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Carina van Rooyen


Dr Carina van Rooyen
Faculty of Humanities
Department of Anthropology & Development Studies
Head of Department


A short story of Myself

My name is Carina van Rooyen. It only takes two words to describe both my personal and professional life: water and justice. Being a Piscean, I just LOOOVE water – in any form, shape, at any time and at any place. Combining this passion with my search for equalities and restless curiosity; these are what make me tick. Both these passions have led me on strange and stupid, but exhilarating and learning-filled paths in the past. From attempting to catch fish in the Hartebeespoort Dam since I was five years old; to the desperately poor households of farm workers in the Bushveld; to the chemistry and maths lecture halls of Tukkies where I studied for a BSc; to the magical rivers and waterfalls in Mpumalanga; to the beauty of people and nature in southern Africa; to the heart of England and the streets of London; to the sin-city (as my family still calls Jo’burg), and now in the capital city of South Africa, Pretoria

CArina pofile pic 1.jpg

I have been lecturing at UJ (and before that the old RAU) for over twenty years now, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. I used to lecture in Development Studies, but since June 2011 I lecture in Anthropology. I have successfully guided thirteen Masters’ dissertations and eighteen Honours reports to completion (eight was with cum laude, i.e. distinction).


I completed my PhD with a Commonwealth Scholarship at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. In my thesis I looked at bulk water governance in South Africa, and how flows on water reveal much about flows of power. I have worked on a number of research projects, with the latest completed ones being two systematic reviews for which my colleague Prof Ruth Stewart (then from the Institute of Education, London) and myself have been contracted by the Department for International Development of the UK government. Currently I am working on a NRF-funded research project on diverse knowledges about climate change and water (see the blog of this project at 

I have recently moved to Pretoria, with my two cats and fish (and lots of junk), to be close to my family.

Find out more about my professional work at

Follow me on Twitter (@carinavr) for tweets on teaching with technology, on climate change and water, and on the nature of evidence for whom and for what.​

Contact Details

Tel: +27 (0)11 559 28565
Auckland Park Kingsway Campus D-Ring 5012A