Elizabeth van Heyningen is a graduate of the Universities of Natal and Cape Town. She taught in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town before her retirement. Her research interests have been mainly the areas of the social history of Cape Town, the social history of medicine and colonial women and she has published in all these fields. Most recently she has worked on the concentration camps of the South African War and has published a book on this topic. Associated with this, she also hosts a website which includes a database of the camp registers.
She is also the vice-chair of the Van Riebeeck Society and one of the editors of the journal Historia.
van Heyningen’s major and recent publications include: The Concentration Camps of the Anglo-Boer War. A Social History (Auckland Park, Jacana, 2013); The Cape Doctor. The Cape Medical Profession in the Nineteenth Century. (Amsterdam, Radopi, 2004) with H. Deacon and H. Phillips; ‘Women and disease. The clash of medical cultures in the concentration camps of the South African War’ in Writing a Wider War. Rethinking Gender, Race, and Identity in the South African War, 1899-1902 edited by G. Cuthbertson et al (Athens, Ohio University Press and Cape Town David Philip, 2002); Cape Town. The Making of a City. With N. Worden and V. Bickford-Smith (Cape Town, David Philip, 1998); and Cape Town in the Twentieth Century . With V. Bickford-Smith and N. Worden (Cape Town, David Philip, 1999)