McGill Faculty Affiliate: Elizabeth Elbourne

Dr. Elizabeth Elbourne is a professor in the Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill University. Born in Britain, she has degrees in Philosophy and History from the University of Toronto and a D.Phil. in History from the University of Oxford. Her research and teaching interests include the history of British imperialism, South Africa, Australia and Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her current research includes comparative work on indigenous-settler relations and humanitarian intervention in the white settler colonies of the British empire, as well as studies of particular white women involved in abolitionist and aboriginal rights movements, with a focus on the ambiguities of gender and colonialism. Among her particular interests are religion and cultural colonialism, the history of "humanitarianism," debates over Aboriginal sovereignty and citizenship, and gender and sexuality.

Dr. Elbourne is a member of the Mellon-funded French Atlantic project based at McGill, the McGill Centre for Research and Teaching on Women, and the Centre for Developing Area Studies. She recently helped create a Graduate Option in Gender and Women’s Studies at McGill and has been involved in the move of the McGill Centre for Research and Teaching on Women to become an Institute. She currently sits on the editorial board of the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, the board of the North Eastern American Association of Eighteenth-Century Studies and the prize jury of the Joel Gregory Prize of the Canadian African Studies Association.



2002 Blood Ground: Colonialism, Missions and the Contest for Christianity in the Cape Colony and Britain, 1799-1853. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
(Second edition printed in 2008. Winner of the 2002 Wallace Ferguson Prize, Canadian Historical Society and the 2003-2004 Joel Gregory Prize, Canadian Association of African Studies. Short-listed for the 2003 Herskovitz Prize (American), Association of African Studies.)

Articles, Chapters and Reviews

2008 "Between Van Diemen's Land and the Cape Colony." In Friendly Mission: Companion Essays, edited by Anna Johnston and David Owen. Hobart, Australia: Quintus Publishing.

2007 "Religion in the British Empire." In The British Empire: Themes and Perspectives, edited by Sarah Stockwell. Oxford: Blackwells.

2007 "Southern Africa: 1500-1900." In The Oxford Encyclopaedia of Women in World History, edited by Bonnie G. Smith. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2005 "Indigenous peoples and imperial networks in the early nineteenth century: The politics of knowledge." In Rediscovering the British World, edited by Philip Buckner and R. Douglas Francis. Calgary: University of Calgary Press.

2004 "Robert Moffat." In New Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2004 "Mary Moffat." In New Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2004 "James Moffat." In New Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2003 "The Sin of the Settler: The 1835-36 Select Committee on Aborigines and Debates Over Virtue and Conquest in the Early Nineteenth-Century British White Settler Empire." Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 4.3 (Winter).

2003 "'The fact so often disputed by the Black man': Khoekhoe citizenship at the Cape in the early to mid nineteenth century." Citizenship Studies 7.4: 379-400.

2003 "Word Made Flesh: Christianity, Modernity, and Cultural Colonialism in the Work of Jean and John Comaroff." American Historical Review 108.2: 435-459.

2002 "Domesticity and Dispossession: British ideologies of 'home' and the primitive at work in the early nineteenth-century Cape." In Deep Histories: Gender and Colonialism in Southern Africa, edited by Wendy Woodward, Patricia Hayes and Gary Minkley, 27-54. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

2001 "Idées de la nation, de l'identité communautaire et de l'exclusion dans l'Afrique du sud britannique, pendant les années 1820s-1850." Alizés: Revue angliciste de la Réunion Special issue of Le citoyen dans 'l'empire du milieu': Perspectives comparistes March: 293-315.

2000 "Race, Warfare and Religion in Mid-nineteenth Century Southern Africa: The Khoikhoi Rebellion Against the Cape Colony and its uses, 1850-58." Journal of African Cultural Studies 13.1: 17-42.

2000 "Whose gospel? Conflict in the London Missionary Society in the 1840s." In Sent from London: Essays on the London Missionary Society in Southern Africa, edited by John de Gruchy, 132-155. Cape Town: David Philip.

1997 Co-author (with Robert Ross), "Combating Spiritual and Social Bondage: Early Missions in the Cape Colony." In Christianity in South Africa, edited by Richard Elphick and Rodney Davenport, 31-50. Cape Town: Maskew Miller Longman, Berkeley: University of California at Los Angeles Press.

1995 "Early Khoisan Uses of Mission Christianity." In Missions in South African History, edited by Henry Bredekamp and Robert Ross, 66-95. Johannesburg: University of the Witswatersrand Press.

1994 "Freedom at Issue: Vagrancy Legislation and the Meaning of Freedom in Britain and the Cape Colony, 1799-1842." Special issue of Slavery and Abolition 15.2: 114-150.

1993 "The Foundation of the Church Missionary Society, 1799: The Anglican Missionary Impulse." In The Church of England circa 1689 to circa 1833 From Toleration to Tractarianism, edited by John Walsh, Stephen Taylor and Colin Haydon, 247-264. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

1991 "Concerning Missionaries: The Case of Dr. Van der Kemp." Journal of Southern African Studies 17.1: 153-164.