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Academics - South Africa Summer
South Africa Summer Academics

To apply, you must be a currently enrolled, degree-seeking, undergraduate UW-Eau Claire student. You must be in good academic standing and have a minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA. You must maintain full-time enrollment and continue to meet the academic standing and GPA requirements the semester prior to departure. You may apply as a sophomore but must have junior standing when the program begins.

The academic program consists of lectures, group discussions and field trips, and is taught by Stellenbosch University faculty, and other South African experts. The lectures cover a variety of topics, including History, Politics, Economics, Future Studies, Art, Literature, Geo- and Bio Diversity and Sociology.  Students take three courses for a total of six U.S. credits.

The term is divided into 3 blocks. During each block, students take one course. During the first block all students take the mandatory Introduction to South Africa's Political History. In the next blocks students can choose one course from three possible electives. Students will take a total of 3 courses. Each course is worth 2 U.S. credits.

The following courses will be offered in summer 2014. Courses for the following summer will be available in late October. Historically, courses have not changed dramatically from one summer to the next.

Block 1- Required Course
Introduction to South Africa's Political History (2 USA Credits)= UWEC Elective GE5 upper division, Foreign Culture
During this course, you will be introduced to South Africa's unique 20th century history, and the interplay between the country's political, social and economic issues. In particular, the focus is on South African identities, and how these were and continue to be shaped by the country's past. 
Note: If you would like the course to count as a History or Political Science elective, you  will need to talk with department chair when you are back to have the "Elective" changed to Pols or Hist prefix. You will also need to request that appropriate chair designate that the course as fulfilling foreign culture.)

Block 2- Elective Choices
Bio-Diversity: Plants for the People of the Western Cape (2 US Credits)=UWEC Biol Elective GE 2 Upper Division
Students will be introduced to South Africa's incredible biological diversity, with special focus on the plants of the Cape Floristic Region (a global bio-diversity hotspot). This will commence with an evaluation of people as perpetrators of bio-diversity threats, and the conservation efforts that are being applied to help find a balance between threats to and sustainable utilization of the flora.

Visual Controversies in South Africa, Past and Present (2 US Credits)= Course currently being evaluated.
In this course we will track major developments and changes in South African art and media from the Union years (1910 – 48), through the Apartheid era (1948-1994) and after (1994-present). The point of this broad historical perspective is not so much to provide a condensed history of South African art and media, as it is to explore the relationship between South Africa’s turbulent socio-political landscape and its visual culture. In particular, we aim to explore the notion of national identity as it manifested and still manifests in art and visual culture. The first part of the course deals with the concurrent rise of Afrikaner and African nationalism in the early 20th century, and the role of visual culture in the construction of these competing national identities. The second part of the lecture series deals with the years of the ‘struggle’, when the dominant white construct of nation came into conflict with the rising tide of militant African nationalist aspiration. The final part of the series looks at ‘new’ South African nationalism, and the often conflicted art and media it produces.

HIV and Aids: A South African Perspective (2 US Credits)=UWEC S W Elective Upper Division, Foreign Culture
Nurture and develop the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes in students as leaders and future professionals to manage HIV prevention and care in the workplace, both locally and abroad. This course will aim to develop a global understanding of HIV and AIDS through a South African experience of the HIV epidemic

Growth, Unemployment and Inequality in South Africa: Past and Future Challenges (2 US Credits)= UWEC Econ Elective Upper Division, GE 3
South Africa is a unique country in many ways. First-time visitors often find it difficult to comprehend the immense inequalities that seem to permeate South African society. This course takes the student on a broad but intense overview of the South African economic dilemma, using the past to better understand the future. The attentive student will not find easy answers. We strictly follow the creed: "If the answers were so simple, why would we still have problems, stupid?" But the course does offer the student a more nuanced understanding of how the South Africa of today confronts the major economic problems of poverty, unemployment and inequality. And what South African society (government, business, civil society) is doing to confront these challenges. Central to these discussions is South Africa's important role in Africa; the future success of the continent is highly dependent on the success of strong economies such as South Africa. And finally, we delve into the crystal ball of scenario planning to map a future for South Africa that might either be good or bad – but certainly, unique.

Block 3- Elective Choices
HIV and Aids: A South African Perspective (2 US Credits)=UWEC S W Elective Upper Division, Foreign Culture
Nurture and develop the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes in students as leaders and future professionals to manage HIV prevention and care in the workplace, both locally and abroad. This course will aim to develop a global understanding of HIV and AIDS through a South African experience of the HIV epidemic

Present Imperfect: Negotiating Identities in Literature and Film (2 US Credits)= English 330
This course focuses on the way in which literature and film in South Africa have registered and reflected the social and political conflicts and tensions of the Apartheid years, and how, since the first democratic elections in 1994, these fields of cultural production have served—and continue to serve—as a means of questioning and negotiating identity, not only nationally, but also at the level of the community and the individual. The primary aim of this course is therefore to identify currently prevalent thematic trends – for example, the ongoing interest in and engagement with the fact or metaphorics of crime – while also thinking about South Africa’s cultural landscape as constituted in the interplay between, on the one hand, the country’s history and socio-economic realities, and, on the other hand, a range of global trends and developments. A secondary aim of the course is to establish the shifts or continuities in the particular formal codes used in South African literature and film to represent these thematic trends. Over the course of the week, we will engage with both classic and current South African poems, short stories, a contemporary novel, as well as three films: one from the apartheid era and two more recent South African releases.

Challenges For Democratic Consolidation (2 US Credits)= UWEC Political Science Elective Lower Division
This course builds on some of the issues introduced in mandatory course, Introduction to South Africa's Political History. Its focus is on contemporary South Africa – a society in transition, characterized by elements of both change and continuity. We explore some of the most urgent policy challenges currently facing the country (like crime, poverty and social delivery), and further investigate the politics of identity, race and nation-building. In light of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, we specifically focus on sport as a driver of national identity, and also take a look at the role the South African state plays in Africa and internationally.

Ethics, Science and Culture in Philosophical Perspective= (2 US Credits)= UWEC Phil 291
This course examines a number of key problems in contemporary ethics, politics and culture. Students are introduced to important questions and debates relating to our understanding of science, evolution, complexity, biomedicine, happiness and social justice. Beginning with an exploration of the implications of our evolutionary origins on our understanding of ethics, the focus then shifts to the nature of modern science and its impact on our culture. In light of the insights developed here, we then look at some of the specific moral problems that are called up by recent developments in biomedical technology. Moving away from ethics as applied to particular questions, we then consider the disruptive implications of the acknowledgement that we live in a complex world for how we conceive of ethics on all levels of our human existence. This is followed by an inquiry into the problem of happiness in philosophy and in contemporary psychology and economics. Against the background of this inquiry, we then reflect on the moral principles for distributing benefits and burdens, rights and obligations within society: happiness, need, merit or fairness? 

IMPORTANT: A minimum of 5 students must register for a course before it can be offered.

Three credits of Foreign Culture requirement can be waived upon successful program completion. Please email Degree Review at after completion of the program to update your degree audit. (Students earning a B.A., B.F.A. or B.M degree in the College of Arts & Sciences cannot use study abroad to fulfill their foreign language/foreign culture requirement. See the university catalog for details.)

The program typically runs mid- June to mid-July. You will receive the exact dates the semester prior to departure.

updated 1/8/2014 ccm