Meredith McKittrick

Membership:  2018/2019

Member Bio

Meredith is a historian of southern Africa with interests in dryland environments, water, and agriculture. She is an associate professor at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, with joint appointments in the history department and the School of Foreign Service. Raised in Texas, she received her BA from the University of Texas at Austin and her PhD from Stanford University. After completing her first book on generational and gender relationships in colonial Namibia, Meredith became a convert to environmental history. She teaches classes on sub-Saharan Africa, environmental history, comparative race studies, and settler colonialism. Her work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.


The Redemption of the Kalahari: White Settler Society and the Agrarian Imagination in Southern Africa
Lunchtime Colloquium Video - "Green Lands for White Men: A history of race, climate, and the future in South Africa"


  • “Talking about the Weather: The Language of Environmental Crisis in South Africa, 1915–1945.” Environmental History 23, no. 1 (2018): 3–27.
  • “Theories of ‘Reprecipitation’ and Climate Change in the Settler Colonial World.” History of Meteorology 8 (2017): 74–94.
  • “Making Rain, Making Maps: Competing Geographies of Water and Power in 19th-Century Southwestern Africa.” Journal of African History 58, no. 2 (2017): 187–212.
  • “An Empire of Rivers: Climate Anxiety, Imperial Ambition, and the Hydropolitical Imagination in Southern Africa, 1919–1945.” Journal of Southern African Studies 41, no3 (2015): 485–504.
  • “Industrial Agriculture.” In Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Global Environmental History, edited by John McNeill and Erin Stewart Maudlin, 411–32. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.
  • To Dwell Secure: Generation, Christianity, and Colonialism in Ovamboland, Northern Namibia. Heinemann Social History of Africa Series. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2002.