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Cross-cultural semester: Fall 2003

Program Description

While it is mostly known to the west as the country of Apartheid, South Africa actually has a tremendously rich and varied cultural and political history that goes far beyond its history of ethnic repression. In this semester long cross-cultural seminar, we will make brief cultural studies of three of the many distinguishable cultures of South Africa: Indigenous African (primarily focused on the Xhosa), European (both Afrikaans and British), and Indian. Students will explore the histories, languages, arts, lifestyles, literature, science, and fundamental philosophies and theologies of each of the three groups, along with the alternately horrible and magnificent history of their interactions. These studies will challenge students' understanding of their own cultures, stretch their own ability to communicate, enrich their outlook towards "opposing" cultures, and will be just incredibly fun!

The group will spend most of its time in Western Cape Province of South Africa- centered in the stunning city of Cape Town, and extending into further regions of South Africa, including the urban centers of Gauteng (Johannesburg and Pretoria), the agricultural regions of the Orange Free State, and the relatively impoverished Wild-Coast region of the Eastern Cape Province. The group will visit tourist attractions including Kruger National Game Park and secluded beach areas, and students will be given the opportunity to explore the region further in small groups.

Estimated Cost: on campus tuition, room and board plus $2,000 travel (cost may be adjusted due to changes in currency exchange rates and air fares)

Semester Leaders: Lyn and Naomi Krause

Enrollment: maximum 25 students

Course Credits: 15 semester hours

*Course Descriptions

CCUS 201Cross-Cultural Understanding 3 SH Students will be exposed to and will interact with three of the predominant and unique cultures of South Africa. Through these interactions, and by observing the cross-cultural exchange that occurs between South African ethnic groups, students will learn about the difficult and rewarding nature of cross-cultural living, and will be given ample opportunity to reflect on and discuss the values and attitudes inherent to each culture including their own. Activities and assignments will include an orientation prior to departure, journal-keeping and discussion through the duration of the travels, volunteer projects working with the underprivileged of all three ethnic groups while in South Africa, and re-orientation back on campus. In addition, students will participate in two separate home stays: a three-week long stay with a wealthy family, and a 6-8 week long stay with a rural or poor family.

CCHST 301 History of South Africa 3 SH The course will explore several of the defining historical events for each of the three major cultural groups of South Africa: 1. Prehistory, the Khoi-San, the early Bantu migrations, Shaka Zulu and the formation of the Basotho, Matebele, Xhosa, and Zulu nations. 2. Spanish, British and Dutch Colonialism, and the migrations of the Boer-Trekkers. 3. The importation and indenturment of Indian sugar-cane workers. These three pillars of South African history will then serve as the lens through which the 20th century culture clashes- including Apartheid, repression, the homelands and townships, the African freedom movement, and white fear/white flight- are viewed.

CCHUM 301 Southern African Humanities 3 SH In this course, students will study the music, literature, arts and crafts, languages, philosophies and theologies of the southern-African Bantu peoples. Activities and assignments will include readings, concert attendance, visits to museums, galleries, roadside and market place craft vendors, church services and introductory directed language learning. Students will also investigate the history and fundamental science behind craft production (e.g. metallurgy, textile production and dyes).

CCLNG 101 Introductory Xhosa 3 SH Students will be introduced to the Xhosa language. Conversational Xhosa, greetings will be stressed, and students will have the opportunity to interact with native Xhosa speakers.

CCJPC 301 Conflict and Resolution in South Africa 3 SH Students will study the activities of the historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the long, continuing influence of the Christian Church in South Africa. We will include both its historic role in the foundation of Apartheid and its successful on-going efforts at conflict resolution. Interviews and informal interactions with pastors and other peace and justice advocates will serve as the foundation for the course.

*Course descriptions are pending approval from the General Education committee and we will later publish information regarding how these courses will satisfy Gen Ed requirements.

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