Beginning with an examination of the aftermath of apartheid, this seminar will take up questions of torture, trauma, and the limits of forgiveness with regard to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the constitution of the new South Africa. We will analyze the relationship of literature to democracy and the move from one of the world’s most reactionary legal systems to one of the world’s most politically progressive constitutions. The euphoria of political triumph in the new South Africa, however, has given way to the ravages of the global pandemic of HIV/AIDS and violence born of crushing poverty. Through a close reading of seminal texts that have come to prominence in the post-apartheid era, the seminar moves to a consideration of the ethical difficulties facing this emergent multicultural society. The course will conclude with an appraisal of the new South Africa in the global imaginary. We shall also take close account of what South African literature and film may still have to teach America with regard to the contemporary war on terror.
Once this course is full/closed, you can sign up to the wait list at:
Students on the wait-list must attend the first day of lecture/section to enroll in the course. For more information see the English Department Crash Policy.