Course Description

Course Name

The African Studies Archive

Session: VCPS3122

Hours & Credits

24 Host University Units

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


In this course we take a close look at some of the key collections in the Manuscripts and Archives division of the University of Cape Town Library, and at some of the bodies of scholarly work to which they have given rise. As one of the oldest university archives in Southern African the collections speak ? in image and text ? of the formation of a range of discipline-based knowledges dealing with Africa. On the one hand, this takes the form of the emergence, formatilization and institutionalization of a range of collecting and recording practices, fieldwork methodologies and the like. On the other hand, it takes the form of the emergence of various disciplinary discourses and their associated ?objects? and ?fields?. The key source of insight in the course lies in exploring how these different objects and fields are not natural or given, but have been formed and constructed in relation to specific social contexts and intellectual AFRICAN & GENDER STUDIES, ANTHROPOLOGY & LINGUISTICS 40
histories. Significant collections examined in this course include the Bleek/Lloyd collection, the Goodwin Collection and the Hahn Collection. Particular emphasis is placed on the many hundreds of photographic images that form part of these collections as a point of entry into larger disciplinary debates and concerns.

DP requirements: Attendance at seminars is compulsory, failing which students? papers may not be marked.

Assessment: Two essays (25% each) 50%; major project 50%.

*Course content subject to change