Meredith K. McKittrick



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Meredith K. McKittrick

Associate Professor

Department of History, Georgetown University
Department of History McKittrick@georgetown.edu

Georgetown University (202) 687-6121 (office)

37th and O Sts. NW (301) 785-0691 (mobile)

Washington, D.C. 20057 (202) 687-7245 (fax)


Academic Positions


2003-present Associate Professor, Department of History and Edmund A. Walsh School of

Foreign Service, Georgetown University


1996-2003 Assistant Professor, Department of History and Edmund A. Walsh School of

Foreign Service, Georgetown University



1995-1996 Visiting Assistant Professor, History Department, Southwestern University

Education

Stanford University, Stanford California


Ph.D. in History, 1995.

M.A. in History, 1992.

University of Texas, Austin

B.A. summa cum laude in History, 1989. Minor in journalism.


Current Projects
The Redemption of the Kalahari: White Settler Society and the Agrarian Imagination in South Africa. Book manuscript in progress; anticipated submission to press in late 2017.
“Making Rain, Making Maps: Competing geographies of water and power in 19th-century southwestern Africa.” Invited resubmission to Journal of African History (May 2016).
“Talking about the Weather: The language of environmental crisis in South Africa, 1915-1945,” article in preparation for submission to Environmental History (April 2016).
Currents of Power: A History of Three Southern African Rivers. Book manuscript in progress.

Publications



Books

To Dwell Secure: Generation, Christianity, and Colonialism in Ovamboland, Northern Namibia.

Heinemann Social History of Africa Series, 2002.


Peer-reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

“An Empire of Rivers: Climate Anxiety, Imperial Ambition, and the Hydropolitical Imagination

in Southern Africa, 1919-1945,” Journal of Southern African Studies 41:3 (2015),

485-504.


“Industrial Agriculture,” in Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Global Environmental History, John McNeill and Erin Stewart Maudlin, eds. Wiley-Blackwell 2012, 411-432.

“Landscapes of Power: Ownership and Identity on the Middle Kavango River, Namibia,”



Journal of Southern African Studies 34:4 (2008), 785-802.

“'The Wealth of These Nations': Rain, Rulers and Religion on the Cuvelai Floodplain," in Terje Tvedt, ed., The World of Water, I.B. Tauris, 2006, 449-469.

“Capricious Tyrants and Persecuted Subjects: Reading Between the Lines of Missionary

Records,” in Toyin Falola et al., eds., Sources and Methods in Africa History: Spoken, Written, Unearthed. Rochester University Press 2003, 219-238.

“Forsaking their Fathers? Colonialism, Christianity and Coming of Age in Ovamboland,

Northern Namibia,” in Lisa Lindsay and Stephan Miescher, eds., Men and Masculinities in Modern Africa. Heinemann 2003, 33-51.

“Faithful Daughter, Murdering Mother: Transgression and Social Control in Colonial Namibia,”

in Wendy Woodward, Patricia Hayes and Gary Minkley, Deep Histories: Gender and



Colonialism in Southern Africa. Rodopi, reprint of 1999 Journal of African History

article.

“Faithful Daughter, Murdering Mother: Transgression and Social Control in Colonial Namibia.”

Journal of African History 40:2 (1999), 265-283. Winner of the Robert F. Heizer Prize

for the best article in ethnohistory.

“Generational Struggles and Social Mobility in Ovamboland, 1915 to 1950,” in Namibia Under

South African Rule: Mobility and Containment, 1915-1946, Patricia Hayes et al, eds. Longman 1998, 241-62.

“Reinventing the Family: Kinship, Marriage and Famine in Northern Namibia, 1948-54,” Social



Science History 23:3 (1997), 265-295.

“The ‘Burden’ of Young Men: Generational Conflict and Property Rights in Ovamboland,”



African Economic History 24 (1996), 115-129.

Book Reviews and Other Publications


  • Gregor Dobler, Traders and Trade in Colonial Ovamboland, in Journal of African History (2015).

  • Allan Isaacman, Dams, Displacement, and the Delusion of Development, in International Journal of African Historical Studies 47:1 (2014), 153-55.

  • Giorgio Miescher, Namibia’s Red Line: The History of a Veterinary and Settlement Border, in International Journal of African Historical Studies 46:2 (2013), 337-39.

  • Emmanuel Kreike, Deforestation and Reforestation in Namibia: The Global Consequences of Local Contradictions, in International Journal of African Historical Studies 41:1 (2011), 167-9.

  • Laura Mitchell, Belongings: Property, Family and Identity in Colonial South Africa, in Journal of African History 51:1 (2010), 113-14.

  • Ute Dieckmann, Hai//om in the Etosha Region: A History of Colonial Settlement, Ethnicity, and Nature Conservation, in International Journal of African Historical Studies 41:3 (2008).

  • Sean Redding, Sorcery and Sovereignty: Taxation, Power and Rebellion in South Africa, 1880-1963, in African Studies Review 51:1 (2008), 144-145.

  • Märta Salokoski, How Kings Are Made – How Kingship Changes: A Study of Rituals and Ritual

  • Change in Pre-Colonial and Colonial Ovamboland, Namibia, in Journal of African History 48:3 (2007), 506-508.

  • Jeremy Silvester and Jan-Bart Gewald, Words Cannot Be Found: German Colonial Rule in

Namibia: An Annotated Reprint of the 1918 Blue Book, H-Net Reviews, 2007.

  • Kari Miettinen, On The Way to Whiteness: Christianization, Conflict and Change in Colonial Ovamboland, 1910-1965, in African Affairs 105:420 (2006) 490-491.

  • Emmanuel Kreike, Re-Creating Eden: Land Use, Environment and Society in Southern Angola and Northern Namibia, in International Journal of African Historical Studies 39:2 (2006), 311-313.

  • “The Measure of Atrocity: The German War Against the Hereros Revisited,” conference report in The German Historical Institute Bulletin 36 (2005).

  • Jean Allman, Susan Geiger, and Nakanyike Musisi, eds., Women in African Colonial Histories, on H-Net Reviews, 2004.

  • Axel Fleisch and Wilhelm J.G. Möhlig, The Kavango Peoples in the Past: Local

Historiographies from Northern Namibia, in International Journal of African Historical Studies 36:1 (2003): 227-228.

  • Jan-Bart Gewald, “We Thought We Could Be Free …”: Socio-Cultural Aspects of Herero

History in Namibia, 1915-1940, in African Affairs 101:405 (2002), 655-657.

  • Antti Erkilla, Living on the Land: Change in Forest Cover in North-Central Namibia 1943-1996, in International Journal of African Historical Studies 35:2/3 (2002), 625-626.

  • "The People's Republic of Ombalantu," The Namibian, Sept. 15, 2000 (monthly newspaper

feature designed to make academic history accessible to Namibians.)

  • Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff, Of Revelation and Revolution, vol. 2, in Anthropology

Quarterly 72:2 (2000), 100-101.

Research Presentations and Invited Lectures





  • “The Rainmaker Goes to Court.” Presented at the Georgetown African History Seminar Series, Dec. 2015.

  • “Murder in a Time of Famine: Life and death struggles in northern Namibia, 1933.” Presented at the African Studies Association Annual Meeting, San Diego, Nov. 2015.

  • “The Question to Abolish the Desert: A history of schemes on three continents.” Presented at the Global Deserts Conference, Tucson, Sept. 2015.

  • “Talking about the Weather: White vernaculars and agrarian crisis, 1920-1945.” Presented at the Southern African Historical Society biannual meeting, Stellenbosch, South Africa, July 2015.

  • “Restoring the rain: Settler knowledge and climate anxiety in South Africa, 1910-1950.” Presented at the American Society for Environmental History annual meeting, San Francisco, March 2014

  • “Making Rain, Making Maps: Competing geographies of power in Northern Namibia and Southern Angola.” Presented at the African History and Anthropology Workshop, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, December 2013.

  • “Techno-gigantism from below: The quest to flood the Kalahari, 1918-1950.” Presented at the Science and Technology Seminar, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, December 2013.

  • “An Empire of Rivers: Climate anxiety, imperial ambition, and the hydropolitical imagination in southern Africa, 1919-1950,” presented at Re-Figuring the South African Empire, Basel, Switzerland, Sept. 9-11 2013.

  • “’A Miracle in the North’: The Scheme to Flood the Kalahari, 1918-1945,” presented at the Northeastern Workshop on Southern Africa, Burlington VT, April 19 2013.

  • “Visual Conquests and Hidden Worlds at the River’s Edge,” presented at the African Studies Association annual meeting, Baltimore, Nov. 30 2012.

  • “Developing a Desert Nation: Water Procurement Schemes in the Quest for Namibian Prosperity,” presented at the World Economic History Congress, Stellenbosch, South Africa, July 12 2012.

  • “War by Other Means: Rivers as strategic resources in the Namibian and Angolan wars of independence,” presented at the American Society for Environmental History annual meeting, Madison, WI, March 30, 2012.

  • “ ‘A Miracle in the North’: The Scheme to Flood the Kalahari, 1910-1930,” presented at the African Studies Association annual meeting, San Francisco, November 19, 2010.

  • “Geologists, Rainmakers, and Border Guards: Constructing the Kavango River Environment,” paper presented at the Georgetown University History Department Seminar, March 2009.

  • “Landscapes of power: Ownership and identity on the Kavango River of Namibia,” Johns Hopkins History Seminar, 2007.

  • Water, sovereignty and power: Ownership and entitlement on the Kavango River,” African Studies Association, San Francisco, 2006.

  • Featured speaker, International Conference on Rivers and Civilization, LaCrosse, WI, 2006.

  • “Colonial backwater: International boundaries and political identities on the Kavango River,” Department of History, Emory University, 2005.

  • “Southern Africa’s History as Seen From Its Riverbanks,” Georgetown University History Department Seminar, 2005.

  • “Race Politics, River People, and Rational Resource Use: A Regional History of Southern Africa’s Rivers, 1945-2000,” Northeastern Workshop on Southern Africa, Burlington, Vermont, 2005.

  • “Defining the Kavango and Kunene: Wetland Communities, National Governments, and Riparian Politics in Historical Perspective,” African Studies Association, New Orleans, 2004.

  • "Securing the Land: Environmental Violence on the Namibian-Angolan Frontier," American Society for Environmental History, Victoria, British Columbia, 2004.

  • “The Curious River and the Problem Desert: 150 Years of Deciding What to Do With the Okavango," American Society for Environmental History, Providence, 2003.

  • Discussant, "Chieftaincy, Land, and Politics: Yorubaland and Asante in the 20th Century," Political Economy of Africa Revisited, Johns Hopkins University, 2002.

  • “‘The Wealth of These Nations’: Rain, Religion and Rulers in Northern Namibia, 1870-1910,” International Water History Conference, Bergen, Norway, 2001.

  • “Capricious Tyrants and Persecuted Subjects: Reading Between the Lines of Missionary Records in Pre-colonial Northern Namibia,” Pathways to Africa’s Past Conference, University of Texas, Austin, 2001.

  • “Killing the King: The Struggle to Control the Land in Precolonial Ombalantu, Northern Namibia,” African Environments Conference, Oxford University, 1999.

  • “The Right to be Human: Conflicts over Life, Death, and the Law in Colonial Northern Namibia,” Berkeley-Stanford Symposium on Law, Colonialism and Human Rights in Africa, 1999.

  • “Criminalizing Movement: Gender, Migrancy and the Colonial State in Ovamboland, Namibia, 1915-1955,” African Studies Association, Chicago, 1998.

  • “’Detribalised Natives’ and ‘Immoral Women’: Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Human Mobility in Colonial Namibia,” Making Race, Constructing History, Victoria, British Columbia, 1998.

  • “Recasting Generational Identities: Youth and Social Crisis in Northern Namibia, 1850-1910,” Southeastern Regional Seminar on African Studies, 1998.

  • “A Youthful Rebellion: Gender, Generation and the Creation of a Christian Community in Northern Namibia, 1880-1930,” African Studies Association, Columbus, Ohio, 1997.

  • “Disobedient Daughter: Reproduction, Agency and Social Control in Colonial Namibia,” Georgetown University History Department Seminar, 1997.

  • “Irrelevant Fathers? Conceptions of Matrilineality and Paternal Authority in Colonial Ovambo Society,” Berkeley-Stanford Symposium on Law, Colonialism, and Control over Children, 1997.

  • “Disobedient Daughters: Illegitimate Pregnancies in Colonial Northern Namibia,” African Studies Association, San Francisco, 1996.

  • “Housewives and Breadwinners: Transformations in the Division and Ideology of Labor in Northern Namibia, 1915-54,” American Historical Association, Atlanta, 1996.

  • “Generation and Gender in Northern Namibia: Social Conflict and Change in

  • Ombalantu and Ongandjera, 1915 to 1950,” Mobility and Containment in Namibia, 1915-45, University of Namibia, 1994.

  • ”Reinventing the Meaning of Marriage and Kinship: Labor Contracts and Familial Obligations in Colonial Ovamboland, 1948-54,” Berkeley-Stanford Symposium on Law, Colonialism and Contracts in Africa, 1994.

  • “Of Media Vultures and the Ivory Tower: The Production of Images of Africa in Popular Culture,” Stanford-Berkeley Joint Centers for African Studies Spring Conference, 1994.



Awards and Fellowships


2015 Summer Academic Grant and SFS Summer Faculty Research Grant, for travel to South Africa/continuing work on book manuscript.

2015 Spring Academic Grant, for the digitization of interview tapes (for deposit into Namibian archives).

2014 SFS Fall Faculty Research Grant, for cartographic services

2014 SFS Spring Faculty Research Grant, for travel to South African archives

2013 SFS Fall Faculty Research Grant, for overseas travel to a conference and missionary archives in Switzerland and Germany

2012 Georgetown University Summer Academic Grant

2012 SFS Summer Faculty Research Grant (for travel to archives in Namibia and London and a conference in South Africa)

Fall 2011 Senior Faculty Fellowship

2010 College Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

2010-11 Doyle Faculty Fellow

2010 Graduate School travel and SFS travel grant, for travel to Namibian and South African archives

2008 SFS Summer Grant in Aid (for translation/transcription of oral interviews)

2007 Georgetown University Summer Academic Grant

2005 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (taken fall semester)

2005 Georgetown University Summer Grant, supplemented by a SFS travel award (for travel to Namibia and Botswana)

2004-05 Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Fellowship

2004 Georgetown University Summer Academic Grant and travel award (for research

in Namibia)

2002 Georgetown University Summer Academic Grant

2001 Georgetown University, Summer Academic Grant and travel stipend for research

in Namibia

2000 Georgetown University, Summer Academic Grant and travel stipend for research

in Finland

2000 Robert F. Heizer Prize for best article in ethnohistory (for "Faithful Daughter,

Murdering Mother")

1998-1999 American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship

1998 Georgetown Junior Research Fellowship (concurrent with ACLS fellowship)

1998 Georgetown University Summer Academic Grant


1997 Georgetown University Summer Academic Grant and travel stipend for research

in Namibia

1994-1995 Mellon Dissertation Fellowship

1993 Fulbright-IIE Fellowship for doctoral research in Namibia

1991, 1992 Title VI Foreign Languages and Area Studies Fellowship for the study of Oshiwambo at Stanford University and in Namibia

1990-1994 Stanford University Graduate Fellowship for the Ph.D. Program in the Humanities


Teaching
Current courses

Hist 112, Africa 2

Hist 203, History of global agriculture from beer to Big Macs

Hist 310, Comparative history of the U.S. and South Africa

Hist 315, African environments

Hist 318, Apartheid

Hist 414, Resistance and rebellion in Africa

Hist 504, Global and International history

Hist 509, M.A. research seminar in global history

Hist 617, Settler colonialism

Hist 713, Twentieth-century Africa
Previously taught courses

Hist 111, African history 1

Hist 213, History of Southern Africa

Hist 305, International perspectives and global history

Hist 416, Ethnicity in Africa

Hist 417, Gender and generation in Africa

Hist 512, Empire and gender

Hist 703, Comparative colonialism



Hist 804, Environmental history of the African Atlantic
University Service

History Department

  • Director, MA Programs, 2014-present

  • Planning Committee, 1999-2000, 2008-present

  • Faculty Search, Environmental History, 2014-15

  • Faculty Search, African History (Chair), 2012-13

  • Sharabi Prize Committee, 2012

  • Faculty Search, African History Visiting Professor (Chair), 2010-11

  • Faculty Search, Environmental History, 2007-08

  • African History Teaching Fellow Search (Chair), 2007-08

  • Faculty Search, South Asian History, 2006-07

  • Newsletter Committee, 2006

  • Foley Prize Committee, 2006

  • Honors Thesis Prize Committee, 2005, 1998

  • Undergraduate Studies Committee, 2002-03, 2000-01, 1997-98

  • Merit Review Committee, 2002

  • Faculty Search, Latin American History, 2001-02

  • Summer Seminar on Teaching World History, 2001

  • Chair, History Department subcommittee on History in the University (dealing with joint appointments and curricular matters), for History Department self-study, 2000-01

  • Chair, Undergraduate Studies Task Force on SFS History Requirement Reforms, 1998

  • Faculty Search, Latin American History (2 positions), 1997-98

  • Freshman Advising, 1997-98


School of Foreign Service

  • School of Foreign Service African Studies Committee, 1996-present

  • Faculty Search, U.S. Diplomatic History, 2013-14

  • BSFS Admissions, 2008

  • African Studies Thesis Prize Committee, 2005

  • Faculty Search, Landegger Chair in International Business and Diplomacy, 2002-03

  • African Studies Summer Fellowship Selection Committee, 2002, 2000, 1998

  • Executive Council, 2001-03

  • African Studies Student Liaison, 2000-04

  • SFS Regional and Comparative Studies Field Committee, 1999-2002

  • African Studies Curriculum Committee, Chair, 1996-98


University

  • Fulbright Fellowship Interviews, 2008

  • Faculty Advisor, One World Africa Youth Summit, 2006-08

  • University Committee on Flexible Career Paths for Faculty, 2006-07

  • University Maternity and Family Leave Committee, 2000-02


Service to the Profession


  • Editorial Advisory Board, International Journal of African Historical Studies, 2009-present.

  • Panelist, NEH Summer Fellowship Review, 2014

  • Lecturer, Foreign Service Institute Seminars on Africa, 1999-2010, 2014-15

  • Dissertation Committee Member, University of Buffalo, David Crawford Jones (defended 2014)

  • Lecturer, National Defense University seminar on African Security Issues, 2006-13

  • Panelist, NEH Fellowship Proposals Review, 2008

  • Lecturer, Virginia Center for Teaching and Learning and the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for International Education, 2000-05

  • Manuscript reviewer, Ohio University Press and Heinemann Social History of Africa Series, 2000-present

  • Peer reviewer, Journal of African History, International Journal of African Historical Studies, Environmental History, African Affairs, South African Historical Studies, Radical History Review

  • Contributor, online discussion/tutorial on historical sources, Women in World History Project, George Mason University (available at http://chnm.gmu.edu/wwh/analyzing/records/r.intro.php)


Research Languages

German, Afrikaans, French, Portuguese, Oshiwambo






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