January Interim Course
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Like other robustly multicultural societies, democratic South Africa is built on the diversity of its people practicing many cultures and religions, and speaking eleven official languages. The aim of unity in difference is declared proudly in the preamble to its progressive 1996 Constitution, which states that South Africans are “united in …[their] diversity.” The country’s first democratic elections were held in April 1994, ending more than four decades of apartheid and ushering in a black majority government led by the African National Congress. In the years after what the world dubbed the “miracle” of South Africa’s transition the country works to build a non-racial society based on democracy, social justice and human rights. South Africa’s political history and melting-pot society drive an energetic world of culture that draws on its African roots and diverse influences to forge a distinct identity in the fields of art, music, dance, theatre, film, literature and fashion. Finally, South Africa boasts breathtaking scenery, and the third highest level of biodiversity in the world.
This course introduces students to South Africa, its colonial past, and its present challenges. We will step back into history to hear about and experience the legacy of apartheid. We will speak with a former inmate at Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for nearly 30 years. We will lend a hand at the Kayamandi township school and visit an AIDS hospital in the township of Gugulethu. Yet, we will also examine South Africa’s role in Africa’s future and collaborate on various challenge projects with local university students. We will surround ourselves with South African representations in art and music, and try the sounds of one of South Africa’s indigenous languages, Xhosa, and of Afrikaans. We will learn to appreciate the ancient art of winemaking and to respect the fierce winds and waters of the Indian Ocean at Cape Hope. At New Year’s, we will listen to the mysterious sounds of nature in the famous Kruger National Park since eco-tourism and game viewing are a crucial source of income for the South African economy.
ITINERARY (example from 2008)
TRAVEL from USA to S.A.
Mon., Dec. 31, 2007 Departure from JFK to Johannesburg on South African Airways or Delta
non-stop flight (~15 hrs.)
Arrival on Tu., Jan.1 in Johannesburg and continuing on to Mpumalanga Airport outside of
Kruger National Park.
(10:10 – 11:05 SA8124 or 10:15 – 11:25 SA1263 or 13:00 – 13:55 SA8130 or 13:00 – 13:50 SA8146).
Safari (2 nights)
Wednesday, Jan.2 Check in & evening Safari
Thursday, Jan.3 morning and evening Safari & New Year’s Celebration
Friday, January 4, 2008
morning Safari & departure for Cape Town (dep.14:35 arr. 17:00, SA8801)
Arrival in Cape Town and bus transfer to the Univ. of Stellenbosch
Evening Welcome and Orientation & Overview of the Program
Campus & Town Tour
Sat. & Sun., Jan. 5 & 6 Weekend (day) tours to Cape Town, V&A Waterfront, & ‘District 6’
Robben Island and Simon’s Town & Cape Point Nature Reserve
CLASSES begin on
Monday, Jan. 7 Module #1: “Overview of S.A. History & Politics” – Prof. Sampie
Terreblanche & Dr. Karen Smith
Tuesday, Jan. 8 Module #1: “Apartheid and the Struggle” – Dr. Karen Smith
Wednesday, Jan. 9 Module #1 : “Negotiating Transition” – Dr. Karen Smith
Thursday, Jan. 10 Module #2: “S.A. Languages and Cultures: An Introduction to
Friday, Jan. 11 Module #2: ” Xhosa Language and Culture” – Mr. Pumlani Sibula
& visit of Kayamandi
Sat. & Sun., Jan. 12 & 13 Weekend (day) tours to Somerset West & Wine Estate and Cellar tour,
and Gordon’s Bay & Hermanus
Monday, Jan. 14 Module #3: HIV/AIDS in S.A. – Mr. Jaco Brink and Ms. Monica du Toit
& visit of the AIDS hospital JL Zwane in Gugulethu
Tuesday, Jan. 15 Module #4: “Scoping the Future & Contemporary Challenging for S.A.
Transition” – Prof. André Roux
Wednesday, Jan. 16 Module #5: “Introduction to S.A. Art” – Ms. Adrienne van Eeden
& visit of Stellenbosch’s SASOL Art Museum and the African Market
Thursday, Jan. 17 Module #5: “Introduction to S.A. Music and Drumming” with the group
Team Spirit <www.teamspirit.co.za>
Friday, Jan. 18 Exam day
Wrap up and relaxation on Bikini Beach
TRAVEL from S.A. to USA
Saturday, Jan. 19 Evening Departure from Cape Town to JFK
Arrival Sunday morning in NYC.