South Africa: Social and Political Transformation
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In this interdisciplinary program, lectures and discussions in the Social and Political Transformation seminar aim to provide students with a solid grasp of the historical background of South Africa's apartheid system; contemporary developments leading to the dismantling of that system; the role of memory in reconciliation; the visions for post-apartheid South Africa; the political, economic, and social structure of the future South Africa; and both anthropological and cultural approaches to understanding South African society. A central premise of the program’s two thematic seminars is the interconnected nature of issues of reconciliation and development in South Africa. The Research Methods and Ethics seminar addresses culturally appropriate, ethical field methodologies, in preparation for the Independent Study Project (ISP), while isiZulu language study opens windows into the cultural base and theme of the program.
The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.
The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.
Memory and Reconciliation in South Africa - syllabus (PDF)
(POLI 3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
An interdisciplinary seminar conducted in English focusing on: 1) the challenges of transition; 2) re-membering the past through individual and popular memory; and 3) the challenges and processes of reconciliation and the current state of the nation, through an exploration of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), among other approaches, in a fledgling democracy. The course aims to provide students with a solid grasp of the historical background of South Africa's apartheid system; contemporary developments leading to the dismantling of that system; the visions for post-apartheid South Africa; the political, economic, and social structure of the future South Africa; and the role of memory in healing the trauma of the past.
Development, Transformation, and Nation Building - syllabus (PDF)
(SDIS 3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
An interdisciplinary seminar conducted in English focusing on: 1) development in South Africa; 2) nation building explored through education and the media in South Africa; and 3) gender and social change. A central premise of this course is the interconnected nature of issues of development and nation building in South Africa; as such, when focusing in the first instance upon issues of development, students will also consider how the issue impacts and is shaped by specific patterns of nation building. Core themes addressed in this course include the evolution from the Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP) to a developmental state, and the role of civil society, education, and media in the goal of nation building.
Intensive Language Study: isiZulu - syllabus (PDF)
(ZULU 1000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Emphasis on beginning speaking and comprehension skills through classroom and field instruction. The course aims to develop conversational abilities in isiZulu and provide greater insight into various aspects of Zulu culture through discussions and excursions.
Research Methods and Ethics - syllabus (PDF)
(ANTH 3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
A course in the concepts of learning across cultures and from field experience. The seminar provides an introduction to the Independent Study Project and related material including cross-cultural adaptation and skills building; project selection and refinement; appropriate methodologies; field study ethics and the World Learning/SIT Human Subjects Review Policy; developing contacts and finding resources; developing skills in observation and interviewing; gathering, organizing, and communicating data; and maintaining a field journal.
Independent Study Project - syllabus (PDF)
(ISPR 3000 / 4 credits / 120 class hours)
Conducted in Durban or in another approved location appropriate to the project. Students may choose to complete either a research-based or practicum-based Independent Study Project, the former being a traditional research paper and the latter emerging from a practicum with an affiliated organization working in social and/or political transformation. Sample topic areas: HIV/AIDS in South Africa; peace efforts in KwaZulu-Natal; democracy as seen by South Africans; education policy reform and implementation; the prison system in South Africa; independent churches and religion; the role of online media content in South Africa; trade unions and the ANC alliance; township jazz and political resistance; land reform; Zulu traditional healing and Western medicine; Afrikaner identity.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Durban
Language Study: isiZulu
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