The Syllabus

NOTE: This was the syllabus for Summer 2018.  

The first week of the program will be held in the MSU Museum Conference Room, East Lansing (or by Skype) and will focus on developing a grounding in South African history, arts, and culture with discussions of some of the required course materials.

The two weeks in South Africa will consist of visits to museums, historical sites, galleries, arts education projects, and artists’ studios or workshops. The focus of these two weeks will be on visual arts and museology with continued discussions of required course materials.

Tuesday, June 12: First arrivals

Wednesday, June 13: Second arrivals
First Reflection Due
Grocery store & errands

Welcome Dinner
PM meeting: Documentation Project

Thursday, June 14: Johannesburg
AM Meeting: Note-taking and sharing
Morning: Apartheid Museum
Afternoon: Constitution Hill, Supreme Court, Women’s Prison
PM Meeting: Printmaking Activity — Rubber Block Prints

Discuss: Whose memories are recorded? Acknowledged? Celebrated? Whose are ignored or silenced? Who decides and how? What does this tell us about a community? Who has authority to tell a story? What happens when stories/memories conflict?

Friday, June 15: Johannesburg
AM Meeting: Documentation Project
Morning: Origins Center
Afternoon: Artist Proof Studio

Discuss: What different perspectives are represented within museums? Who makes decisions about collections and how they are presented? How can we decipher/analyze those perspectives? What makes art “traditional” or “contemporary”? What are examples of cultural expression that reflect the fusion of new and old traditions? What responsibilities does society have to support indigenous cultures?

Saturday, June 16: Johannesburg–Youth Day
AM Meeting: Youth Day Prep
Morning: Possible walk in the Koppies
Afternoon: Apartheid Museum for Youth panel–TBD
Evening: Possibly Sarafina

Discuss: How can museums help communities process their history, especially when it is marked by social and political conflict? What are the special challenges that museums face when attempting to tell the complex stories of a major period of a political struggle? What role does the private sector and public sector play in supporting such museum efforts?

Sunday, June 17: Johannesburg
Morning: Arts on Main
Afternoon: Artist Studio Visit

Monday, June 18: Johannesburg
AM meeting: Freedom Charter Review
Morning: Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum
Afternoon: Soweto, Freedom Square, Kliptown, SKY (Soweto Kliptown Youth)
Evening: Reflection on Soweto experience

Discuss: How does the historical role of the museum compare with contemporary functions? Connect to Sarafina: How do various art forms (music, theater, dance, visual arts, cultural arts, etc.) serve as avenues to memorialize and/or share stories about a particular community, moment in history, or current social issue? 

Tuesday, June 19: Johannesburg
AM meeting: Intro to William Kentridge
Morning: David Krut DK Print Workshop
Afternoon: Possibly Keleketla! Library and/or artist studio visit
Evening: Possibly Nongogo (play at Market Theatre)

Wednesday, June 20: Johannesburg
Morning: 10am – 12pm IMBALI Visual Literacy Project
Afternoon: Meet with Terrance Nzuza
Night Market at 27 Boxes and/or The Point of Order

Thursday, June 21: Johannesburg
AM Meeting: 2nd Paper: Discuss Ideas
Morning: Wits Art Museum (WAM)
Afternoon: Possibly Parktown galleries?

Friday, June 22: Drive to Kruger
AM or lunch Meeting: Documentation Project check-in
Evening: Styrofoam prints

Saturday, June 23: Kruger
Up at dawn–all day in park
Sunset/night drive

Visit: Zebra, Giraffe, and Elephant and Sunset Drive Discuss: General observations about South African cultural heritage; Animal reports

Sunday, June 24: Marloth Park 
Printing & Reflection Day
PM Meeting: Printmaking — Photo transfer
2nd Reflection Paper Due
Boma Dinner?

Monday, June 25: Drive to Nelspruit and fly to Cape Town  

Tuesday, June 26: Cape Town
District Six & Homecoming Center

Discuss: How can museums help communities process their history, especially when it is marked by social and political conflict? What different perspectives are represented within museums? Who makes decisions about collections and how they are presented? What role does ‘renaming of places/sites” play in reclaiming identity? Whose memories are recorded? Acknowledged? Celebrated?

Wednesday, June 27: Cape Town
Lwandle Worker’s Museum
Evening: Possibly Stellenbosch Museum Exhibit Opening

Discuss: What are examples of cultural expression that reflect the fusion of new and old traditions? What role do arts and cultural heritage play in the transformation, stabilization, or revitalization of communities? How do arts impact or address contemporary issues such as AIDS?

Thursday, June 28: Cape Town
Robben Island Museum
South African National Gallery
Evening: Possibly Museum Night at Waterfront

Discuss: What is South African about South African art? What are some of the reoccurring themes in the work of the major artists of apartheid era and post‐apartheid South African art? What special opportunities and/or responsibilities do cultural institutions have to present multiple perspectives of diverse groups? What makes art “traditional” or “contemporary”? What are examples of cultural expression that reflect the fusion of new and old traditions? What responsibilities does society have to support indigenous cultures?

Friday, June 29: Cape Town
Zeitz Museum
Woodstock Galleries & Streetwires

Discuss: How do our own memories impact the story we want to tell? What stories resonate with each of us? How can we most effectively convey those to others? What kinds of information connects with different audiences? How do we make decisions about what information to share with visitors?

Saturday, June 30: Cape Town
Groot Constantia

Sunday, July 1: Cape Town
Reflection Day
Reflection Paper #2 due

Monday, July 2: Cape Town
Meet with Iziko
If finish early: Possibly Norval Art Foundation

Tuesday, July 3: First day of Internship!

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