Bas Rensen

Since 2015, Bas Rensen has been interested in the history of water governance in colonial Africa. Through several papers, internships and theses he has formed an image of water governance as a tool for transforming the norms, practices and institutions of power. He has published papers on the colonisation of Northern Nigeria and on participation in local water governance structures in Tunisia. Another project looked at historical inequities in the former homelands of South Africa. His thesis, supervised by Prof Dr Jan-Bart Gewald, explained the motives of water governance restructuring in early colonial Morocco. Bas has worked in archives in South Africa, Morocco and Great Britain, presented his research at international conferences, and worked as a student assistant at the International Institute for Social History.

Since graduating cum laude in the colonial history of Africa, Bas has been exploring possibilities for doing doctoral research. It will continue his work on power transformation through colonial water governance in Africa, now focussing on British influences in Kenya between 1895 and 1970.

List of recent publications:

B. Rensen, ‘The instrument of authority: The Niger river as propaganda in Northern Nigeria, 1900-1905’ Student Undergraduate Research E-journal!, 2 (2016).

B. Rensen and B. van Koppen, Historical inequality in the National Water Act: Legal pluralism in South Africa 1912-1998 (Pretoria, 2016).