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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.

 

Postwar Europe, 1945-1968: Politics, Society & Culture – Fall 2017

Course numbers: HISTORY 537S, POLISCI 515S, ICS 537S

Course attributions: CCI, EI, STS, CZ, SS

Course description: 

Politics, society, and culture in Western Europe during the postwar years focusing on Cold War culture, liberalism and intellectual life. “East” and “West” during the Cold War: A comparative examination of Western European societies’ and movements’ responses to communism, highlighting debates on the morality of socialism and capitalism and on liberty, historical determinism, and individual responsibility. Examination of the anxieties and hopes evoked by postwar technological and economic progress – by “Americanization” and the “Economic Miracle.”

Professor biography:

Malachi Haim Hacohen (PhD, Columbia) is Bass Fellow and Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Duke University, and Director of the Council for European Studies and of the Religions and Public Life Initiative at the Kenan Institute for Ethics.  His research focuses on Jewish European history, and he has published on the Central European Jewish intelligentsia, Cold War liberalism, nation and empire in Austrian history, and cosmopolitanism and Jewish Identity. His Karl Popper – The Formative Years: Politics and Philosophy in Interwar Vienna won the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize of the AHA and the Victor Adler State Prize. He had Fellowships from the ACLS, Fulbright, Mellon, and Whiting Foundation. He was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, the National Humanities Center, and the IFK in Vienna.  He presently leads an international project on “Empire, Socialism and Jews“.  His Jacob  & Esau: Jewish European History Between Nation and Empire is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.

 

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

Screening the Holocaust: Jews, WWII, and World Cinema

s17_ames341Course numbers: AMES 341A, AMI 263S, JEWISHST 266S, LIT 263S

 

Course codes: CCI, EI, ALP, CZ

 

Course description:

Screening the Holocaust surveys WWII and Jewish Holocaust films from Europe, the United States, and Israel. The course explores divergent cinematic strategies employed to represent what is commonly deemed as “beyond representation”. The class will examine the heated debate spurred by a number of Holocaust films.

Instructor: Dr. Shai Ginsburg

Dr. Ginsburg is the Director of Undergraduate Studies at Duke University’s Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Department. Dr. Ginsburg’s research interests include Hebrew literature, Israeli cinema, critical theory, film theory, and nationalism.  His book, Rhetoric and Nation: The Formation of Hebrew National Culture, 1880-1990 (Syracuse University Press) was released in 2014.

Culture and Environment in Modern Chinese History

s17_history514Course number: HISTORY 514S
Course codes: CCI, EI, STS, CZ, SS
Course description:

This course is an examination of the changing patterns through which the physical environment and culture are mutually formed in late imperial and modern China. Culture includes the creation of cosmological and social ideas as well as the long-term practices of settlement and utilization of the environment. In what ways did cultures represent limits to environmental exploitation? Special attention will be given to how communities and the state respond to environmental disasters and explore the feedback loops for protection and prevention. This course explores the importance of long-term understanding for the current environmental crisis in China.

Instructor: Professor Prasenjit Duara

Prasenjit Duara is the Oscar Tang Chair of East Asian Studies at Duke University. He was born and educated in India and received his PhD in Chinese history from Harvard University. He was previously Professor and Chair of the Dept of History and Chair of the Committee on Chinese Studies at the University of Chicago (1991-2008). Subsequently, he became Raffles Professor of Humanities and Director, Asia Research Institute at National University of Singapore (2008-2015).

In 1988, he published Culture, Power and the State: Rural North China, 1900-1942 (Stanford Univ Press) which won the Fairbank Prize of the AHA and the Levenson Prize of the AAS, USA. Among his other books are Rescuing History from the Nation (U Chicago 1995), Sovereignty and Authenticity: Manchukuo and the East Asian Modern (Rowman 2003) and most recently, The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future (Cambridge 2014). He has edited Decolonization: Now and Then (Routledge, 2004) and co-edited A Companion to Global Historical Thought with Viren Murthy and Andrew Sartori (John Wiley, 2014). His work has been widely translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean and the European languages.

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