Skip to main content
Knox Together: COVID-19 Plans & Policies Visitor Policy Give Now
Students in Intro to Globalization, studying old maps from Special Collections in Seymour Library.

South Africa and Mozambique: Social and Political Transformation (SIT)


Todd Heidt

Director, Eleanor Stellyes Center for Global Studies

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



Submit Your Deposit
Stacks of library books inside Seymour Library.

In this SIT program, through coursework and community engagement, you will focus on issues of memory, reconciliation, development and nation building as they relate to South Africa's social and political transformations in the more than 20 years after apartheid. You will choose between three different program tracks: Journalism, Internship, or Independent Research.

Journalism: Learn from award-winning Round Earth Media journalists and partner with young South African journalists with Times Media Group to produce a feature for possible publication; engage in ongoing reporting assignments in the media format in which you have the most experience (print, video, audio, photography and/or multimedia); collaborate with early-career South African journalists working at Cape Town's Daily Dispatch and Johannesburg's Sunday Times on a major feature story

Internship: Gain work experience and develop professional skills during a four-week internship with a local South African organization; the scope of the internship depends greatly on the nature of the organization and may deal with local, national or international issues, on topics as diverse as civil society, conflict resolution, urban planning, gender equity, racial discrimination, education and public policy; in addition, you will submit a paper that describes, assesses and analyzes your learning, outlining the tasks you completed through the internship, the knowledge you acquired, the professional relationships you developed, and challenges you encountered and how you overcame them.

Independent Research: Conduct field research and write a substantial academic paper

You will receive isiZulu language instruction. As a language with many clicks, isiZulu is a fascinating and challenging language for English speakers to study. Develop speaking and comprehension skills through classroom and field instruction, with additional practice during the homestay. You will also learn about Zulu history and culture.

You will have many opportunities to explore the bustling and historic city of Durban, South Africa's third-largest city. Discover Durban's great diversity, including the Zulu people, South Africa's largest ethnic group; English-speaking whites; the largest population of South Asians outside of India and Pakistan; tens of thousands of African refugees; and African and Asian migrants from a range of countries. You will experience three very different homestays in urban and rural settings.  You will also go on an eight-day excursion to neighboring Mozambique, focusing on its role in South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle. On your way back, you will spend a few hours in Swaziland, which has pursued a different path in its own recent history of independence. You will visit Johannesburg, seeing the Apartheid Museum, the Constitutional Court, and the Mandela House. You will go on a photo safari in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve.

Key topics of study include:

  • The historical background of South Africa's apartheid system, the dismantling of that system, and emerging visions for post-apartheid South Africa
  • Remembering the past through individual and popular memory and the role of memory in healing the trauma of the past
  • Reconciliation through the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRC)
  • The evolution form the Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP) to a developmental state
  • The role of civil society, education, and media in the goal of nation building
  • The challenges of transition
  • Gender and social change

The Independent Study Project (ISP) provides you with an opportunity to pursue a research-based project of original research on a situation or topic of particular interest to you or a practicum-based project developed with an affiliate organization working in social and/or political transformation. Projects are conducted in Durban or, with program approval, in another location appropriate to your topic. Sample ISP topics include:

  • Democracy as defined by South Africans
  • Education policy reform and implementation
  • The prison system in South Africa
  • Independent churches and religion
  • Trade unions and their alliance with the African National Congress
  • African refugee communities in Durban
  • Township jazz and political resistance
  • The role of online media content in South Africa
  • Islam and Durban's Indian community in contemporary South Africa
  • Political violence in KwaZulu-Natal

Learn more about the South Africa: Social and Political Transformation program and other SIT programs

Credit:  4.5 for the fall or spring semester

Advisor: Professors Katie Stewart and Andy Civettini

Click here for more information about the application process, program selection, and more!

Map of locations of study abroad and off-campus programs
Old Main
Apply for Admission Request More Info Visit Knox
Knox College

Printed on Monday, May 23, 2022