John Laband

John-LabandDr. John Laband


Professor Emeritus, Wilfrid Laurier University


A historian of war and society in Africa, he is retired from the History Department at WLU and lives in the Western Cape, South Africa. He is a Life Member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, England; and in South Africa is a Fellow of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a Research Associate in the Department of History, Stellenbosch University. He is co-editor of The History of Military Occupations series, University of Illinois Press, and a member of the editorial boards of Scientia Militaria: South African Journal of Military Studies and of the new Journal of African Military History.

Select Publications

Recent monographs:

Laband, John. Zulu Warriors: The Battle for the South African Frontier. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2014, 345 pp.

—. Bringers of War: The Portuguese in Africa during the Age of Gunpowder and Sail from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century. Barnsley, United Kingdom: Frontline Books, Pen & Sword, 2013, 262 pp.

Recent articles:

Laband, John. “Toppling Statues, Burning Books and the Humanities in South African Universities.” The Journal of the Helen Suzman Foundation 76 (September 2015): 15–21.

—. “‘Fighting-Stick of Thunder.’ Firearms and the Zulu Kingdom: The Cultural Ambiguities of Transferring Weapons Technology.” War and Society 33, no. 4 (October 2014): 229–43.

Recent review:

Laband, John. Review of The Concentration Camps of the Anglo-Boer War: A Social History, by Elizabeth van Heyningen. American Historical Review 120, no. 2 (April 2015): 760.

Graduate Supervision

Since I am retired, I am no longer undertaking graduate supervision, but I am still examining masters theses doctoral dissertations for South African universities in the field of South African military history.