HST 243: South African History, Politics, and Culture

Class Program
Credits 3

This course surveys the history of South Africa over the last two thousand years.  It examines the long evolution of African societies in the region; the transformations wrought by several phases of European colonialism; the emergence of a White-ruled state and the eventual imposition of apartheid; the struggles of liberation movements and their ultimate victory; and the contentious process of constructing a New South Africa on a nonracial basis. A central objective will be an understanding the complexity of the racial and ethnic history of South Africa, of the many social groups and cultures that make up the country today, and of the key role of women within those ethnicities and groups.  This course may be taken with an optional cultural lab (HST 243L) for one additional credit.  This lab extends the focus of this course beyond the history of South Africa strictly understood, into the realm of popular cultural understandings of that history.  In this lab, students will study the ways that this history has been represented and "taught" in the international English-language popular media and public discourse, and the ways that these representations themselves have impacted broader historical processes.  Particular attention will be paid to depictions of this history in movies, television, print media, museums, musical productions, and various other types of performance.  This lab will also attend to the ways that these depictions have shaped popular understandings. 


Advising Note
RSC General Education Breadth: Humanities - History