Dag Henrichsen

African History, Basel
Fellowship: 01.10.2014–31.03.2015


Dag Henrichsen is a Namibian historian and archivist based at the Basler Afrika Bibliographien (BAB) in Switzerland, and a part-time lecturer in African history at the Department of History, University of Basel. His PhD (University of Hamburg, 1997) focused on pre-colonial 19th century history of central Namibia, with particular reference to transformations in the spatial, social and political economy of pastoralists in the context of mercantile capitalism, Christian mission expansion and European colonialism. His subsequent positions at the BAB and University of Basel (since 1995) lead to numerous research projects, mostly with reference to Namibian history in the 19th and 20th century. In particular, the history of (alternative) Southern African archives, Southern African (public) visual cultures and public literacy (posters) and the history of otjiHerero-speaking and European settler elites in Namibia have been key foci of research, publications and teaching courses. Most of the research projects have been and are conducted within transnational networks of colleagues and students from Namibia and South Africa. At times, these projects led/lead to exhibitions shown in Basel and Southern Africa. Most recently, he has engaged, one the one hand, in the »South African Empire« project, on the history of South African regional expansion and knowledge production, and, on the other hand, on the history of African acoustic (sound/interview) archives. Dag Henrichsen lives in France.


Fields of Research

  • Namibian and Southern African history
  • Historical visual and acoustic cultures
  • Historical biography
  • History of African archives and literacy


Publications (Selection)

Eigene Publikationen

  • Pastoral modernity, territoriality and colonial transformations in central Namibia, 1860s-1904. In: Limb, Peter; Etherington, Norman; Midgley, Peter (eds.): Grappling with the Beast. Indigenous southern African responses to colonialism, 1840-1930. Leiden, 2010, pp. 87-114.
  • Wartime Wedding. The Experiences of Kaera Ida Getzen-Leinhos. In: Jürgen Zimmerer, Joachim Zeller (eds.): Genocide in German South-West Africa. The Colonial War of 1904-1908 and its aftermath. London, 2008, pp.193-203.
  • Hans Schinz. Bruchstücke. Forschungsreisen in Deutsch-Südwestafrika. Basel 2012
  • Herrschaft und Alltag in Zentralnamibia. Das Damara- und Hereroland im vorkolonialen 19. Jahrhundert. Basel/Windhoek (2011).
  • Israel Goldblatt. Building Bridges. Namibian nationalists Clemens Kapuuo, Hosea Kutako, Brendan Simbwaye, Samuel Witbooi. Basel, 2010. (with Naomi Jacobson and Karen Marshall)


Für das Projekt

  • C. Rassool (2004): The Individual, Auto/biography and History in South Africa. PhD thesis, University of the Western Cape (Cape Town).
  • A.Stoler (1997): »Sexual Affronts and Racial Frontiers. European Identities and the Cultural Politics of Exclusion in Colonial Southeast Asia.« In F. Cooper et al (eds.) Tensions of Empire. Colonial Cultures in a Bourgeois World. Berkeley.
  • A.Stoler (2009): Along the Archival Grain. Epistemic anxieties and colonial common sense. Princeton.