Professor in History delivers inaugural lecture
“Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would get the opportunity in my academic lifetime to combine, into one inaugural lecture, my regional history research experience in a wide variety of disciplinary fields, and also marry it with my love for History in the field of History teaching methodology and its future dynamics!”.
With these words Prof Elize van Eeden recently joined a group of prestige academics when se delivered her inaugural lecture. Prof van Eeden is an academic within the School of Basic Sciences on the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal) and the topic of her lecture was: Impressions on conducting and reporting interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary environmental research in South Africa – a historian’s perspective.
According to Prof van Eeden, her intention with her inaugural lecture was to stir herself and her colleagues out of their possible existing comfort zones, to think anew and debate more vociferously on how historians think about environmental history from the perspectives of interdisciplinary (ID) and transdisciplinary (TD) research approaches.
Prof van Eeden completed the BA(Ed) degree in 1981 from the former Rand Afrikaanse University (RAU) after which she obtained a BAHons from the University of South Africa (Unisa) in 1985. In 1988 she completed her MA in History with distinction at the former Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (PU for CHE). In 1992 she obtained her PhD and the title of her thesis is: Ekonomiese ontwikkeling en die invloed daarvan op Carletonville, 1948 – 1988: ‘n Historiese studie.
This former educator was appointed as a junior research scientist at the former PU for CHE in July 1986 and in 1993 as senior lecturer and researcher. In 2000 she was promoted to associate professor and since 2002 she has been in the employment of the NWU Vaal as lecturer in undergraduate programmes and also as research consultant. On 1 January 2010 she was promoted to professor in the subject group, History in the School of Basic Sciences, at the Vaal Triangle Campus.
Since 1985 Prof van Eeden has published widely and her publications include 53 articles in accredited academic journals – only a small number of which were published in cooperation with other authors. She has made contributions to various textbooks and has undertaken project research which has led to the documentation of the history of, inter alia, Bothaville, Carletonville, Clover SA, the former PU for CHE, Senwes, Buisfontein and MBA teaching in higher education.
As an acknowledged academic, Prof van Eeden has presented 41 papers at national academic conferences and 17 papers at international academic conferences. Prof van Eeden is a member of six historical societies; she serves on the advisory board of the International Society for History and Didactics and she is the editor of two journals. She has twice during her lecturing career received Verka Awards for excellent teaching. In 2008 she was elected Researcher of the Year for the NWU Vaal and in June 2009 she was ranked among the top ten researchers of the North-West University.
Presently Prof Van Eeden’s research is focused especially on the impact of industrial pollution on ecohealth, particularly in the former West Rand and Far West Rand environments, as seen form interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary angles.
Prof Elize van Eeden
Published by Jeremy Mooi on 02 June 2010.