Prof William Beinart is Emeritus Professor at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. He was a student at the University of Cape Town and did his doctoral work in history at SOAS, University of London, in the 1970s. He taught at the University of Bristol (1983-1997) and at the University of Oxford (1997 to 2015). He has been chair of the Board of the Journal of Southern African Studies, Director of the African Studies Centre at Oxford, President of the African Studies Association of the UK (2008-10) and in 2009, he was elected to the British Academy.
Publications include Twentieth-Century South Africa (2001), The Rise of Conservation in South Africa (OUP, 2003), Environment and Empire (2007, with Lotte Hughes); Prickly Pear: the Social History of a Plant in the Eastern Cape ( 2011 with Luvuyo Wotshela) and African Local Knowledge (2013 with Karen Brown); The Scientific Imagination in South Africa, 1700 to the Present (2021 with Saul Dubow). He researched for the Eastern Cape land reform programme in the 1990s, and also on land restitution cases in that province. He has recently been writing on these issues: Rights to Land (Jacana, 2017 with Peter Delius and Michelle Hay); ‘Smallholders and Land Reform: A Realistic Perspective’ (CDE, 2018), ‘Next Steps Towards Land Reform’ (CDE, 2019 both with Peter Delius); and is involved in a project on land reform and agrarian change with Sonwabile Mnwana and Luvuyo Wotshela of the University of Fort Hare.