Monuments and museums are crucial in shaping our collective historical memory. Yet, political and social factors influence the way we view them and understand the past. What is the relationship between monuments, museums, and memory in post-apartheid South Africa? How do the arts help us develop an understanding of South Africa’s complicated past and its contested histories? This program will explore these questions through dynamic interactions with South Africa’s vibrant and diverse arts scene. Through visits to museums, historical sites, and monuments, we will learn about South Africa’s history and how the arts have shaped it. We will focus on recent efforts to strengthen black identity in the arts and public culture through student movements such as #RhodesMustFall and compare it to movements in the US such as Black Lives Matter and contemporary efforts to remove Confederate statues from public spaces.
- Learn how the arts have contributed to political discussions in post-apartheid South Africa
- Meet with black artists using art for social change in South African townships
- Visit the University of Cape Town, where the #RhodesMustFall campaign began
Undergraduate students only. Minimum GPA is 2.25.
All students will take a 3-credit Art History course and will have their choice of an additional 3-credit course.
Main Course Options (choose 1)
- Art History- ARTH 206: Survey of African Art (satisfies Mason Core Arts requirement)
- Art History- ARTH 398: Study Abroad in Art History
Additional course options (choose 1)
- Honors- HNRS 131: Contemporary Society in Multiple Perspectives
- Honors- HNRS 230: Cross Cultural Perspectives
- African & African American Studies- AFAM 390: Special Topics in African and African American Studies
- Sociology- SOCI 395: Special Topics in Sociology
- Conflict Analysis - CONF 385: International Field Experience
June 26 - July 20, 2019
||Arrival in Cape Town
||Academic Program Overview (Morning)
City Tour (Afternoon)
||Township Visit (Morning)
Group Discussion (Afternoon)
||Apartheid Political History
Robben Island Visit (All Day)
Group Dinner with artist and activist Lionel Davies
||Monuments tour (morning)
Rhodes Memorial (afternoon)
||UCT Tour (Morning)
Guest Speaker: Rhodes Must Fall (Afternoon)
Q&A with museum curators
||Iziko Museums Tour
South African National Gallery
Jewish Museum of South Africa
Q&A with museum curators
||Cape Coloured Identity
District Six Tour
Bo-Kaap Neighborhood Walk
Simon’s Town visit/Slavery Tour (All Day)
||Vergelegen or Spier Winery Slavery tour (All Day)
||Muizenburg: Rhodes Cottage Museum
||Morning: Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa
Afternoon: V&A Waterfront
Afternoon: Artist Q&A
||Fly to Durban
Evening group dinner
||City Tour Durban
||uThumbo (Children’s Art Project)
Morning: Depart for Durban Beachfront to participate in Arts project with Durban street kids
||HIV Conflict & Activism
Morning: Visit local schools
Afternoon: KwaMashu Township—location of HIV activist killed for HIV activism
Late afternoon: Visit Inanda Township—location of competing apartheid political party
||Nature and Cultural aesthetic
Morning: Visit Durban Botanical Gardens
||Public Health Crisis
Visit Ithembalanbantu HIV and AIDS Healthcare Center
||Day trip to Underberg to view Rock Art paintings
||Travel to Pietermaritzburg to visit sites of political activism (Gandhi) and location where Nelson Mandela is arrested
||Visit to Cultural Village in Zululand, exposure to different forms of Zulu dance & culture
||Morning: Durban Beachfront
Evening: Traditional Braai
||Depart for US
* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.
Summer 2018: $5,500
Summer 2019: Coming Soon!
Included: Tuition for 6 credits, accommodations, entrance fees/tours/guides as described in itinerary, breakfasts, some lunches and dinners, in-country transportation, international emergency medical insurance.
Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, some meals, required textbooks and/or course materials.
*Participants must arrange their own airfare, once instructed to do so by the Mason Global Education Office.
Students on MasonGEO programs must pay the advertised program cost in order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Deposit + First Payment + Final Payment). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments.
Application Deposit: A non-refundable program deposit $200 must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.
First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $1000 must be received by March 17, 2019 in order to confirm your enrollment in the program. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.
Final Payment: The final balance payment is due by April 14, 2019. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $1200 you've already paid (Deposit + First Payment). Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.
Financial Aid and VA Benefits: Students who intend to use financial aid or their VA benefits to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the Intent to Use Financial Aid or Intent to Use VA Benefits Form completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the First Payment deadline. The Intent to Use Financial Aid form is available in the MasonAbroad application system once you have started your application for this program. If you are using VA Benefits please contact your program officer to request the Intent to Use VA Benefits Form.
For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:
GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:
Sunday, March 3, 2019
Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.
Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.
Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.
Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.
Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the 1st payment deadline.
Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:
Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.
Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.
* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.