Patrick Furlong

Educated at the University of Cape Town and the University of California, Santa Barbara, Dr. Patrick Furlong was born and raised in South Africa, moving to the United States in 1983.

He taught at Presbyterian College (South Carolina) and Bethany College (Kansas), coming to Alma in 1993. At Alma he has taught courses in modern European, imperial, African, and South African history, including a seminar on Comparative Fascism and a Winter-Spring seminar culminating in three weeks of intensive research on World War II topics in the National Archives of the United Kingdom in Kew, London. Participants developed numerous senior honors theses from this research, resulting in presentations at Alma’s Honors Day, the Michigan Academy, and award-winning papers at the Michigan annual conference of Phi Alpha Theta, the History Honorary Society. In 2001 he received an Alma College Posey Award for his scholarship and work in undergraduate research and in 2009 received the Barlow Award for Faculty Excellence.

He has published two monographs, including Between Crown and Swastika (1991), nominated for South Africa’s Alan Paton non-fiction prize and one of four books in African history published that year to be named an “Outstanding Academic Book” by the American Library Association’s Choice magazine. He has published research articles in the Journal of Theology for Southern Africa, Ufahamu, African Affairs, New Contree, and the South African Historical Journal, and is the author of several book chapters in edited anthologies as well as over forty academic book reviews and review articles. He has presented numerous papers at conferences such as the meetings of the African Studies Association and the Southern African Historical Society, the Great Lakes History Conference, and the Michigan Conference of Political Scientists. He serves on the editorial boards of New Contree and the South African Historical Journal, journal of the Southern African Historical Society.  In more recent years he co-authored with Alma College physiologist Dr. Karen Ball a chapter on AIDS and the state in South Africa in an anthology on the African state and the AIDS crisis, an article on British intelligence organizations in South Africa during the Second World War, a comparative article on the ruling African National Congress in South Africa and the previous ruling group, the National Party, and a chapter on South Africa’s National Party in an anthology on the transnational Right.  He is currently working on transnational links between Afrikaner nationalism in South Africa and the Netherlands, on which he has published several articles, and between Afrikaner and Irish nationalism.  





Educational Background

  • Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara (1987)
  • M.A. University of Cape Town (1985)
  • B.A. (Honors). University of Cape Town (1982)
  • B.A. University of Cape Town (1981)

I am...

committed to encouraging a passion in my students for engaging with the past and for doing history as undergraduate researchers.


Professor of History

My career at Alma began in


I'm an expert in

South Africa, especially its modern political history, and have a particular interest in the World War II era.

My expertise:

A South African native, Dr. Furlong is the author of Between Crown and Swastika: The Impact of the Radical Right on the Afrikaner Nationalist Movement in the Fascist Era, and has written extensively about South African political history (especially Afrikaner and African nationalism) from the 1930s through the apartheid era to the present.

Signature course(s):

Europe in Upheaval 1914-45, South African History, Comparative Fascism Seminar, Rethinking World War II, Ireland’s Freedom Struggle

Recent publications:

Review of Hilde Roos, The La Traviata Affair: Opera in the Age of Apartheid (Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 2018) in History: Reviews of New Books (Taylor and Francis), 47:4 (2019), 92-94.

Review of Milton Shain, A Perfect Storm: Antisemitism in South Africa 1930-1948 (Johannesburg and Cape Town: Jonathan Ball, 2015), in Richard I. Cohen, ed., Studies in Contemporary Jewry: Place in Modern Jewish Culture and Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 233-235.

Review of Vivian Bickford-Smith, The Emergence of the South African Metropolis: Cities and Identities in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), in International Journal of African Historical Studies (African Studies Center, Boston University) 50:2 (2017), 365-367.

Review of Jamie Miller, An African Volk: The Apartheid Regime and Its Search for Survival (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016) in IJAHS 50:1 (2017), 171-172.

“Cousins No More? The 1948 Crisis in Ties Between the Netherlands and Afrikaner Nationalists,” New Contree: A Journal of Historical and Human Sciences for Southern Africa 78 (July 2017), 58-74.

“Family Ties? Afrikaner Nationalism, Pan-Netherlandic Nationalism and Neo-Calvinist `Christian Nationalism,’” New Contree 74 (December 2015), 1-23.

Review of Alex Boraine, What’s Gone Wrong? South Africa on the Brink of Failed Statehood (New York: New York University Press/Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 2014) in IJAHS 47:3 (2014), 511-513.

Review of Peter Limb, ed., A.B. Xuma: Autobiography and Selected Works (Cape Town: Van Riebeeck Society, 2012) in IJAHS 46:1 (2013), 169-171.

“Indigenous `Africans’ and Transnational `Pan-Netherlanders’: Past and Present in the `Re-Construction’ of Post-1994 Afrikaner Identity,” New Contree 65 (December 2012), 47-65.

Review of Bruce Nelson, Irish Nationalists and the Making of the Irish Race (Princeton, NJ and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2012), in Nationalism & Ethnic Politics 18:3 (2012), 380-382.

“The National Party of South Africa: A Transnational Perspective,” in Martin Durham and Margaret Power, eds., New Perspectives on the Transnational Right (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, December 2010), 67-84.

Recent presentations:

“Racial Conflict in South Africa, Sexual Violence, and the White Woman as an Icon of Preserving `National’ Identity,” Great Lakes History Conference, Grand Rapids, MI, September 2019.

“Imagining South Africa as an Axis Satellite in World War II,” Great Lakes History Conference, Grand Rapids, MI, October 2018.

“South Africa First? Neutrality, Democratic Republicanism, and the Irish Model of `Decolonization’ in Afrikaner Nationalism,” African Studies Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, November 2017.

“Cousins no More? Apartheid, the Aftermath of World War II, and the 1948 Crisis in Ties Between the Netherlands and South Africa’s Afrikaner Nationalists,” African Studies Association Annual Meeting, Washington DC, December 2016.

“For Neither Crown Nor Swastika: `Mainstream’ Afrikaner and Irish Nationalism in the 1930s and 1940s.” Southern African Historical Society Biennial Meeting. Stellenbosch, South Africa. 1 July 2015.

“The Parting of the Ways: The Impact of World War II on Afrikaner-Dutch Ties.” African Studies Association Annual Meeting. Indianapolis, IN. 20 November 2014.

“All in the Family? Pan-Netherlandic Nationalism, Neo-Calvinist Christian Nationalism, and Afrikaner Nationalism in South Africa.” African Studies Association Annual Meeting. Baltimore, MD.  21 November 2013.

I've led

I have six times led an overseas research seminar for Alma College students in Britain, combining research on World War II topics in the National Archives of the United Kingdom with travel to sites closely linked to the war such as Churchill’s wartime underground  headquarters and the Imperial War Museum and ones more generally related to British history, such as Canterbury Cathedral, Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace, and Churchill’s birthplace, Blenheim Palace. Many of the participants described this as a life-changing experience which gave them a definite advantage in a highly competitive job market or in applying to graduate or professional school.