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Name: Gerald Groenewald
Location: A RING 246 Auckland Park Kingsway Campus
Department of Historical Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Rated Researchers  Staff Members

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Tel: 0115593294


About Prof Gerald Groenewald


I studied history and languages at the University of Cape Town in the late 1990s. Apart from a semester abroad at Leiden University, I also pursued my postgraduate study at UCT, specializing in early modern history. I was awarded my PhD in 2010 for a thesis which traced, through the lenses of social capital and entrepreneurship, social stratification and elite formation in 17th and 18th century Cape Town. Before joining UJ’s History department in 2008, I worked as a researcher at the Centre for Socio-Legal Research in UCT’s Law Faculty, which is where I developed my interests in law and history.

Over the past fifteen years, I presented close to forty papers and seminars across South Africa, Europe and the USA, and published about three dozen peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, as well as the book, Trials of Slavery (with Nigel Worden), which was recently digitized (available My research focuses on the development of a unique society at the Cape of Good Hope from the mid-17th to the early 19th centuries in the context of the transoceanic worlds of which it formed a crucial part. I currently do this through research on the history of criminal justice, gender and family issues, and the development of the Afrikaans language.

Copies of most of my publications can be found at



‘Setting the scene for Afrikaans: The external history’, in Theresa Biberauer, Nerina Bosman & W.A.M. Carstens (eds.), Afrikaans Linguistics: Contemporary Perspectives (Stellenbosch: African SUN Media, 2023).

[with Jessica Murray, University of South Africa], ‘Lady Anne Barnard née Lindsay (1750-1825)’, in Ann R. Hawkins, Catherine S. Blackwell & E. Leigh Bonds (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Romantic Women Writers (Oxford & New York: Routledge, 2022).

‘Culture and society at the Cape of Good Hope, 1652-1795’, in Thomas Spear et al. (eds.), Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2020).

‘Slaves, Khoikhoi and the genesis of Afrikaans: The development of a historiography, c. 1890s-1990s’, South African Journal of Cultural History 33, 2 (2019).

[with Jac Conradie, University of Johannesburg], ‘Die ontstaan en vestiging van Afrikaans’, in: W.A.M. Carstens & Nerina Bosman (eds), Kontemporêre Afrikaanse Taalkunde (Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik, 2014; 2nd ed., 2017).

‘Honour, morality and sexuality in the eighteenth-century Cape Colony’, in Penny Russell & Nigel Worden (eds.), Honourable Intentions?: Violence and Virtue in Australian and Cape Colonies, c. 1750 to 1850 (Oxford & New York: Routledge, 2016).

[with Gerald Stell, University of the West Indies], ‘’n Persepsuele verslag van Afrikaans in Namibië: Tussen lingua franca en sosiaal-eksklusiewe taal’, Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe 56, 4-2 (2016).

‘Southern Africa and the Atlantic World’, in: D’Maris Coffman, Adrian Leonard & William O’Reilly (eds), The Atlantic World, 1400-1850 (London & New York: Routledge, 2014).

‘Entrepreneurs and the making of a free burgher society’, in: Nigel Worden (ed.), Cape Town between East and West: Social Identities in a Dutch Colonial Town (Johannesburg: Jacana & Hilversum: Verloren, 2012).

‘On not spreading the word: Ministers of religion and written culture at the Cape of Good Hope in the 18th century’, in: Adrien Delmas & Nigel Penn (eds), Written Culture in a Colonial Context: Africa and the Americas, 1500-1900 (Cape Town: UCT Press & Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2011).

[with Laura J. Mitchell, University of California, Irvine] The pre-industrial Cape in the twenty-first century (Special edition of the South African Historical Journal vol. 62 no. 3, September 2010).

‘Slaves and free blacks in VOC Cape Town, 1652-1795’, History Compass 8, 9 (2010).

Afrikaans as lingua franca in Namibië¸ ca. 1800-1920’, LitNet Akademies 7, 3 (2010).

‘An early modern entrepreneur: Hendrik Oostwald Eksteen and the creation of wealth in Cape Town, 1702-1741’, Kronos: Southern African Histories 35 (2009).

‘A mother makes no bastard: Family law, sexual relations and illegitimacy in Dutch colonial Cape Town, c. 1652-1795’, African Historical Review 39, 2 (2007).

Een dienstig inwoonder: Entrepreneurs, social capital and identity in Cape Town, c. 1720-1750’, South African Historical Journal 59 (2007).

[with Nigel Worden, University of Cape Town] Trials of slavery: Selected documents concerning slaves from the criminal records of the Council of Justice at the Cape of Good Hope, 1705-1794 (Cape Town: Van Riebeeck Society, 2005).

‘To Leibniz, from Dorha: A Khoi prayer in the Republic of Letters’, Itinerario: International Journal on the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction 28, 1 (2004).

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