Skip Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Our People

Prof Colin Bundy

Fellow, Honorary Fellow

DPhil, MPhil (Oxon), BA Hons (Rand), BA (Nepal)

Colin Bundy retired from his post as the first Principal of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. Previously Warden of Green College, Bundy oversaw the merger of two colleges to launch Oxford’s newest graduate college. Before this, Bundy was Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand and Principal of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

After undergraduate degrees in his native South Africa, Bundy went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. From 1980 to 1984 he taught in the Department for External Education (now Continuing Education). After returning to South Africa in 1985, he held chairs in History at the University of Cape Town and the University of the Western Cape. In 1994 he fell amongst administrators, and served as Vice-Rector at UWC before moving as Vice-Chancellor to the University of the Witwatersrand in 1997.

In 2001 Bundy returned to the UK as Principal and Director of SOAS. He also served for three years as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of London.

He was a member of a generation of historians whose work substantially reinterpreted South African history. Best known for his Rise and Fall of a South African Peasantry, he was co-author (with William Beinart) of Hidden Struggles in Rural South Africa. Most recently, Bundy has written four books in the Jacana pocket history series (co-published by Ohio University Press): two biographies, Govan Mbeki and Nelson Mandela, Short-changed? South Africa since apartheid and Poverty in South Africa Past and Present.  Professor Bundy has written over 50 articles and chapters on South African history and politics.

Colin Bundy’s public service in South Africa included chairing the UNESCO National Commission; being a member of the Council of the Robben Island Museum and of the Board of the Human Sciences Research Council; and chairing the board of the Workers College in Cape Town. In the UK he served as a member of the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission and as a trustee of the Canon Collins Trust. In Oxford, he was President of the Oxford Centre of the National Trust and of the local branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society.