). The aim is to produce fresh knowledge, through publications and a number of PhD theses on the importance and meaning of four of the early world heritage sites, Aachen, Auschwitz, Jerusalem and the Galapagos Islands. Site visits to Aachen (2013), Auschwitz (2014) and Jerusalem (2015) have taken place.
Jane is a member of the Scientific and Monitoring Committee, appointed by the city of Guimarães and the University of Minho, to assist with the city’s future application for the award of Green Capital of Europe, an award inaugurated in 2008. The association between Jane and her ICEHO colleagues and the city and university was established with the extremely successful 2014 World Congress of Environmental History that was held in Guimarães. Thus far Guimarães has received the accolades of World Heritage Site (2001), European Cultural Capital (2012) and European City of Sport (2013) so the award of Green Capital would complete its record as the outstanding and most prestigious all-round city on the continent. The award of Green Capital is made on the basis of 12 environmental indicators, issues such as waste management, water supply and treatment, air quality, mobility and energy. In addition to these technical matters the human elements of environmental history, commitment, enthusiasm and attitude are critically important and it is to these, in particular, that ICEHO can contribute. In the evening after the inaugural committee meeting in June 2015, the public of Guimarães gathered in the large auditorium of the cultural centre of Vila Flor to hear details of the planned application, to learn how various aspects will develop and how they might contribute. The presentation was greeted with much applause and enthusiasm. The city is using the Green Capital application not only for the prestigious honour of being a winner but to ensure that it is a model of urban sustainability and environmental diligence.
The second meeting took place in January 2016 under the chairmanship of Mohan Munasinghe, with overall direction from the Mayor, Dr Domingos Bragança, and the Rector of the University of Minho, Professor António M. Cunha, and an executive committee led by Vice-Mayor Amadeu Portilha and Vice-Rector Paulo Ramisio. There is also an operational group of 19 environmental experts,many of them engineers, that is actually responsible for guiding the city towards its targets in the areas of the environmental indicators on which the city will be evaluated by a panel of experts from the European Union. The format of the January 2016 meeting included visits to various projects that have already begun in the quest for the Green Capital award. These were, for example, the freshwater treatment facility and reservoir on Mount Penha, a travelling theatre bus that visits schools to give performances on environmental issues, an innovative Pay As You Throw (PAYT) waste collection system that encourages recycling and regular collection in the historic city centre (no unsightly bins on the streets) and a living science centre in the restored Couros leather tanning area.
Apart from the formal meeting there was an international conference on ‘How to build a Green City’ that attracted an audience of around 100 people. Professor Estelita Vaz gave a presentation on ‘University commitment to build a Green City’, and Jane spoke on the topic of ‘From UNESCO World Heritage to a sustainable city’. They were followed by three people directly involved in sustainable urban centres: Gunnar Söderholm, head of environment and health administration in Stockholm (the first Green Capital in 2008), who spoke on ‘A vision for urban development’ and Luis Orive, a landscape specialist and leader of the team that took the Basque city of Vitoria-Gasteiz with its remarkable Green Belt to the award of Green Capital in 2012, with a focus on ‘Green inside and Green Outside’. Finally there was an extremely interesting explanation of how Pontevedra, a city north of Portugal on the coast of Spain, virtually banned motor vehicles from the city centre, thus creating a liveable and clean city that has received numerous awards for its achievement. This lecture, ‘A model for the city centred on people’, was given by the long-time mayor of Pontevedra, Migual Anxo Fernándes Lores, who spoke in the ancient language of Galician.
For further information see the following sites relating to Guimarães Mais Verde (some in English, some in Portuguese):
Guimarães Cidade Verde - Os Verdes
Some members of the Green Capital initiative in the historical city centre of Guimarães.
Recent Conferences and Colloquia
Knowledge of the World workshop, Jerusalem, September 2015
European Society for Environmental History, Versailles 30 June to 3 July.
International Congress of Historical Geographers, London, July 2015.
Wicht Symposium, Stellenbosch, April 2015
World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal, July 2014. Presidential Keynote.
‘National parks, civilization and globalization’. Mind and Nature public lecture, University of Uppsala, 19 May 2014.
‘The “murky past” of protected areas: Land restitution and national parks in South Africa’. Seminar: University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 11 March 2014.
American Society for Environmental History Conference, San Francisco, March 2014.
‘Influences on wildlife management and conservation biology in South Africa, 1900-1960’. Seminar: Tshwane University of Technology, Tshwane, 26 February 2014.
Australian Academy of the Humanities, Annual Meeting, Brisbane, November 2013. Keynote address.
European Society for Environmental History, Munich, 21-24 August 2013.
The Edges of Environmental History, Munich, 20 August 2013.
24th Biennial Conference, Southern African Historical Society, Gaborone, Botswana, June 2013. Keynote address
Savanna Science Network Meeting, Skukuza, March 2013.