South Africa

Academic CoursesSouth Africa

  • ENG 380/WGS 385/AFR 300: Understanding Race, Ethnicity and Gender in South Africa; Dr. Mary Alice Morgan

For nearly 50 years, from the 1950's--1994, the South African government instituted a brutal     system of racial segregation and violent oppression against non-whites that led to the equivalent of a police state. Anti-apartheid protestors during this period included not only the iconic freedom fighter Nelson Mandela but ordinary citizens such as school children marching in Soweto. Many of these protesters were shot by police, imprisoned, or murdered in police custody. In this course we will read literature from the anti-apartheid movement as well as contemporary works that examine post-apartheid South Africa as it struggles to put the past behind and create "The Rainbow Nation."

  • IGS 380/POL392/WGS 385: Post Apartheid Transitions in South Africa; Dr. Eimad Houry

The course provides the context required to appreciate how contemporary South Africa is handling diversity and inclusivity as a whole, and how political, social, environmental, health and education policies figure into this equation. The academic content of the course will include: a brief history of the Republic of South Africa, with emphasis on pre- and post-Apartheid transitions, current challenges such as race, ethnicity immigration, gender and HIV/AIDS, and an in depth examination of impact of policy initiatives in various arenas introduced since the end of Apartheid in 1994.


Mary Alice Morgan, Senior Vice Provost for Service Learning/Professor

Eimad Houry, Professor/Chair, International and Global Studies

Program Highlights

Service Project Description:

After 50 years of the white government's brutal system of racial segregation and violent oppression against non-whites, the South African government ended apartheid in 1996 and has since struggled to put the past behind and create a new inclusive "Rainbow Nation." Diversity and inclusivity are complex and challenging issues, however, and generations of racial strife are difficult to eradicate.

To create a new "post-apartheid generation," the South African Department of Education has introduced a new initiative that aims to use the public school system as an instrument of promoting racial diversity, inclusivity, social justice, equity and human rights. Designated schools will be provided with additional resources and support to develop programming that fosters these democratic principles. In turn, the hope is that these schools will become models of tolerance and racial harmony for the country.

The Mercer cohort will be a creative "intervention team" that will help schools foster inter-racial understanding and respect. We will develop training workshops, classroom resources, role-playing simulations, and interactive classroom exercises to assist two elementary schools to move towards greater appreciation of diversity through both curricular and extra-curricular activities. We will model inclusivity and interact not only with students and school staff members but also parents and members of the surrounding communities.


Tentative Excursions

An animal preserve where you can see the "Big Five": lions, Cape buffalo, elephants, rhinoceros, and leopards. We will also tour famous landmarks like Table Mountain and Robben Island, where anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years. 


Contact Information

For more information, e-mail or call (478) 301-2992.