History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

HIST 499: Senior Seminar in History

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Section Information from the Schedule of Classes for Fall 2012

HIST 499-001:
Apartheid  —  Benedict Carton

04:30 PM to 07:10 PM T —  Innovation Hall 208

When we hear the word Apartheid, we sometimes think of Nelson Mandela’s triumphs: his Nobel Peace Prize and long struggle to transform South Africa into a democracy. Our course examines Apartheid itself. This modern system of legalized racial and “tribal” segregation dominated South Africa from 1948 to the early 1990s. We will trace the historical processes that led to Apartheid rule and its forms of economic, political and social control; identify the global ideologies, rooted in Social Darwinism and eugenics, that influenced Apartheid laws and mentalities; and study the rise of nationalisms (both “ethnic” and “black”), which determined the course of white supremacy in twentieth-century South Africa. Finally, we will explore the leaders, Mandela among them, and movements that resisted Apartheid, thereby making the cause of anti-racism a pivotal goal of international human rights campaigns during the Cold War.

Satisfies the general education requirement in synthesis.

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Research on specialized historical topic culminating in seminar paper and oral presentation. Synthesis course; students expected to integrate knowledge and skills acquired in Mason Core courses.

Satisfies General Education requirement for synthesis..


History majors with 90 credits, ENGL 302/ENGH 302, HIST 300, and completion or concurrent enrollment in all Mason Core courses.


Subject determined by instructor. Student may present no more than 3 credits for graduation credit. Must receive passing grade to graduate with BA in history.

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