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Racial Justice in the 20th Century United States and South Africa – Fall 2017

Course numbers: AAAS 346S, HISTORY 396S, ICS 351S, POLSCI 336S, PUBPOL 326S

Course attributes: CCI, R, W, CZ, SS

Course description:

In 1966, Robert Kennedy gave a speech to thousands of University of Cape Town students.  He began with something of a history lesson.  “I came here because of my deep interest and affection for a land settled by the Dutch in the mid-seventeenth century, then taken over by the British, and at last independent; a land in which the native inhabitants were at first subdued, but relations with whom remain a problem to this day; a land which defined itself on hostile frontier; a land which has tamed rich natural resources through the energetic application of modern technology; a land which once imported slaves, and now must struggle to wipe out the last traces of that former bondage.”  Kennedy paused before delivering the punch-line – a punch-line that drew laughter of self-recognition.  “I refer, of course, to the United States of America,” Kennedy concluded.

Scholars, pundits, and historical actors have long drawn parallels between the United States and South Africa – two countries founded on the premises of racial inequality.  In this course, we will explore the machinations of race from the quickening of industrial development to the present.  We will consider the benefits and pitfalls of thinking comparatively, as well as cover such topics as segregation, transatlantic religious and cultural exchanges, living apartheid and Jim Crow, struggles for liberation, the American anti-apartheid movement, memory and the struggles for social change, and the notion of “post-racial societies.”

Professor biography:

Professor Shapiro studies American social and southern history, as well as South African history. She is now engaged in three distinct projects. The first consists of a biography of Archbishop Walter Khotso Makhulu, archbishop of Central Africa between 1980 and 2000.  A graduate of the same seminary and a direct contemporary of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu who served as Archbishop of Cape Town,

Second, explores South Africa’s apartheid-era emigration policy and its relationship to notions of citizenship and state formation, as well as the ways in which passports and other kinds of travel documents formed part of the oppressive apparatus of the successive National Party governments.

Third, Professor Shapiro is researching the transnational careers of seven influential South African medics who came to North Carolina in the 1950s and ‘60s to work at Duke and UNC, Chapel Hill. Primarily epidemiologists and family and community medicine doctors, this cohort adopted a “social medicine” approach. These pioneering doctors generally left South Africa when the National Party introduced apartheid in the late 1940s/1950s. Several ended up in North Carolina, where they had long and illustrious careers.

Introduction to African Studies – Fall 2017

Course numbers: AAAS 103, CULANTH 105, HISTORY 129, POLISCI 108, ICS 110

Course attributes: CCI, ALP, CZ

Course Description:

A range of disciplinary perspectives on key topics in contemporary African Studies: nationalism and pan-Africanism, imperialism and colonialism, genocide and famine, development and democratization, art and music, age and gender.

Professor biography:

Charlie Piot is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University, where he has a joint appointment in African and African American Studies.  His area of specialization is the political economy and cultural history of rural West Africa.  His first book, Remotely Global: Village Modernity in West Africa (1999) attempted to re-theorize a classic out-of-the-way place as within the modern and global.  His recent book, Nostalgia for the Future: West Africa after the Cold War (2010), explores shifts in Togolese political culture during the 1990s, a time when the NGOs and charismatic churches take over biopolitics, organizing social and political life in the absence of the state.  His current project is on Togolese who apply for and attempt to game the US Diversity Visa lottery.

 

 

Apartheid South Africa and the Struggles for Democracy – Fall 2017

Course number: AAAS 316S, POLSCI 336S, PUBPOL 326S, HISTORY 396S

Course attributes: CCI, EI, R, CZ, SS

Course description: 

Working through an array of diverse organizations – including the African National Congress, the Pan African Congress, the Black Consciousness Movement, a host of liberal organizations, the churches, the trade union federations, and countless more – black and some white South Africans fought against apartheid from its inception.  In 1994 they achieved a multi-racial democracy led by President Nelson Mandela.  This seminar explores key themes in post-World War II South African history, paying special attention to the plethora of anti-apartheid struggles, while giving voice to some pro-apartheid proponents.

The readings are arranged both chronologically and thematically.  Over the course of the term, we will discuss how apartheid affected people’s daily lives, the ideological and programmatic opposition to apartheid, and the internecine struggles between and within the anti-apartheid organizations and movements.  We will conclude the course with contemporary reflections on life during apartheid.

Professor biography:

Professor Shapiro studies American social and southern history, as well as South African history. She is now engaged in three distinct projects. The first consists of a biography of Archbishop Walter Khotso Makhulu, archbishop of Central Africa between 1980 and 2000.  A graduate of the same seminary and a direct contemporary of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu who served as Archbishop of Cape Town,

Second, explores South Africa’s apartheid-era emigration policy and its relationship to notions of citizenship and state formation, as well as the ways in which passports and other kinds of travel documents formed part of the oppressive apparatus of the successive National Party governments.

Third, Professor Shapiro is researching the transnational careers of seven influential South African medics who came to North Carolina in the 1950s and ‘60s to work at Duke and UNC, Chapel Hill. Primarily epidemiologists and family and community medicine doctors, this cohort adopted a “social medicine” approach. These pioneering doctors generally left South Africa when the National Party introduced apartheid in the late 1940s/1950s. Several ended up in North Carolina, where they had long and illustrious careers.

 

Health and Healing in Africa

s17_history205Course numbers: HISTORY 205.01, GLHLTH 201.01


Course codes: CCI, STS, CIV, SS


Course description:

“Health and Healing in Africa” introduces students to how people in various parts of Africa experienced, explained, and treated “health” and “illness” before and during contact with biomedicine. We will examine how people chose, and continue to choose, from multiple etiologies and therapies, including biomedicine. The course stresses the particular historical contexts—i.e., the specifics of time and place—that shaped systems of health and healing. In particular, we will query the connections between illness, healing, and various forms of power including the powers of colonial states, nation-states, and the global post-colonial order.

Instructor: Professor Jan Ewald

Professor Ewald’s specialty in the history of Africa led her, in both teaching and research, to explore how Africans participated in the major currents of world history since about 1700. Professor Ewald’s book “Soldiers, Traders, and Slaves: State Formation and Economic Transformation in the Greater Nile Valley, 1700-1885” uses oral traditions as well as written sources to reconstruct how people in a dangerous frontier zone responded to predatory empires, commercial capitalism, slave raiding, and militant Islam. The book, as well as several articles, analyzes not only how people constructed a small kingdom but also how they continually reconstructed their memories of that kingdom.

Following the paths of slaves from the Nile valley led Professor Ewald to the shores of the Indian Ocean and beyond. Professor Ewald in now working on a second major project, “Motley Crews: Indian and African Seafarers on English Vessels in the Indian Ocean, c. 1600-1900.” This project analyzes two forms of labor control–indentures and slavery–in a maritime setting. Not only Africans, but also Asians and Europeans, are the main actors; center stage is the Indian Ocean bounded by the crescent of shore from Bombay through the Arabian coast to the African Swahili coast; the action takes lace in the tumultuous centuries, especially after 1750, when a system of slavery rose and fell; Asian and African autonomy gave way to European dominance; and steam engines replaced sailing vessels on the ocean

Fall 2016 Featured Courses, part 4

CHINA AND THE SILK ROAD

with Professor Sucheta Mazumdar

(CCI, CZ)

AMES 239, HISTORY 323

This course introduces the rich and diverse world of trade, religions, and cultures that connected the two ends of the Eurasian world. The course starts with survey of Han and Roman trade contacts, and Chinese connections with India via Buddhism, focusing on 7th-15 centuries CE. Covers themes such as the coming of Islam and Nestorian Christians to China, travelers to China during the vast Mongol Empire including Marco Polo, and voyages of the Chinese admiral Zheng He to Africa at the beginning of the 15th century which opened up the maritime Silk Roads.

 

INDIAN CIVILIZATION

with Professor John (Rich) Richardson Freeman
(CCI, EI, W, CZ, SS)
 HISTORY 219, CULANTH 215, AMES 257
Surveys the rise of civilization and kingdoms on the Indian subcontinent from the first urban centers of the Indus Valley through the establishment of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century. Uses literary, archeological, linguistic, ethnological, and inscriptional evidence on the diversity of Indic peoples and their complex social, religious, and caste integration into the major states and empires of pre-modern India; considers wider civilizational networks and extensions of the Indian cultural sphere into other parts of Asia; integrates a historical and anthropological perspective on various primary materials.

 

AFRICAN CITIES

with Professor Anne-Maria Makhulu
(CCI, SS)
AAAS 640S, CULANTH 562S
If the predominant mode of development in African cities is informal and unplanned giving rise to new modes of life, livelihood, and leisure beyond the organizing infrastructures of formal architecture and design in reality, the new African urbanism seems to give rise to two distinct conditions of life–the one crisis and the other ingenuity. This course is concerned to think through the paradox of rapid urban growth across the continent–from Lagos and Cairo to Johannesburg and Cape Town–and the fact that such rapid urban growth is taking place without the conventional facilities, infrastructures and technologies.

One Rwanda: Portraits of Contemporary Life

Bill Bamberger, Sewing class in the children's village of Kigarama

Bill Bamberger, Sewing class in the children’s village of Kigarama

Exhibiting:  March 7, 2016 – August 5, 2016


Exhibition Statement

On the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, photographer Bill Bamberger traveled throughout the country to photograph the daily lives of the Rwandese people.

Like most documentarians visiting Rwanda at this historic time, Bamberger went there with plans to undertake a post-genocide project: to photograph children who had grown up parentless as a result of the genocide and were now raising families of their own.

But as Bamberger began to get to know the country and people, the focus of his project shifted. Over the course of three months, he journeyed by bus around Rwanda, meeting with Rwandese and international volunteers. During this time, he visited health clinics in Kigali’s poorest neighborhoods, schools in remote mountain villages, an orphanage on the banks of Lake Kivu, tea fields in the south, sugar cane fields in the north, national parks on the borders of the country and tennis clubs in Kigali’s most affluent neighborhoods.

Struck by the warmth, humanity, and collective resilience of the people as they sought to forge a new national identity, Bamberger stopped thinking about the Rwandese primarily as Hutus or Tutsis, or as perpetrators or survivors, as the international media most often portrayed them.

Instead, his photographs explore how the people of Rwanda are finding their way while faced with modern-day issues like healthcare, education and housing. We get a glimpse of how people are living side-by-side in ‘one Rwanda’, the government’s catchphrase for a country trying to put itself back together, 20 years after the genocide.

In the tradition of German photographer August Sander—whose landmark publication Face of Our Time depicted a diverse cross-section of society during the Weimer Republic—Bamberger’s portraits reveal the modern-day face of Rwanda and include: farmers, shopkeepers, taxi drivers, security guards, country club members, construction workers and orphaned children.

 

Biography

 

Bill Bamberger’s work explores large social issues of our time: the demise of the American factory, housing in America, and adolescents coming of age in an inner-city high school.  His first book, Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory won the Mayflower Prize in Non-Fiction and was a semifinalist for the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.  His photographs have appeared in Aperture, Doubletake, Harper’s and the New York Times Magazine.  He has had one-person exhibitions at the Yale University Art Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution, the North Carolina Museum of Art and the National Building Museum.  A trademark of Bamberger’s photography is that it is first shown in the neighborhood where it was created, prior to its museum exhibition.

Documenting Italy’s Refugees

On March 30th from 12:00pm – 1:00pm, storytellers and visual journalists Gabriela Arp and Andrea Patiño Contreras will share their experiences documenting the flood of refugees entering Europe through Italy during the Wednesdays at the Center series. Their most recently project, Divided by the Sea, outlines the African and Middle Eastern refugees crossing the Mediterranean to enter the EU through the small southern Italian town of Reggio Calabria.

On June 22nd, a Singaporean ship managed by the Danish shipping company TORM A/S, rescued two boats off the Libyan coast with 221 refugees mostly from West Africa and took them to the port of Reggio Calabria.

On June 22nd, a Singaporean ship managed by the Danish shipping company TORM A/S, rescued two boats off the Libyan coast with 221 refugees mostly from West Africa and took them to the port of Reggio Calabria.

Arp and Patiño Contreras are currently master’s students in the University of North Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism. Patiño Contreras graduated from Duke’s Trinity College in 2012 and studied Cultural Anthopology. A photo from the Dvided by the Sea project won Patiño Contreras the 2015 Duke Sanford School of Public Policy #PolicyinAction photo contest.

Watch “The Story Behind the Photo: Andrea Pantiño Contreras” produced by Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy:

 

Making Freedom

Anne-Maria Makhulu latest work Making Freedom: Apartheid, Squatter Politics and the Struggle for Home (Duke University Press, 2015) investigates squatter settlements on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa during the time period surrounding the end of apartheid. Makhulu’s work sets a landscape of urban militants actively engaged in what she coins a “politics of presence”.  Making Freedom shows how the defiant domestication of space had reshaped Cape Town’s map and redirected history.

Makhulu is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies at Duke University. She also sits on the steering committee for the Franklin Center’s Concilium of Southern Africa (COSA).

Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal recently interviewed Makhulu about Making Freedom.

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