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Christopher J. Lee
Lafayette College (Easton, PA 18042-7625)
A History of the Nighttime in 19th- and 20th- Century South Africa

Research and preparation of a book on the history of the nighttime in South Africa.

This research project addresses the history of the nighttime in South Africa during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Its significance is that it promises to be the first such study. It aims to advance how we understand the time and place of historical change: how the night as a specific context was (and still is) a complex period of criminal danger and cultural freedom, state control and political activism, modern technology and celestial knowledge in the longue durée. Key questions that motivate this study include: what happens at night, and how have these activities changed over time; what are the uses of the nighttime, and how have perspectives on the nighttime evolved during the past two centuries; and, third, how has the nighttime itself influenced historical change, and how might it reshape South Africa’s historiography. This project argues that the nighttime has been an under-examined, yet vital, factor in the making of South African history.

Project fields:
African History; African Studies; Cultural History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2018 – 7/31/2018