Faculty Profile

Jeremy Ball

Associate Professor of History (2005), Department Chair

Contact Information


Denny Hall Room 109


He teaches courses in African political and ecological history, apartheid, the Atlantic slave trade, and human rights. His research focuses on the labor and business history of Angola, Portuguese colonialism, and oral history.


  • B.A., Boston College, 1994
  • M.A., Yale University, 1998
  • Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2003

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

HIST 151 History of Environment
Cross-listed with ENST 151-01.

ENST 151 History of Environment
Cross-listed with HIST 151-01.

AFST 220 The Rise and Fall of Apartheid
Cross-listed with HIST 274-01.Part of the Race and Education MosaicThe peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa in the early 1990s was widely hailed the “South African Miracle.” This course asks why such a transition should be considered miraculous. In order to answer our question, we will begin with South African independence from Britain in 1910 and study the evolution of legalized segregation and the introduction in 1948 of apartheid. After reviewing opposition movements we will move to a discussion of the demise of apartheid and the negotiated political order that took its place. We will examine the machinery and the deliberations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and debate its accomplishments. The course ends with an examination of memory and history. This story, and the individual stories of thousands of South Africans, will explain why today South Africa is in the words of Irish poet Seamus Heaney “a place where hope and history rhyme.”

HIST 274 The Rise and Fall of Apartheid
Cross-listed with AFST 220-04.Part of the Race and Education Mosaic.

HIST 315 Comparative Oral Histories
Permission of Instructor Required.Part of the Race and Education Mosaic.The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the study and process of oral history interviewing, writing, and analysis in two communities—the black and white South African communities in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Oral history has been considered a legitimate form of historical inquiry in the United States since the last decades of the twentieth century. This course will focus on the following areas: the history of the in-depth interview, interview-based projects and analyses, the processing of interviews: transcribing interviews and creating archival collections, methodology, and theoretical considerations. Most of our work will focus on two forms of oral history inquiry: the individual biography, and the community-based project. Each student will be expected to create question lists and topic lists for specific narrators, to record and videotape interviews, to transcribe several interviews, and to deal appropriately with issues of legality and ethics, including issues of informed consent in cross-cultural contexts. Students are also expected to create a website that details their work in South Africa.

HIST 500 Independent Study