South Africa: Multiculturalism and Human Rights


This program is composed of two thematic seminars, Multiculturalism and Human Rights in South Africa and Narratives of Identity and Social Change; a course on research methods and ethics; conversational isiXhosa; and the Independent Study Project (ISP). All components are intricately linked so that as the program progresses, the knowledge and understanding acquired from the first four courses provide students with the skills necessary to enable them to successfully complete an Independent Study Project in the context of South Africa.

The following syllabi are either from a recent session of this program or for an upcoming session. 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.

Multiculturalism and Human Rights in South Africa - syllabus (PDF)
(AFRS 3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
An interdisciplinary course conducted in English with required readings, examining the historical background to South Africa's apartheid system; how apartheid shaped and continues to impact social policy in South Africa; the visions for post-apartheid South Africa; and the political, economic, and social structure of the future South Africa.

Narratives of Identity and Social Change - syllabus (PDF)
(SOCI 3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
An interdisciplinary course conducted in English, investigating social change in education, language use, land, social justice organizations, party politics, rural development, social welfare NGOs, and tourism in three cultural contexts: Xhosa, Coloured/Khoe, and Afrikaner. Critical identity markers beyond race in post-apartheid South Africa — which cut across these cultural contexts — such as gender, sexuality, class, or generational or political affiliation, for example, are also examined and analyzed with respect to their experiences and meaning in contemporary society.

Intensive Language Study: isiXhosa - syllabus (PDF)
(XHOS 1000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Emphasis on beginning speaking and comprehension skills through classroom and field instruction. In addition, students receive introductory oral Afrikaans instruction.

Research Methods and Ethics - syllabus (PDF)
(ANTH 3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
The Research Methods and Ethics course enables students to understand field-based learning techniques, critical ethical issues involved in the research process and design, and the requisite knowledge and skills to effectively carry out mentored independent research in South Africa.  Material includes 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 Cape Town or in another approved location appropriate to the project. Sample topic areas: equity in education; affirmative action issues; the role of Afrikaans in a multilingual society; Xhosa women in contemporary South African society; socioeconomic realities of HIV/AIDS; student politics and university life; hate speech, racism, and freedom of expression; the role of religion in social change; the police, law, and social justice; microenterprise and the new South Africa; individual versus group identity.

Browse this program's Independent Study Projects/Undergraduate Research

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Cape Town

Language Study: Afrikaans,  isiXhosa

Prerequisites: None

South Africa

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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