Rural Transformation: Town & Countryside in Transition (HIST 7007)
This unit explores profound transformations in the fabric of South African society brought about by the interplay of rural and urban society in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The themes considered include:
- The causes and consequences of migrant labour
- Changing dynamics of generation and gender
- The politics and practice of resistance
- Evolving forms of sexuality
- Issues of racial and ethnic identity
- The contestation of chieftainship
- The intersection of malevolence, misfortune and witchcraft
Themes in African-American History in the United States - HIST 7026
The unit offers an intensive examination of pivotal historical scholarship on African-American history. It focuses on recent analyses of several major themes and processes in the history of African-Americans. Some of these include:
- The African slave experiences in the Middle Passage
- The economics of slavery in the American South
- Slave culture
- Civil War and Reconstruction
- The Great Migration
- The Harlem Renaissance
- The Civil Rights movement
Oral & Documentary History: Theory and Practice - HIST 7030
This unit looks at contemporary trends in the theory and practice of history.
The first half deals with:
- The possibility of objective truth
- The boundaries between fiction and historical writing
- Gender theory
- The implications of post-colonial and post-modern theories for historical research and writing
- The second half of the unit concentrates on the theoretical debates and practical skills of oral history.
The Environmental History of Africa - HIST 7039
This course addresses the following themes in the environmental history of Africa:
- Pre-colonial environmental history
- The impact of European colonialism and its penetration into African environments and resource use
- Game hunting and wildlife conservation
- Nature reserves and national parks
- Forests and forestry
- Degradation narratives (i.e. soil erosion and conservation initiatives)
- Drought and desertification
- The politics of water
- Environmental sustainability
- Climate change in historical perspective
The Making of Urban South Africa - HIST 7025
The unit explores the social, political and economic history of urbanisation in South Africa from the late 19th to the late 20th centuries.
Its central focus is the Witwatersrand, but it also examines parallel and especially divergent processes in Cape Town, Durban, East London, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria.
Selected Topics/Histories of the Global South - HIST 7033A
This course charts a new post-colonial history by working against ‘nation-centered’ conceptions of historical processes. The course explores the linked histories of Africa and Asia through the connections that the two regions have shared in religion, commerce, the movements of labour and capital and not least the circulation of ideas, from about 1800 to 2000. The course questions inherited periodisations of the past that sharply divide the precolonial, colonial and post-colonial, and critique colonial and nationalist maps that have paid little attention to alternative geographies created by the movement of people.