1st Edition

Uprooting University Apartheid in South Africa From Liberalism to Decolonization

By Teresa Barnes Copyright 2019

    South Africa continues to be an object of fascination for people everywhere interested in social justice issues, postcolonial studies and critical race theory as manifested by the enormous worldwide attention given to the #RhodesMustFall movement. In this book, Teresa Barnes examines universities’ complex positioning in the apartheid era and argues that tracing the institutional legacies left by pro-apartheid intellectuals are crucial to understanding the fight to transform South African higher education.

    A work of interpretive social history, this book investigates three historical dynamics in the relationship between the apartheid system and South African higher education. First, it explores how the legitimacy of apartheid was historically reproduced in public higher education. Second, it looks at ways that academics maneuvered through and influenced national and international discourses of political freedom and legitimacy. Third, it explores how and where stubborn tendrils of apartheid-era knowledge production practices survived into and have been combatted during the democratic era in South African universities.


    Introduction: looking into the shadows

    1  A.H. Murray: a significant man

    2  Liberalism in time and space: apartheid’s kindred spirit

    3  Liberalism at work: complicity and the University of Cape Town

    4  Fighting a cold war: political trials

    5  In deep shadow: espionage and the university community

    6  Classrooms of our own: intersectionalities of decolonization




    Teresa Barnes is the Director of  the Center for African Studies and an Associate Professor in the History and Gender and Women’s Studies Departments at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA.