- ADMISSIONS & AID
- HEALTH, SAFETY & WELL-BEING
- MEDIA CENTER
Dec 28 – Jan 16
Cape Town, South Africa
Critical Global Issue of Study
Peace & Justice
Explore South Africa’s constructions of race, racist policies through history, and their ongoing legacy in everyday life, and historic and modern movements for social justice.
This course explores the politics of race and racism in the South African context by engaging with the theoretical and historical constructions of race during colonialism and apartheid and the ongoing impact on contemporary social life. Using the intersections of class and gender, space, culture, ethnicity, and language, the course seeks to expand on how these have been politicized and mobilized to ensure white supremacy and black oppression, as well as frame the resistance to these systems in the past, and present–day contestations. The course foregrounds academic literature, documentaries, films, local experts, and contemporary opinion pieces to trace the past in the present in a rich, complex, multi-layered, and reflective engagement. Students will draw on these resources to make sense of homestays in Langa, the first Black township built in South Africa, and Bo-Kaap, a Malay enclave in the city, home to people classified ‘coloured’ under apartheid. Excursions to sites of history, memory, and mean–making, such as the Robben Island Museum, Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum, and into different racialized spaces in the city will be complemented with introductory sessions in Xhosa and Afrikaap(n)s, and an opportunity to explore subjects and sites of choice for a final project.
In Cape Town, South Africa, students will have an opportunity to experience first-hand the contemporary impact of the history of race, and the politics of racism, on everyday social life. Excursions will emphasize the politics of memorialization of violent and racist histories, the spatial dimensions of ongoing segregation, and contemporary experiences and contestations around race and its intersections with space, class, memory, politics, opportunity, language, and culture in Cape Town. Workweeks will consist of a combination of lectures, documentaries, films, academic articles, and assignments. The material will cover early colonizer contact and the raced and spaced dimensions of racial engagement and policies, land dispossession and violence, the imposition of colonial segregationist policies, and their formalization into apartheid legislated policy designed to ensure the continuous supply of cheap black labor for white capital extractive economic activities.
Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.
Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.