History 3

History Third-Level Courses

Students will be required to take four courses out of a choice of eight. Each course will run over a period of about six to seven weeks, and will be highly intensive. As students will only be taking one course at any time, it is expected that much more time will be devoted to independent study and reading.


EITHER    History 305: History of Modern South Asia

The course will focus on the social, cultural and political impact of colonialism on the sub­continent, beginning with the rule of the British East India Company and the shift to rule under the British Crown. The last section of the course will deal with the post- independence era on the sub-continent and the partition of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Lecturer: Dr Jagarnath

Lectures and seminars will be held. Students will be required to write seminar assignments and an essay. The final exam will be written in June.

OR    History 310: Introduction to Public History

This course provides students with a basic introduction to the practice of making historical information accessible to the public.  In so doing, it provides a bridge between the academic pursuit of fresh historical interpretation and the ways in which this knowledge can be shared with the wider public. The emphasis is on practical applications and gaining experience in dealing with people and institutions outside of the university environment.  The course offers an introduction to a range of applied historical skills such as archival work, museology, oral history and community development initiatives which can lead to related career opportunities. The curriculum includes an exploration of practices internationally as well as looking at the particular needs of South Africa.  A variety of mediums for communication are considered and visits to local institutions involved in the production of historical knowledge will be made.

Working in teams, students are required to produce materials that will be useable in exhibitions on aspects of local history. Select themes of historical significance will be pursued, with a focus on little-known or untold stories.  Each theme has an external expert advisor to assist in the identification of relevant resources and interpretation. The materials developed by students will be used in exhibitions at the Albany Museum.

Lecturers: Professor Wells and Dr Mkhize

Lectures and seminars will be held. Students will be required to write an essay and a seminar paper. The final exam is in June.


EITHERHistory 301: The Making of Modern South Africa

This course intends to provide a basic overview of the history of 20th century South Africa ending in 1990. It will chart out the history of South Africa tracking the major economic, social and political events within southern Africa including the South African War, the Native Land Act, the rise of the mining industry, the formation of the African National Congress, apartheid era legislation and it effects, as well as the anti-apartheid struggle. The course will provide the student with a good working knowledge of the history of this period and will allow them to draw more informed conclusions about present political struggles.

Lecturer: Dr Jagarnath

The course will comprise lectures and seminars. Students will be required to produce assignments and other work. The final exam is in June.

OR       History 311: South African Environmental History

This course examines a number of themes: indigenous ecological knowledge and practice; the impact of colonialism and settler agriculture and pastoralism; the exploitation of wildlife resources; environmental degradation; the rise of conservationism and the move from protectionism to contractual parks. The course ends by examining the lessons which can be drawn for conservation in the twenty-first century.

Lecturer: Dr Kirkaldy

Lectures and seminars will be held. Students will be required to write seminar assignments, an essay and prepare a presentation. The final exam is in June.


EITHER   History 306: Africa in Crisis

The course examines in a frank, some might say politically incorrect way the causes and current manifestations of the African crisis. Interrelated themes include: kleptocracy and the criminalisation of the state; the debt crisis and its causes; the interventions by the IMF and the World Bank; structural adjustment programmes; the demographic explosion; the problems of the African 'peasant' and declining per capita food production; famine; civil wars; global warming; and environmental destruction. There will be additional material on genocides, including western Sudan, and on power-sharing. We will also pay particular attention to complex economic issues. The course is designed for those wishing to examine the nature of the post-independent African crisis, and for those who wish to pursue careers in international relations, developmental, environmental, or related fields.

Lecturer: Dr Msindo

Lectures and seminars will be held. Students will be required to write an essay and a seminar paper. The final exam is in November.

ORHistory 313: Contested Pasts: History and Memory

The proliferation of memorials, monuments and a preoccupation with anniversaries has stimulated scholarly interest in the role of memory in society. This ‘memory turn’ was propelled by the (re)discovery of the work of social theorists such as Maurice Halbwachs on collective memory and that of Pierre Nora on sites of memory. Memory studies is experiencing something of a boom with university courses and a burgeoning literature on the subject, a newly-established journal called History & Memory, a well-subscribed H-Memory discussion list, and a growing community of scholars worldwide.

Subjecting the process of memory making to scrutiny is informed by a concern about who decides what should be remembered and why. Theorists tell us that all memory is socially constructed and that it is transmitted by our upbringing, education, the media, etc. Memory is always selective and we choose to remember certain things and forget others. So it becomes necessary to ask questions about the role that the state and other institutions, as well as cultural brokers and public intellectuals play in the shaping of collective memory.

So this course is not concerned with establishing the veracity of historical facts but rather with what Nora terms the ‘historical present’. It focuses on memory as an object of study in its own right; the medium by which the past is rendered intelligible, and the resulting historical consciousness it produces/sustains. We will seek to examine the relationship between history and memory by way of tackling a number of controversial issues in American, European and South African history.

Lecturer: Professor Baines

The course comprises introductory lectures and a series of adversarial debates. Students will be required to submit seminar assignments. The final exam is in November.


EITHER   History 312: Themes in Zimbabwean History

The course examines a number of interconnected themes such as land and agrarian politics; urban history and society; information and propaganda; labour and politics; violence, ethnicity, nationalism, and current topical issues. By taking a historical approach, students will be able to understand the roots of the current Zimbabwean crisis. By fully participating in this course, it is hoped that students would further develop their capacity to bring together a body of related and remotely connected issues to help explain social, political and economic issues unfolding in different episodes of the Zimbabwean past. By engaging with different pasts (and the present) and using Zimbabwe as a practical case, you would be able to understand, interpret and explain the agonies and problems of governance in Africa.

Lecturer: Dr Msindo

Lectures and seminars will be held as per the timetable. Students will be required to engage with at least three reflective learning journals, and write an essay. There will also be some short reflective online journals which contribute to your overall course work. The final exam will be written in November.

OR    History 302: Gender in Southern African History

This course gives a broad overview of the historical changes in the status and ideologies defining gender roles in South African society. Problems rooted in gender discrimination are viewed as more persistent than racial discrimination. Specialised themes include social status in pre-industrial societies, the impact of urbanisation, how gender-based ideologies were developed and enforced, and resistance to roles of subordination. Problems in the historiography of gender will be addressed throughout.

Lecturer: Professor Wells

Lectures and seminars will be supplemented by exploration of archival work, and a museum visit. Students will be required to participate in weekly seminars, submit short assignments and write one essay. The final exam is in November.

Last Modified: Tue, 16 May 2017 12:01:23 SAST