Free Nelson Mandela: The Anti-Apartheid Struggle in South Africa and Beyond (HIH1017)

Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The aim of this module is to introduce students to a broad range of sources available to historians of twentieth century Africa through the lens of the anti-apartheid struggle. It will examine topics and sources related to local struggles within South Africa, specific individuals such as Nelson and Winnie Mandela, and the global movements against apartheid based in Britain and elsewhere. The module’s seminars will focus on various sources, including memoirs of political prisoners; documentaries; court records; photographs; propaganda; magazines; oral history interviews; and testimonies made before South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It will introduce students to the benefits and limitations of such sources, and provide an introduction to historical methodologies used in colonial and postcolonial contexts. This module will help students develop skills in source analysis and research to provide a foundation for future historical work. 

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Understand and assess the main developments in the anti-apartheid struggle from 1948 to 1994
  • 2. Work critically with a range of written and visual sources relating to the topic.
  • 3. Assess the sources in relation to the historical debates, purposes for which different contemporary sources were produced, and analyse and evaluate their reliability and usefulness for the study of the anti-apartheid struggle

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Identify the problems of using historical sources, e.g. utility, limitations, etc, and compare the validity of different types of sources.
  • 5. Answer a question briefly and concisely.
  • 6. Present work orally, respond to questions orally, and think quickly of questions to ask other students.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Conduct independent study and group work, including the presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
  • 8. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
  • 9. Work with others in a team and to interact effectively with the tutor and the wider group.
  • 10. Write to a very tight word-length.

Syllabus plan

Weekly seminar topics may vary, but can include: the ANC’s turn to armed struggle; experiences of political imprisonment; the Soweto Uprisings of 1976; gender and the anti-apartheid struggle; the involvement of children and youth in the liberation struggle; Britain’s anti-apartheid movement; and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Each topic will be explored through two or more different sources, including oral history interviews, speeches, memoirs, newspaper articles, and photographs.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities22 hour lecture: Introduction to module
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2010 x 2 hour seminars. At a meeting of the whole class generally a different group of 3-4 students will give a presentation to the whole class, followed by class discussion and working through the sources for that week carefully. Additional sources may be issued in the class and the lecturer will also use the time to set up issues for the following week.
Guided independent study128Students prepare for the session through reading and research; writing five source commentaries and an essay and preparing one group presentation in the course of the term.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation (3-4 students)10-15 minutes1-4, 6-7, 9Oral
Lowest mark from portfolio of 5 source commentaries500 words1-5, 7-8, 10Mark and written comments

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries602000 words (500 per commentary)1-5, 7-8, 10Mark and written comments.
Essay on Sources401500 words1-5, 7-8, 10Mark and written comments

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
4 highest marks of portfolio of 5 source commentaries4 highest marks of portfolio of 5 source commentaries1-5, 7-8, 10Referral/deferral period.
1500-word essay1500-word essay1-5, 7-8, 10Referral/deferral period.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Beinart, William, Twentieth-Century South Africa (Oxford, 1994)
  • Beinart, William and Dubow, Saul, Segregation and Apartheid in Twentieth Century South Africa (London: 1995)
  • Posel, Deborah, The Making of Apartheid, 1948-61 (Oxford, 1991)
  • Mandela, Nelson, Long Walk to Freedom (London, 1995).
  • Mandela, Nelson, No Easy Walk to Freedom: articles, speeches and trial addresses of Nelson Mandela (London, 1973)
  • First, Ruth, One Hundred and Seventeen Days: an account of confinement and interrogation under the South African ninety-day detention law (Harmondsworth, 1965)
  • Thorn, Hakan, Anti-Apartheid and the Emergence of a Global Civil Society (Basingstoke, 2006)
  • Lobban, Michael, White Man’s Justice: South African Political Trials in the Black Consciousness Era (Oxford, 1996)
  • Brittain, Victoria and Minty, Abdul S.  (eds) Children of Resistance: Statements from the Harare Conference on Children, Repression, and the Law in Apartheid South Africa (London, 1988).
  • Bozzoli, Belinda. Theatres of Struggle and the End of Apartheid (Ohio, 2004)
  • Krog, Antjie, Country of my Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa (London, 1999)

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Key words search

South Africa; apartheid; Nelson Mandela; segregation; protest.