COAS Study Abroad-South
Africa 2011: Representative
July 6-7, 2011
We Think What We Like: Representative Figures in
South African and African American Intellectual
How have thinkers and actors in African intellectual genealogies in the
U.S. and South Africa positioned themselves as analysts and actors
for real-time social change and transformation? Taking its conceptual
frame from the famous 1970 column by-line“I write what I like”
penned by Black Consciousness Movement leader Steven Bantu Biko,
his theme will evoke comparative evaluation of ideas and texts from
major thinkers such as Biko, Nelson Mandela, Robert Sobukwe,
Oliver Tambo, Chris Hani and many others with their counterparts
in other parts of the African world. Exchanges between cultural icons
and thinkers such as Miriam Makeba, Gil Scott Heron, Hugh
Masekela, Bob Marley and many others will extend the consideration
of Pan-African cultural spheres as the context for inter-state and
transnational exchanges. Texts such as Peter Abrahams The Black
Experience in the 20th Century: An Autobiography and Meditation (2001)
and Frank Wilderson III’s Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid
(2008) will present the opportunity to consider first-hand accounts of
collaborations and contestations between representative thinkers in
What are the Characteristics of an intellectual?
What are the conditions that foster intellectual
What is a “representative thinker?”
What are the conditions that foster “representative
Intellectuals as Representative
Thinkers in the South African-
United States Context
Frank Wilderson III
Intellectuals as Representative Thinkers
and Cultural Workers in the South
African-United States Context
Gil Scott Heron
What is a Genealogy?
How Might One Go About (Re)Constructing an
Creating Linkages: How
are these anchoring representative thinkers
July 9 Research day at
Housed primarily at the University of Western Cape
campus, the Mayibuye Archive, as one of the largest
archives of liberation struggle materials in the country,
includes unique materials (historical documents,
photographs, art work, audio-visual holdings, etc)
relating to the freedom struggle generally and to
Robben Island and apartheid imprisonment especially.
Its goal is to achieve “Mayibuye,” the Zulu word for
“bringing back what was lost.”
300 collections of personal and organizational documents reflecting the struggles
for national liberation in SA;
Papers and publications that were banned under apartheid;
Personal papers of Archbishop Desmond Tutu;
Prison writings of Ahmed Kathrada;
Personal papers: Material belonging to political activists and leaders such as WH
Andrews, MA Naidoo, Brian Bunting, Yusuf Dadoo, Mac Maharaj, Alex and
Blanche La Guma, Govan Mbeki, Albie Sachs, Kader and Louise Asmal, Wolfie
Kodesh, Reg September, Dulcie Hartwell and Neville Naidoo.
Organizational documents: ANC; South African Congress of Trade Unions; South
African Clothing and Textile Workers Union; Women’s National Coalition; Irish
Anti-Apartheid Movement; Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement; Afro-Asian
Solidarity Committee; South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee; Film and
Allied Workers Organization; United Women’s Congress; Legal and Research Depts
of the IADF (International Defense and Aid Fund)
The Photographic Archive documents South African life under apartheid and
resistance to it from the 1ate 1940s until 1990.The subjects covered include history of
apartheid, images of apartheid, liberation movements, forced removals and
resettlement,repression,political prisoners,trials,labour and trade unions,
The Eli Weinberg documents the struggle against apartheid from the 1940s to the
1970s.Almost 2 000 negatives cover all the major events, campaigns and
personalities of this period.
The Leon Levson collection gives unusual insight into African rural and urban life
in this period.
The PA includes a history and campaigns of the African National Congress and the
broad liberation movement from the 1920s to the present.
It also includes extensive material on the mass mobilisation and uprisings of the
1980s as well as the international campaigns against apartheid, including the
collections of the South and Grassroots newspapers.
Included in the sound and oral history collections:
Interviews with many South African ex-political prisoners and political
Major meetings, rallies, briefings, press conferences of the Southern
African liberation movements and allied support groups.
Lectures such as the annual Canon Collins Memorial Lecture Series
delivered by, among others, Oliver Tambo and Govan Mbeki.
Tapes of historic importance, such as Chief Albert Luthuli’s Nobel Peace
Prize acceptance speech, an interview with Nelson Mandela recorded in
1961, and interviews with those who took part in the 1955 Congress of the
People and were later charged in the 1956 Treason Trial.
“Other components” (feature films, documentaries, etc)…
Posters, & Banners
The Albie Sachs Collection of Mozambican Art
The Abe Berry Cartoon Collection
Art Against Apartheid
A collection of artefacts, which inlcudesT-shirts, signs, badges etc, tell the story of
apartheid and the mass resistance inside South Africa, as well as the campaigns of
Anti-Apartheid Movements in countries ranging from Japan to Spain and Argentina.
Apple Box Archives
Posters of grass roots campaigns and cultural events abroad
Banners and murals (including those displayed at the 49th ANC annual conference in
Durban in 1991)