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HIS577: Rainbow Nation? History of S. Africa

This course is a study of the rise and fall of the racial segregation system that became known as apartheid in South Africa - the land of Nelson Mandela, Miriam Makeba, and Trevor Noah.

This course is a study of the rise and fall of the racial segregation system that became known as apartheid in South Africa - the land of Nelson Mandela, Miriam Makeba, and Trevor Noah. Grounded within the context of African national liberation, the course begins with an examination of the historiography of the geo-political, economic, and social forces behind the creation of the apartheid system in 1948. It then looks at the ideology and praxis of apartheid and the dynamics of the resistance it engendered across race, class, gender, and generational and ideological lines. Special attention is paid to the role of the expressive arts, notably music of resistance, and the climactic events that led to the collapse of apartheid and ushered in a democratic and modern South Africa, known in some quarters as the "Rainbow Nation." The course ends with an examination of the impact of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, on the one hand, and the intractable legacy of inequality amidst the neo-liberal agenda of the state, on the other hand, with a view to inquiring into the extent to which the "Rainbow Nation" remains a myth or a reality. Open to seniors.