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 have 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 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 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 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, World War II Seminar

Recent publications:

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). International Journal of African Historical Studies Vol. 47 No. 3 (2014). pp. 511-513.

Review of Peter Limb, ed., A.B. Xuma: Autobiography and Selected Works (Cape Town: Van Riebeeck Society, 2012). International Journal of African Historical Studies. 2013. Vol. 46 No.1. pp.169-171.

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

Review of Bruce Nelson, Irish Nationalists and the Making of the Irish Race (Princeton, NJ and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2012). Nationalism & Ethnic Politics. 2012. Vol. 18 No. 3. pp. 380-382.

Review of Daniel Magaziner, The Law and the Prophets: Black Consciousness in South Africa, 1968-1977 (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press/Johannesburg: Jacana Media, 2010). International Journal of African Historical Studies.  2011. Vol. 44 No. 2. pp. 353-355.

“The National Party of South Africa: A Transnational Perspective.” In New Perspectives on the Transnational Right, edited by Martin Durham and Margaret Power, 67-84. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 

“From `Struggle’ to `Post-Revolutionary’ Politics: The National Party, the African National Congress, and the `Great Rapprochement’.”  New Contree.  2009. Vol. 57. pp.109-128. 

Recent presentations:

“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.

“Indigenous `Africans’ and Transnational `Pan-Netherlanders’: `Re-Constructing’ Afrikaner Identity in Post-Apartheid South Africa.”  African Studies Association.  Washington DC.  19 November 2011.

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.