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Marc Epprecht


I was born and raised in southern Ontario, and went to York and Dalhousie universities. Somehow in that process I became fascinated with Africa as a place where the contradictions between human potential and persistent underdevelopment, and between Western imperialism and people’s human rights aspirations, are so intense. This drew me first to the anti-apartheid movement, and then to go to Zimbabwe as a volunteer high school teacher shortly after its independence. That experience of “building socialism” (as they called it then) made me want to do doctoral research to understand it. It has been a fantastic journey ever since, working with colleagues, activists, journalists and friends all around the continent, although these days mostly in South Africa. I would love to work with students seeking to bring a historical perspective on any of the burning issues of the day.

Selected Publications

Books and Other Cool Stuff

  • Iain Edwards and Marc Epprecht. 2020. Working class homosexuality in South Africa. Voices from the archive. Pretoria and Cape Town: HSRC Press, Boulder: Lynne Reinner[…
  • Welcome to Greater Edendale: Histories of Environment, Health, and Gender in an African City Montreal: MQUP (2016)…
  • S.N. Nyeck and Marc Epprecht (Editor, contributing author) Sexual Diversity in Africa: Politics, Theory and Citizenship. Montréal: McGill-Queen’s University Press (2013) []
  • Sexuality and Social Justice in Africa: rethinking homophobia and forging resistance. London: Zed Books (2013)
  • Heterosexual Africa? The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS  (Athens OH: Ohio University Press, Scottsville: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press 2008)
  • Hungochani: The history of a dissident sexuality in southern Africa (McGill-Queens U. Press, 2004, 2006, 2nd edition, 2013)
  • “This matter of women is getting very bad”: Gender, development and politics in colonial Lesotho, 1870-1965. (Pietermaritzburg: U of Natal Press 2000)
  • Associate editor (Africa), for Howard Chiang (ed). Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) History. Farmington Hills: Charles Scribner (2019)
  • With Allison Goebel, “Decolonizing an African Art Collection in Canada? Reflections on the exhibition “Stories to Tell: Africans and the Diaspora Respond to the Lang Collection” 2016-2018,” Canadian Journal of African Studies (forthcoming)
  • With Rebecca Tiessen (eds), Ethical Issues in Learning/Volunteer Abroad, Special issue of Journal of Global Citizenship and Equity Education 2 (Spring 2012)
  • Envisioning environmental justice in a secondary South African city, in Jane Carruthers, Nancy Jacobs, Graeme Wynn (eds). Environment, Power, and Justice in South African History Athens OH: Ohio University Press, Ecology and History series (forthcoming)
  • Sexualities in Africa, In Oxford Bibliographies Online (¬¬obo in African Studies). Paul Zeleza (ed). New York: Oxford University Press (2020). doi: 10.1093/obo/9780199846733-0215
  • The Native Village Debate in Pietermaritzburg, SA, 1848-1925: Revisiting the 'sanitation syndrome' Journal of African History 58/2 (2017) 259-283
  • “Hide as much as you can for the sake of good government”:  women’s health, sexuality and local authority in Edendale, South Africa, Notches (March 2017) []
Awards and recognition
  • 2020 (With editorial team), Dartmouth medal for most outstanding reference work (an annual award presented by American Librarians’ Association) for Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History  2009
  • Desmond Tutu Award 2009 for outstanding contributions to the study of gender and sexuality in Africa, International Resource Network of the Centre for Lesbian and Gay Studies 2009
  • Finalist, Mel Herskovits Prize 2009, African Studies Association, best book on Africa (for Heterosexual Africa?) 2006
  • Joel Gregory Prize, best book published on Africa by a Canadian or by an African based in Canada (for Hungochani) 2001
  • INDUCTEE, York University Sports Hall of Fame
Graduate supervision

I welcome graduate students to take my new course with Global Development Studies, offered in Fall 2021: 

DEVS 492/870: Tourism in Transition

In 2019 tourism accounted for 10-11% of employment globally. For some countries, its promotion was the principal development strategy, with noteworthy successes achieved over the past few decades. Compelling critiques of tourism’s environmental, cultural, unequal economic and other harmful impacts, as well as rapid changes in technology and in tourist demography, were giving rise both to new harms (such as “overtourism,” “Instagram effect” – next up, space tourism) and new strategies to mitigate them (including “community-based” and “eco-tourism”). COVID-19 largely shut down the industry with devastating impacts in tourism-dependent economies. But it also sparked creative initiatives to re-think tourism as a sustainable, social justice-oriented development strategy. This course critically assesses the history and explores contemporary practices of tourism planning for a post-pandemic, climate crisis, “new normal” world.


Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.