Keith Breckenridge

Keith is a Professor and Deputy Director at Wiser, and one of the editors of the Journal of African History. He writes about the cultural and economic history of South Africa, particularly the gold mining industry, the state and the development of information systems. He studied at Wits and Johns Hopkins and completed his PhD at Northwestern in 1995. His book -- Biometric State: the Global Politics of Identification and Surveillance in South Africa, 1850 to the Present (Cambridge, 2014) -- shows how the South African obsession with Francis Galton's universal fingerprint identity registration served as a 20th century incubator for the current systems of biometric citizenship being developed throughout the South.

This PECE essay helps to answer the STS Across Borders analytic question: “What people, projects, and products exemplify how this STS formation has developed over time?”

This essay highlights prominant and upcoming individuals working on critical science and technology issues in Africa and is part of a broader exhibit on "STS in Africa."


Creative Commons Licence


Created date

July 17, 2018

Cite as

Angela Okune. 17 July 2018, "Keith Breckenridge", STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 15 August 2018, accessed 8 December 2023.