Maymester 2021. Virtual Study Abroad: Engaging Contemporary South African Literature

Posted On February 24, 2021
Categories News & Events


Sponsor: College of Arts & Sciences, Department of English
Program Directors: Renée Schatteman, Associate Professor, and Beth Gylys, Professor
Course Numbers: English 3965/8756 (undergraduate and graduate literature course in postcolonial studies) and English 4205/8900 (undergraduate and graduate creative writing course)

What is the course about?

In this three-week virtual Study Abroad program, you will study contemporary works (written in five different genres) by South African writers and then you will have the opportunity to meet each of these writers (virtually) as they will all be visiting the class to talk about the content and the craft of their creative expression. While literature will be the primary lens we use in the course, you will also learn about the political history of post-independent South from visiting scholars. And to enhance your understanding of South African culture, an art historian will provide a lecture on contemporary South African art, making use of youtube “walk abouts” and “artist talks” created by art museums in the Cape Town area.

What will we be reading?  

  • Unimportance (novel) by Thando Mqgolozana
  • Poems from The Mountain behind the House and short stories from The Swimming Lesson and Other Stories by Kobus Moolman
  • Essays from Only My Truth (forthcoming collection) by Sindiwe Magona
  • Poems from Collective Amnesia by Koleka Putuma
  • No Easter Sunday for Queers (drama) by Koleka Putuma
  • The Woman of the Stone Sea (novel) by Meg Vandermerwe

Note: Texts will be shipped to the US from South Africa and the cost of the books will be covered for those students apply for the course (which also serves as application for the IEF–International Education Fund—by March 29th.

How to sign up for the course?

Go to the following link to apply for the course:

If you have any questions, please contact Renee Schatteman ( or Beth Gylys ( Reminder: to get the cost of your books covered, you must let us know of your interest and apply before March 29th. The application also serves as the application for the IEF scholarship. The scholarship covers the cost of the books and the honoraria for guest speakers.