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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The South African College and the emergence of history as a university discipline in South Africa
Author:Phillips, HowardISNI
Periodical:Historia: amptelike orgaan
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:history education
Abstract: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 postwar environment of constructing a new South Africa. Notes, ref., sum. in English and Afrikaans. [Journal abstract]