Segregation and Apartheid

Course Material 2024/25

South Africa's system of racial segregation and apartheid endured for more than 100 years. In the second half of the twentieth century, it was widely regarded as the most extreme form of institutionalised, statutory racism in the world. Racial segregation was first introduced under British colonial rule from the late-19th century; its successor, apartheid, was instituted in 1948 by those who sought an even more systematic form of race-based society. Apartheid went through distinct stages of evolution and was reformed in many respects - yet it remained fundamentally intact as a regime of white supremacy and was dismantled only in the 1980s.

This course will examine the long history of white supremacy in South Africa, as well as popular resistance to segregation and apartheid, in its many and diverse aspects: political, cultural, ideological and intellectual. The course will: introduce students to the significance of segregation and apartheid through the twentieth century history; help students to develop individual sophisticated research skills such as close reading of texts and mastery of a complex and theoretically advanced secondary literature; encourage students to approach history in a critical and engaged fashion.