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  • Locations: Cape Town, South Africa; Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Housing: Hostel, Hotel Number of Credits Offered: 6
Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, Non-Degree Seeking Type of Program: Faculty-led
Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Contemporary South African Literature: Memory and Mourning after Apartheid 

With its richly textured culture, South Africa is blessed by a set of 'other' presences, but it is also often haunted by feelings of alienation and even self-strangeness. These call for a more complex understanding of such apparently simple matters as personal freedom and responsibility. In its early explorer narratives and other historical records, its short stories, poems, and novels, South African writing engages with power and its after-effects in colonialism and apartheid, in the struggle against apartheid, and the
democratic present.  Literature came to play an important role in bearing witness to the traumas suffered under the apartheid government. It was also the site of cathartic and melancholic working through of those traumas.

This course traces the work of memory and mourning in key South African texts (both written texts and place as text) of the Apartheid and post-Apartheid eras.

Program Details

Seeking credit for the following:

  • English (ENGH) 202: Texts and Contexts
  • English (ENGH) 309: Topics in Literature
  • English (ENGH) 362
  • Conflict Analysis (CONF) 397
  • History (HIST) 387: Topics in Global History
  • Honors HNRS 230, HNRS 131


This program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students including students who do not attend George Mason University.


Dormitory-style housing in field stations; some camping in tents, jungle lodges, and inns.

Program Cost (Summer 2017): $5999

  • Tuition (6 credits)
  • Accommodations 
  • Some meals
  • Group excursions and activities, including transportation
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • International Emergency Insurance
Not Included:
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Other transportation
  • Some meals
  • Personal spending

Program Itinerary*

Day 1 Arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa. Transfer from the airport to the hotel.
Day 2 During the morning enjoy a visit to the Apartheid Museum. In the evening the group will have a welcome dinner at Moyo.
Day 3 In the morning the group will meet with a young writer from Soweto, experience a tour of Soweto with lunch included and stay overnight in a homestay.
Day 4 Tour of the city during the day with lunch included followed by free afternoon.
Day 5 In the morning visit Arts on Main followed by Kakadu the musical at the Joburg Theatre.
Day 6 Movie in the morning: "Miners shot down", followed by lecture with Rehad Desai.  In the afternoon the group will take a underground mine tour.
Day 7 Visit to Constitution Hill followed by dinner at Arya's (Montecasino)
Day 8 Class and lecture in the morning followed by writing time. Dinner at Tribes.
Day 9 Visit to Hartbeespoort Dam followed by an afternoon Game drive with dinner included.
Day 10 Morning game drive with breakfast included then drive back to Johannesburg. In the evening experience Radium Jazz.
Day 11 Experience the Neighbourgoods Market followed by a rugby match at Ellis Park.
Day 12 Church and Alexandria Township visit. Flight to Cape Town in the evening.
Day 13 Visit to Robben Island. Dinner at the V&A Waterfront and talk with Lionel Davis at Chartfield Lodge.
Day 14 Visit to District 6 Museum and Charlie's Bakery. In the afternoon visit the South African Art Museum, Company Gardens and have dinner and a show at Richard's Supper Stage.
Day 15 Graffiti walking tour in the morning followed by lunch at Eastern Food Bazaar. Class and lecture in the evening.
Day 16 Visits to Paarl-Taal Monumnet and Afrikaans Museum.  In the evening: Spice Route.
Day 17 Free morning. In the evening visit to Chapman's Peak drive and Hout Bay Harbour Market.
Day 18 Optional weekend activities
Day 19 Optional weekend activities
Day 20 Visit to Cape Point with lunch included at the Salty Dog. In the afternoon visit the Boulders Penguin Colony.
Day 21 Free morning. July 4th celebration in the afternoon.
Day 22 UCT Campus Tour followed by hike up Table Mountain.
Day 23 In the morning take a walking tour of BoKaap. Enjoy First Thursdays in the evening.
Day 24 Free morning then visit to Up Cycle Sea Point Promenade.
Day 25 Optional weekend activities
Day 26 Visit to Kirstenbosch Gardens followed by Cape Malay cooking class with dinner included in Signal Hill area.
Day 27 Free morning. In the afternoon enjoy drumming and a farewell dinner at Gold Restaurant
Day 28 Return to the US.

*Instructor reserves the right to modify the course schedule as needed

Contact Information

Program Officer

Denise Elles-Mdahuar

Academic Director

Professor Elizabeth Ferguson

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2017 03/19/2017
Rolling Admission 06/14/2017 07/11/2017

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.