Namibia Research

On and off since 1992 I have been fortunate to carry out research in Namibia, focusing on socio-ecological relations, colonialism and conservation. Currently I am UK Principal Investigator for Etosha-Kunene Histories, with colleagues at the University of Namibia and the University of Cologne.

Here I share work carried out over the years that focuses on Namibia specifically.

[in progress…]

In press

Sullivan, S. Maps and memory, rights and relationships: articulations of global modernity and local dwelling in delineating land for a communal-area conservancy in north-west Namibia | Cartes et mémoire, droits et relations: articulations de la modernité globale et des dynamiques locales dans la délimitation territoriale des aires de conservation communales au Nord-Ouest de la Namibie (trans. B. Bacle). Conserveries Mémorielles: Revue Transdisciplinaire 25 Special Issue ‘Disrupted Histories, Recovered Pasts | Histoires Perturbées, Passés Retrouvés’, edited by Sullivan, S., Baussant, M., Dodd, L., Otele, O. and Dos Santos, I. [links to preprints]


Sullivan, S. and Ganuses, W.S. 2021 Recomposing the archive? On sound and (hi)story in Damara / ǂNūkhoe pasts, from Basel to west Namibia. Oral History Journal 49(2): 95-108, Special Issue on ‘Power and the archives’. [link to Author Accepted Manuscript]

Hewitson, L. & Sullivan, S. 2021 Producing elephant commodities for ‘conservation hunting’ in Namibian communal-area conservancies. Journal of Political Ecology 28: 1-24.
Media: Cruise, A. 2021 Trophy hunting elephants: New study highlights tensions in commodifying wildlife for community-based conservation in Namibia. Journal of African Elephants 8 April 2021


Lendelvo, S., Mechtilde, P. and Sullivan, S. 2020 A perfect storm? COVID-19 and community-based conservation in Namibia. Namibian Journal of Environment 4(B): 1-15.
Media: Conservation Namibia blog, ‘Communal Conservancies Cry for Help to Survive Coronavirus “Perfect Storm”’, 10 July 2020

Koot, S., Hebinck, P. and Sullivan, S. 2020 Science for Success – A Conflict of Interest? Researcher Position and Reflexivity in Socio-ecological Research for CBNRM in Namibia. Society and Natural Resources. 
Media: summarised in online article – Pinnock, D. 2021 A question of bias: Trophy hunting is a contentious industry and shaping research to get a desired outcome doesn’t help. Daily Maverick 18 October.

+ Response to article rejoinders Koot., S., Hebinck, P. and Sullivan, S. 2022 Conservation research and discursive violence: a response to two rejoinders.’ Society and Natural Resources. [link to preprint]


Sullivan, S. and Low, C. 2014 Shades of the rainbow serpent? A KhoeSān animal between myth and landscape in southern Africa – ethnographic contextualisations of rock art representations. The Arts 3(2): 215-244 (special issue on World Rock Art).


Sullivan, S. 2013 After the green rush? Biodiversity offsets, uranium power and the ‘calculus of casualties’ in greening growth. Human Geography 6(1): 80-101,


Sullivan, S. 2006 The elephant in the room? Problematizing ‘new’ (neoliberal) biodiversity conservation. Forum for Development Studies 33(1): 105-135.


Sullivan, S. 2000 Gender, ethnographic myths and community-based conservation in a former Namibian ‘homeland’, pp. 142-164 in Hodgson, D. (ed.) Rethinking Pastoralism in Africa: Gender, Culture and the Myth of the Patriarchal Pastoralist. Oxford: James Currey.