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South Africa: The 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.

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

Liberal Learning: HIS 387: Social Change and Historical Perspectives and Global; LIT 338: Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts View additional academic requirement options

Dates: January 1 – 19, 2018

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

Eligibility: No Pre-Requisites, Language Requirements, or GPA Restrictions – Open to all students (including current first-year students)

Winter 2018 Program Fee: $5,592.07 View Budget Sheet or Explore Scholarship Opportunities


In Johannesburg:

  • Cradle of Human Kind
  • Maropeng Visitor Center
  • Sterkfontein Caves
  • Pretoria City Tour
  • Apartheid Museum
  • Soweto Township, including Hector Pietersen Museum and Mandela Family Museum
  • Kliptown Youth Program

In Cape Town:

  • Walking tour
  • District Six Museum
  • Peninsular tour (Cape Point, Hout Bay, Simon’s Town, Penguin Colony)
  • Stellenbosch Wine Tasting Tour
  • Table Mountain Hike
  • Day trip to Robben Island
  • One day overnight excursion to Fairy Glen Game Reserve for a Safari Game Drive


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.