Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Special topics course in the new South Africa

The transition of South Africa from apartheid to democracy was one of the most amazing events of the late 20th century. Next term NU students will have the opportunity to study what is happening in South Africa now. The listed prerequisite is being waived.

From the prof.:

GEND 3057, Special Topics in Human Rights and Social Justice is being offered on Mondays from 12:30 to 3:30 next term.

The course topic is Apartheid and the "New" South Africa.

South Africa's transition to democracy after nearly fifty years of racial segregation is heralded as one of the great triumphs of freedom over brutality in the twentieth century. Not only was civil war avoided but reconciliation, as embodied in the personal stances of President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, became the mantra of the "rainbow nation." Today, fourteen years into democracy, pressing concerns such as crime, poverty, and HIV/AIDS have eclipsed the euphoria of political freedom. In 1994 the ANC government promised "a better future for all." But how much has changed in the 'new' South Africa?

In this survey course we first examine the structure and nature of apartheid and the dynamics of South Africa's negotiated transition to democracy. How did race, class, ethnicity, gender and other social cleavages interact in the struggle for and against apartheid? In the second half of the course, we examine how these social cleavages or groupings interact today both as the "legacy" of apartheid and in the face of new challenges wrought under conditions of globalisation.

Dr. Rosemary Nagy
Gender Equality & Social Justice Program

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