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South Africa: History and Literature of Apartheid

This program allows students to study the historical literature and culture of apartheid in two of its largest urban areasJohannesburg and Cape Town. Our primary goal is to provide students with a solid academic background for understanding, talking about, and writing about South Africa. In doing the course as a study abroad tour, we also aim to help raise the student’s awareness of the complexity of the world, while exposing them to a society that is different from their own, and which is connected to larger concerns of international history and politics.

Info Sessions

Tuesday, September 10th in Bliss 153 from 12:30-1:30pm
Wednesday, September 11th in Social Science Building 223 from 10:30am-11:30am
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Application Deadline: September 27
Commitment Fee Deadline: October 4

Course Description

The course will focus on the phenomenon of apartheid in South Africa. We will briefly cover the pre-colonial and colonial histories of South Africa and the origins of the apartheid system, then focus mostly on the rise and effects of apartheid, and end the course with an examination of what post-apartheid South Africa looks like. This course is interdisciplinary, and over these three weeks, you will read both historical accounts and arguments regarding apartheid in South Africa as well as short stories and novels written during this period. Some questions we will consider are: What is the relationship between historical accounts and literature? Who has the authority to narrate history, and what differences do we see in literary and historical accounts? What narratives do the museums and memorials in South Africa privilege? Which ones do they silence?

Course Syllabus

Program Information

Courses: HIS 354 / LIT 338 / HON 270: The History and Literature of Apartheid in South Africa

Liberal Learning: HIS 387: Social Change and Historical Perspectives; Race and Ethnicity; Global. LIT 338: Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts; Race and Ethnicity; Global. View additional academic requirements.

Dates: Jan 2-20

Program Directors: Dr. Matthew Bender, Associate Professor of History and Director of International Studies Program and Dr. Mindi McMann, Associate Professor of English

Eligibility: No prerequisites and no language requirements. Open to all students in good academic standing (including current first-year students).

Program Fee: $5502.01. View Budget Sheet or explore scholarship opportunities.


  • Overnight visit to a Safari/Game Reserve
  • Cradle of Humankind (Johannesburg)
  • Voortrekker Monument
  • Freedom Park
  • SOWETO Township tour
  • Pretoria City Tour (Johannesburg)
  • Apartheid Museum (Johannesburg)
  • District 6 Museum (Cape Town)
  • Langa Township tour
  • Optional Stellenbosch and Paarl Wine Tour (Cape Town)
  • Table Mountain (Cape Town)
  • Traditional Cape Malay Cuisine Cooking Class (Cape Town)
  • Robben Island Museum (Cape Town)
  • Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (Cape Town)


Please contact the TCNJ Center for Global Engagement at, 609-771-2596.

For course specific questions, please contact Dr. Mindi McMann at or Dr. Matthew Bender at

Please review our refund, cancellation, and withdrawal policy statement should a student not be able to participate in the program.