1887

n Historia - The South African College and the emergence of History as a university discipline in South Africa

Volume 49, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0018-229X
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Abstract

<b>Die South African College en die totstandkoming van Geskiedenis as 'n universiteitsdissipline in Suid-Afrika.</b> <br>Ten einde te verstaan hoe geskiedenis in 1906 as 'n volwaardige universiteitsdissipline in Suid-Afrika aanvaar is, plaas hierdie artikel die proses in die konteks van die intellektuele en akademiese politiek van die negentiende eeu, eerstens dié van die Kaap se koloniale metropool, Groot Brittanje, en dan dié van die Kaapkolonie self. Dit was eers in die laaste kwart van die negentiende eeu dat geskiedenis amptelike erkenning as universiteitsdissipline in Brittanje en haar setlaarskolonies verwerf het. Aan die Kaap is die aanvaarding daarvan egter vertraag deur die konserwatisme van die kolonie se enigste universiteit, die <I>University of the Cape of Good Hope</I>. Dit was slegs toe die leidende plaaslike universiteitskollege, die <I>South African College</I>, die inisiatief geneem het en in 1903 'n leerstoel in geskiedenis ingestel het ('n stap wat 'n jaar later deur <I>Victoria College</I>, Stellenbosch, nagevolg is), dat die Universiteit toegegee het en aan geskiedenis die status van 'n outonome, volwaardige dissipline toegeken het. Hierdie artikel analiseer wie en wat agter die South African College se weliswaar nie-eenparige innovasie, gestaan het en onthul daarmee die deurslaggewende rol van Henry Fremantle, 'n professor in Engels en filosofie, sowel as van die gunstige na-oorlogse atmosfeer waarin 'n nuwe Suid- Afrika gebou is.

To understand how history came to be accepted as a full university discipline in its own right in South Africa in 1906, this article locates this process in the realm of the intellectual and academic politics of the nineteenth century, first those of the Cape's colonial metropole, Great Britain, and then those of the Cape Colony itself. Only in the last quarter of the nineteenth century did history gain official recognition as an independent university discipline in Britain, as well as in its colonies of settlement. At the Cape, however, this acceptance was delayed by the conservatism of the Colony's sole university, the University of the Cape of Good Hope, and it was only when the leading local university college, the South African College, took the initiative and established a chair of history in 1903 (a step emulated by Victoria College, Stellenbosch, a year later), that it yielded and accorded history the status of an autonomous, fully-fledged discipline. This article analyses who and what lay behind the South African College's by-no-means unanimous innovation and, in so doing, reveals the decisive role played by Henry Fremantle, a professor of English and philosophy, and by the favourable post-war environment of constructing a new South Africa.

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/content/hist/49/1/EJC38146
2004-05-01
2016-12-10

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