Gary Baines

Gary Baines is an Associate Professor of History at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. His PhD on the history of the New Brighton township in Port Elizabeth spawned numerous articles and a monograph published by Edwin Mellen Press in 2003.
His areas of research subsequently expanded to include South African culture, especially film, literature and music. He then ventured into the fields of public history, memory studies, and the apocalyptic imagination. He has contributed chapters to books published by, amongst others, Berghahn, Blackwell, Ashgate, Equinox, the Nordic Africa Institute, Peter Lang and Witwatersrand University Press.

Gary is currently engaged in a project on the afterlife or legacy of the ‘Border War’, especially for the young white males conscripted by the South African Defence Force (SADF) to fight for the apartheid state. He envisages completing a manuscript with the (provisional) title ‘Representing and Remembering the Border War’ over the next two or three years. A by-product of this research has been a growing interest in trauma studies and victimology. In pursuit of this (and with the support of a colleague in the Psychology Department), he is overseeing a South African Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development ( SANPAD) funded project that is entitled ‘Narrating Psychosocial Stress and Resilience of South African Apartheid-Era Veterans’. As the name suggests, it involves collecting and analyzing the stories of ex-combatants from the ranks of the statutory forces and the liberation movements. A PhD and a MA student are researching topics that fit within the overall parameters of the project.

His work at the ASC falls under the theme ‘Connections and Transformations’. It will examine the ways in which SADF veterans have formed virtual communities in cyberspace and managed to preserve their camaraderie and refashion their militarized identities. It will attempt a discursive analysis of websites hosted by these veterans.

Fellowship year: 
Dr. G. (Gary) Baines
Former visiting fellow