n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - On rainbows and butterflies : the Classics, the Humanities and Africa : chairperson's address

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The purpose of teaching the Humanities and, in particular, the Classics, in a post-colonial African context, has been the subject of intense debate within South African and African universities. In this paper, I contribute to this debate by considering how the University of Ibadan in Nigeria has appropriated the classical tradition in a post-colonial context, and what classicists in South Africa can learn from the Ibadan . A brief discussion of the complex patron-client relationships, which underpin the survival of a strong Department of Classics at Ibadan, is intended to suggest how local cultural politics, inextricably linked to the history of the institution and the department, will affect the transformation of the curricula within African universities. Departments of Classics at South African universities will have to negotiate their paths to transformation as they reflect on why Classical Studies should continue to be taught in their specific South African contexts.


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