Liberation Struggles in Southern Africa - HIST6114

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2023 to 2024.


The overthrow of white settler minority rule and apartheid by the peoples of South Africa and Zimbabwe marked a key period in the history of the twentieth century. This module traces the trajectory of these linked liberation struggles both by examining contemporary written and visual sources and by engaging with current debates. Themes to be discussed include the dynamics of anti-colonial nationalism, the tactics and strategy of armed insurrection, the influence of the Cold War, the use of propaganda and the ambiguities of independence.


Contact hours

Total contact hours 88
Total private study hours: 512
Total module study hours: 600

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

Essay 1 (3,000 words) 10%
Source Analysis 1 (2,000 words) 10%
Essay 2 (3,000 words) 10%
Source Analysis 2 (2,000 words) 10%
Final Examination 1 (2 hours, essay based) 30%
Final Examination 2 (2 hours, Gobbet analysis) ** 30%

Reassessment methods:
Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

P Alexander, Workers, war and the origins of Apartheid: labour and politics in South Africa, 1939-48 (Oxford, 2000).
A. Cohen, The Politics and Economics of Decolonization: The Failed Experiment of the Central African Federation (London, 2017)
G. Hill, The Battle for Zimbabwe: The Final Countdown (Cape Town, 2003)
T. Lodge, Sharpeville: An apartheid Massacre and its Consequences (London, 2011)
N. Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom (Johannesburg, 1995)
A Mlambo, . A History of Zimbabwe (Cambridge, 2014)
B. Raftopoulos and A. Mlambo (eds), Becoming Zimbabwe (Harare, 2009).
D. Welsh, The Rise and Fall of Apartheid (Johannesburg, 2009)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Develop an enhanced and sophisticated understanding of the dynamics of anti-colonialism in a global context as well as specify its regional circumstances.
2 Develop an ability to examine and critically evaluate the merits of different primary sources.
3 Analyse and debate an exceptionally fierce historiography.
4 Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the historical underpinnings of the tensions existing in governing African liberation movements today

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Interpret a range of secondary as well as primary sources in order to create sophisticated assessment outputs.
2 Demonstrate an advanced level of research and interpretation and the flexibility to present findings in a variety of ways.
3 Work individually and collectively in seminars and to convey views in a succinct and effective manner.
4 Demonstrate an ability to manage time and work-load effectively so as to produce a consistently high level of output.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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