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Postgraduate Courses

Public Culture Internship Course (AXL4204F)

PLEASE NOTE: The internship allows you to attend to your other courses or whatever other academic requirements (other lectures / seminars) for the fulfilment of your degree. You are therefore required to work out your own suitable and agreed attendance and participation programme with your assigned mentor / supervisor on site.

Course convenor & Academic Supervisor: Dr June Bam-Hutchison


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First Quarter

11 February – 12 April 2019

Second Quarter

23 April – 7 June 2019


12 April – 22 April 2019

Who is the course for?

This course is for those post graduate students at Honours / Masters level who have completed first degrees in fields such as History, Anthropology, Archaeology, Architecture etc. and who wish to pursue a post graduate interdisciplinary degree in Museum Studies, Heritage Studies, Archival Studies, Public Culture etc.

What is the aim of the course?

The aim of the course is to offer a practical grounding in a theoretically reflective praxis in a real professional experience on site.

Where will students be placed?

Students will be placed for 12 weeks between 18 February and 7 June 2019 with museums, cultural organisations, relevant government departments, parks, NGOs etc. of their choice in Cape Town. A mentor and site supervisor will be assigned to each student.

The first week from 11 – 15 February will comprise a 2 hour introductory session at CAS and a discussion on the outline and aims and objectives of the course with the convenor and academic supervisor. Proposed mentors may also be invited to attend this session. There will be 2 assessment seminars held at CAS during the 12 weeks. See assessment section below.

Requirements for students

Attendance of the placement is 100%.

The student reports daily to the assigned mentor at the site.

The student engages fully with staff as a fellow professional staff member, completing all the assigned and agreed duties. In the event of a breach of such an agreement, this must be brought to the immediate attention of the academic supervisor.

The student fills in the daily attendance register.

The academic supervisor will meet each student on site on two occasions by arranged appointment during the internship cycle to discuss progress, provide support and discuss feedback with the student including the identified research question.

Professional Training Areas

Students can choose their internship to focus specifically on one of the following 6 professional training areas:

  1. Curatorship & Exhibitions
  2. Collections Management
  3. Conservation Management
  4. Community Engagement programmes
  5. Schools Education programmes
  6. Youth Engagement

Assessment is as follows:

Attendance and engagement: (self reflective daily journal in which the practice of and theoretical aspects of the internship are critically engaged with): 40%

Due: 7 June 2019

Development of a Research Proposal of 1000 words (Part 1): Each candidate develops a research question around a key aspect and presents this in a seminar format at CAS. The proposed research question should engage the theoretical issues and key concepts in Public Culture in Africa in the chosen area of the internship. 10%  Due: 8 April 2019

Research Essay of 4000 words (Part 2): Each candidate produces an analytical essay which engages the theoretical issues and key concepts in Public Culture in Africa. The self reflective daily journal should be theoretically integrated into the research essay. 40%

Due: 07 June 2019

Class Presentation of research findings: This will take the form of a class seminar at CAS at the end of the internship. Each candidate is expected to present for 10 minutes, followed by a Q&A interactive session with peers. 10%.

Date: 31 May 2019

Suggested general reading:

Appadurai, A. and Breckenridge, C.A., 1988. Why public culture?. Public Culture1(1), pp.5-9.

Appadurai, A., 1990. Disjuncture and difference in the global cultural economy. Theory, culture & society7(2-3), pp.295-310.

Appiah, A., 1993. In my father's house: Africa in the philosophy of culture. OUP USA.

Baines, G., 1998. The rainbow nation? Identity and nation building in post-apartheid South Africa. Mots pluriels7, pp.1-10.

Bam, June, Ntsebeza, Lungisile., and Zinn, Allan (editors). 2018. Whose History Counts? Decolonising Precolonial African Historiography, SunMedia, Stellenbosch,

Bystrom, K. and Nuttall, S., 2013. Introduction: private lives and public cultures in South Africa. Cultural Studies27(3), pp.307-332.

Coetzee, C. and Nuttall, S., 1998. Negotiating the past: The making of memory in South Africa. Cape Town: Oxford UP.

Comaroff, J.L. and Comaroff, J., 2009. Ethnicity, Inc. University of Chicago Press.

Coombes, A.E., 2003. History after apartheid: Visual culture and public memory in a democratic South Africa. Duke University Press.

Dolby, N., 2006. Popular culture and public space in Africa: The possibilities of cultural citizenship. African Studies Review49(3), pp.31-47.

Fabian, J., 1978. Popular culture in Africa: findings and conjectures. Africa48(4), pp.315-334.

Falola, T., 2017. Ritual Archives. In The Palgrave Handbook of African Philosophy (pp. 703-728). Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

Foucault, M. and Miskowiec, J., 1986. Of other spaces. diacritics16(1), pp.22-27.

Foucault, M., 2005. The order of things. Routledge.

Hall, S. ed., 1997. Representation: Cultural representations and signifying practices (Vol. 2). Sage.

Hall, S., 2001. Encoding/decoding. Media and cultural studies: Keyworks16676.

Hamilton, C., Harris, V., Pickover, M., Reid, G., Saleh, R. and Taylor, J. eds., 2012. Refiguring the archive. Springer Science & Business Media.

Mazrui, A.A.A. and Johnson, P., 1986. The Africans: A triple heritage (pp. 89-99). London: Bbc Publications.

Mbembé, J.A. and Nuttall, S., 2004. Writing the world from an African metropolis. Public culture16(3), pp.347-372.

Mbembé, J.A. and Rendall, S., 2000. At the edge of the world: Boundaries, territoriality, and sovereignty in Africa. Public culture12(1), pp.259-284.

McGregor, J. and Schumaker, L., 2006. Heritage in Southern Africa: imagining and marketing public culture and history. Journal of Southern African Studies32(4), pp.649-665.

Nora, P., 1989. Between memory and history: Les lieux de mémoire. representations, pp.7-24.

Peterson, D.R., Gavua, K. and Rassool, C. eds., 2015. The Politics of Heritage in Africa: economies, histories, and infrastructures (Vol. 48). Cambridge University Press.

Rankin, E. and Hamilton, C., 1999. REVISION; REACTION; RE‐VISION; The role of museums in (a) transforming South Africa. Museum Anthropology22(3), pp.3-13.

Rassool, C., 2000. The rise of heritage and the reconstitution of history in South Africa. Kronos, pp.1-21.

Scott, C.A. ed., 2016. Museums and public value: creating sustainable futures. Routledge.