About Prof Brett Bennett
Qualifications PhD (History), 2010, University of Texas at Austin MA (History), 2008, University of Texas at Austin BA (Humanities), 2006, Indiana University Brett M. Bennett is an Associate Professor at the University of Johannesburg. His research uses historical methods to investigate how the interaction of human actions and natural processes created contemporary ecosystems, scientific ideas, and conservation policies. He teaches an interdisciplinary module in the Kruger National Park twice a year with UJ, Western Sydney University and the Nsasani Trust, and is developing an honours module in the Kruger with UJ and the Trust. Bennett is the author of Plantations and protected areas: a global history of forest management (Cambridge [MA]: The MIT Press, 2015), co-author with Frederick J. Kruger of Forestry and water conservation in South Africa: history, science, policy (Canberra: ANU Press, 2015), and co-author with Gregory Barton on the book Saving the world the first time: ideas of climate change before global warming that is under contract with Reaktion Press. He has edited the book Science and Empire: Knowledge and Networks Across the British Empire (Basingstoke: Palgrave 2011) with Joseph M Hodge. He has authored articles for a variety of leading international journals, including the Journal of Southern African Studies, International Review of Social History, Itinerario, Journal for the History of Biology, among others. This work has been featured in numerous national and international media outlets. Bennett is developing a research and teaching programme at UJ that is interdisciplinary and grounded by historical methods. To this end, he works with historians, geographers, ecologists, heritage experts and local communities to explore the legacy and meanings of human-plant, human-animal, and human-climate relations. The goal is to make UJ a major international hub for interdisciplinary humanities, science, environmental research, and to train the next generation of African environmental scholars. Selected Publications Bennett, BM & Barton, G (forthcoming, under contract), Saving the world the first time: ideas of climate change before global warming, Reaktion Press. Bennett, BM & Kruger, FJ 2015, Forestry and water conservation in South Africa: history, science, policy, ANU Press, Canberra. Bennett, BM 2015, Plantations and protected areas: a global history of forest management, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Bennett, BM & Hodge, JM (eds) 2011, Science and empire: knowledge and networks of science across the British Empire 1800-1970, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Barton, GA & Bennett, BM 2013, ‘The environment’, in A Bashford & S Macintyre (eds), The Cambridge history of Australia, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne & Cambridge, pp. 452-71. Barton, GA & Bennett, BM 2011, ‘A case study in the environmental history of gentlemanly capitalism: the battle between gentlemen teak merchants and state foresters in Burma and Siam, 1827-1901’, in T Falola & E Brownell (eds), Africa, empire, and globalization: essays in honor of A.G. Hopkins, Carolina Academic Press, Durham, pp. 317-32. Bennett, B 2017, ‘”If we go along with the mood of the moment, our books become tombstones in graveyards no one visits anymore”: Interview with Tony Hopkins’, Itinerario, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 3-14. Bennett, B & Barton, G 2017, ‘Generalizations in global history: dealing with diversity without losing the big picture’ Itinerario, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 15-25. Bennett, BM 2017, ‘Decolonization, environmentalism and nationalism in Australia and South Africa’ Opens in a new window, Itinerario, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 27-50. Brett, BM 2015, ‘Margaret Levyns and the decline of ecological liberalism in the Southwest Cape, 1890–1975’, South African Historical Journal, vol. 67, no. 1, pp. 64-84. Bennett, B & Kruger, F 2013, ‘Ecology, forestry and the debate over exotic trees in South Africa’, Journal of Historical Geography, vol. 42, pp. 100-09. Bennett, BM 2011, ‘Naturalising Australian trees in South Africa: climate, exotics and experimentation’, Journal of Southern African Studies, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 265-80. Bennett, BM 2010, ‘The El Dorado of forestry: the eucalyptus in India, South Africa and Thailand, 1850-2000’, International Review of Social History, vol. 55, no. 18, pp. 27-50.