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.



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.