I trained as an historian, doing my undergraduate, honours and master degrees at the University of Cape Town (UCT). My doctorate was completed at Cambridge University.
My research interests lie principally in the history of the relationship between gender and mainline African Christianity, within the broader context of colonialism (which operates both as a historical framing and a theoretical undergirding). To date I have principally worked on Southern African, but my future research trajectory includes examining similar issues across the African continent. I have published in the Gender & History, Feminist Studies, African Studies Review and the Journal of Southern African Studies.
I also work in the field of public history. I have had a long-running project on the construction of history in Sophiatown. As a publically-engaged historian, I am concerned with the contemporary politics of memory in South Africa, a research interest which aligns with debates about public history. While some of my interest in this regard is expressed in research, I have also been active as a consultant on public history and memory projects in South Africa, most recently in relation to a Living Women’s History Memorial.
Some Recent Publications
Erlank, N. and Morgan, K.L. Sophiatown. African Studies 15.1 (2015).
Erlank, N. ‘Routes to Sophiatown’, African Studies 15.1 (2015).
Erlank, N. “The White Wedding: Affect and Economy in South Africa in the Early Twentieth Century.” African Studies Review 57.2 (2014): 29–50.
Soske, J., Lissoni, A. and N. Erlank, ‘Debating Struggle History after Apartheid’, Lissoni, A.,J. Soske, N. Erlank, N. Nieftagodien and O. Badsha (editors), One Hundred Years of the ANC: Debating Liberation Histories Today, Wits University Press: Johannesburg, 2012, 29‐ 54.
Erlank, N. ‘Christianity and African Nationalism in South Africa in the First Half of the Twentieth Century’, in Lissoni et al (editors), One Hundred Years of the ANC: Debating Liberation Histories Today, Wits University Press: Johannesburg, 2012, 77‐96.
Bonthuys, E. and Erlank, Modes of (In)tolerance: South African Muslims and Same‐Sex Relationships, Culture, Health and Sexuality 14:3‐4 (2012) 269‐283.