History 2

History Second-Level Courses

The second-year programme comprises two exciting and diverse courses that introduce students to new ways of understanding the past, and deepen their knowledge and understanding of history.

History 201: Representing the 20th Century

The course is concerned with how certain key events of the 20th Century have been represented and how they have come to be remembered. Although memory may be shaped by historical representations, it exists apart from history. So we shall explore if and how representations have shaped cultural memory. We shall look specifically at literary (fiction and non-fiction), visual (film, television, art, cartoons) and musical representations of World War I, the Russian Revolution, the Great Depression, World War II (including the Holocaust), and the Vietnam War. We will also examine how the public engages with the past represented in memorials, museum exhibits and other sites of memory.

Lecturer: Dr. Madimu


History 202: Themes in Southern African History: Emancipation, Anti-Racism, Pandemics and Politics (taught in Semester 1 in 2022)

This course will – via the history of youth protests, the history of epidemic disease, the history of race, racism and anti-racism, and the history of women and gender – (re-)consider the history of South Africa both in its exceptionality and in its resonances with the present and the world.

Highlighting the contributions of young South Africans, youth movements and student activism, this course presents the social, cultural, political and economic processes that have shaped South Africa’s present, from the legacies of the hunting and gathering societies of the Khoisan through the great African states of Shaka and Moshoeshoe to the surge of internal and international resistance; from the Great Trek of the Boers into the interior of the country through the growth of South Africa as a major industrial/economic and military power to the highly stratified and urbanized society of the late 20th century. We will track the development of the system of apartheid, the history of resistance and, finally, the negotiated fall of apartheid through the lens of youth and youth politics, anti-racism and concepts and claims to emancipation.

Today, post-apartheid South Africa struggles to come to terms with this history, the legacy of racism in its institutions and knowledge systems, and the challenges of the present (HIV/Aids, poverty, violence, rapid technological change, climate change and political predicaments). South Africa’s recent past (after 1990) and the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission provide examples of how South Africa’s people engage with the legacies of the past to construct the “post-apartheid.”


Lecturers: Prof. Pohlandt-McCormick and Dr. Craig Paterson


Last Modified: Wed, 02 Feb 2022 08:49:58 SAST