Program Details

Explore the constructions of race, deployment of racist policies in South African history, and their ongoing legacy in the everyday lives of citizens.
Cape Town, South Africa
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Summer, Winter Semester

Program Overview

Program Description:

Explore the politics of race and racism in the South African context through engaging with the theoretical and historical constructions of race during colonialism and apartheid as well as the ongoing impact on contemporary social life. Using the intersections of class and gender, space, culture, ethnicity and language, you will examine how these have been politicized and mobilized in order to ensure white supremacy and black oppression and frame the resistance to these systems in the past, and present day contestations. Your online course will foreground academic literature, documentaries, films, local experts, and contemporary opinion pieces to trace the past in the present in a rich, complex, multi-layered and reflective engagement.

In South Africa, you will draw on these resources to make sense of homestays in Langa, the first isi-Xhosa speaking Black township built in South Africa, and Bo-Kaap, where people apartheid classified as ‘Cape Malay’ and ‘coloured’ speaking combinations of English and Afrikaap(n)s are contending with gentrification. Excursions to sites of history, memory, and meaning making such as the Robben Island Museum, Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum, and different racialized spaces in the city will be complemented with introductory sessions in Xhosa and Afrikaap(n)s, and an opportunity to explore subjects and sites for a final project.


  • Study race, racial construction, and mobilization, tracing the history and contemporary impacts in South Africa.
  • Translate theory into practice as you engage with South African experts to discuss class readings and activities.
  • Expand on the issues studied in the online course with on-site experiential learning in South Africa. (J-term)
  • Live in homestays with isi-Xhosa speaking black families in Langa and Afrikaap(n)s speaking coloured families in Bo-Kaap. (J-term)

This course offers three weeks of online study and three weeks abroad.The online course is open to all applicants; the in-person J-term is open to college undergraduates who have completed the online term.

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Additional Program Information

Students are required to complete summer online portion of this program before proceeding to the J-term.
Scholarships Description:
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