Doctoral Degrees (History)

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    The history of physical education at Stellenbosch University, 1937-2019
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Daries, Anell Stacey; Swart, Sandra; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of History
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis offers a nuanced dissection of the rise and development of physical education, later reimagined as sport science, as a department and as an academic discipline at Stellenbosch University from its inception in 1937 to 2019. Located within a complex institutional history, the thesis foregrounds the extent to which the university’s ethos of conservativism and traditionalist values influenced departmental shifts over the course of eight decades. In tracing the discipline’s intellectual legacies, the thesis examines the ways in which strata such as race, class, gender and geography shaped the trajectory of physical education, both within the context of the university and on a national scale. At its core, the thesis foregrounds the extent to which the university played a crucial role in the politics of nation-building across the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. By analysing the ways in which political and social drivers have influenced institutional decision making throughout the segregationist, apartheid and democratic eras, the thesis presents three key arguments. First, as an established leader in the national physical education standardisation movement of the early to mid-twentieth century, the thesis argues that Stellenbosch University played an integral part in the advancement of Afrikaner nation-building. The second argument traces the discipline’s strategic quest for legitimacy and the scientification of physical education. Here too the thesis foregrounds the political undertows of ‘race betterment’ and how physical education was employed as a tool of ‘citizen making’. Furthermore, the thesis demonstrates that in aiding the national physical education standardisation movement of the 1930s and 1940s, prominent physical educationists based at Stellenbosch University pushed the discipline towards science. The third central contention highlights the state of physical education within the context of the ‘new South Africa’. In the era of democracy, the post-1994 regime did not consider physical education as a matter of national concern in the same way as before. Following South Africa’s readmission into the international sports arena, sporting ‘mega events’ now serve as a means through which to forge the foundations of the new nation.
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    Procession, pilgrimage and protest : a historical study of the Qadiriyya-Nasiriyya and Islamic movement in Nigeria, public religiosity in Northern Nigeria, 1952-2021
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Shehu, Abdullahi Hamisu; Fransch, Chet; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of History.
    ENGLISH SUMMARY : This dissertation explores the changing history, mode of organization and conduct of the Maukibi (procession) of the Qadiriyya-Nasiriyya (QN) Sufi group and the Muzahara (procession and protest) and the Tattaki (pilgrimage) of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) Shia group. The former was introduced in 1952 and practiced within the confine of urban area of Kano state while the latter in 1981 and staged in varied spaces across northern Nigeria, particularly from 1996. Practiced differently, the Tattaki, unlike urban-based Muzahara, members trekked across state borders to Zaria via designated meeting points within the region. Analyzed in different historical contexts, these public religious rituals have since become defining practices of these two religious groups which, among multitude of religious groups in Nigeria, pattern their public religiosity. While the extant historical and anthropological studies on religious groups in Nigeria pay more attention to their evolution, transformation, sectarian fragmentation, and entangled relations among them, motivated by different socio-political and economic atmosphere, they hardly explore the phenomenon of public religiosity⸺ Maukibi, Muzahara and Tattaki ⸺of the QN and IMN. The dissertation fills this historiographical gap by exploring the culture of veneration of saints as the underlying genesis of all these public practices and the way in which, in the long run, the practices are instrumentalized in the making and revitalizating of collective identities in the saturated northern Nigeria’s religious landscape. By locating these practices within the broader scholarly conversations on nationalism, identity, politics, public order policing and violence, the dissertation posits that the practices constitute a new dimension of popular religiosity and represent the intricate nexus between religion, identity construction, commemoration and security in the region. With their distinctive features of appropriation of public spaces, massing of bodies, mass mobilization and transcendence, the dissertation demonstrates that different government(s) deployed various uneven regulatory measures to tame them. These regulatory measures ranged from confinement, postponement, restriction, repression and ban. While the application of these measures varies: the Maukibi was regulated by confinement, postponement and restriction; Muzahara by repression and ban, the latter measures resulted in the death of many of the IMN members over the last three decades and many more injured or incarcerated. Multitude of sources and methodologies have been used: primary and secondary sources, qualitative method, content analysis and observation.
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    A history of the death penalty in Botswana, c.1891-2021
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Mushininga, Cecilia; Swart, Sandra Scott; Dube, Thembani; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of History.
    ENGLISH SUMMARY : This thesis explores the historiography of the death penalty in Botswana. It provides an analysis of how the justice system has applied the death penalty. The thesis locates the idiographic particularities of Botswana within the broader capital punishment histories of southern Africa and draws comparisons. Initially, the thesis seeks to correct theories from human rights activists, who try to ‘purify’ the pre-colonial Tswana communities, claiming that capital punishment was a colonial imposition. It demonstrates that, on the contrary, Tswana communities embraced the death penalty for a variety of crimes although it was applied fairly idiosyncratically and variably. Thereafter, this thesis demonstrates that the death penalty was not politicized during the colonial period – or, at least not to suppress dissent, unlike other countries that waged bitter struggles for independence. Moreover, it contends that even in the post-colonial period the country has not used the death penalty for any politically motivated purposes – at least, not internally. It is arguable that Botswana has not entertained any outside pressure to abolish the death penalty at least partly to assert its independence and sovereignty, refusing to bow to diplomatic pressure. Consequently, the Botswana courts have maintained jurisdiction over crimes that attract capital punishment without any external influence. The thesis also shows changes over time in how Botswana has handled passion killing and ritual murder crimes. It delves deeper into the doctrine of extenuating circumstances and what has been accepted in the courts of law to diminish the moral culpability of the accused at the time of committing the crime. Finally, the thesis explores the abolition movement and how Botswana remains unyielding to international and local pressure calling for the abolition of the death penalty.
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    One percent terror, ninety-nine percent boredom: an analysis of the military boredom and leisure time experiences of SADF soldiers during the South African Border War 1966–1989
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Eriksen, Garrett Ernst; Grundlingh, A. M., 1948-; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of History.
    ENGLISH SUMMARY : The soldier's recreational time is not particularly well-researched, even in contemporary armies, with most emphasis being placed on the battles themselves, their aftermath and post-war trauma. Important aspects indeed, however, a soldier’s activities when resting, recovering or when keeping themselves entertained between adrenaline-soaked action is also worthy of scrutiny as it raises questions on war and society, and opens a window into the base-level mental state of what one could consider “professional combatants”. Using conscripts deployed during the South African Border War 1966-1989 as a case study, this research considers the causes and impacts of military boredom for the Cold War-era South African soldier as well as the strategies employed and structures built to overcome this state. This study reviews the institutional and the interpersonal circumstance of the bored South African Defence Force (SADF) soldier by exploring and analysing the historical, sociological, and psychological costs of boredom and leisure strategies whilst considering the interplay between boredom and trauma, the weighty influence of an increasingly militarised society, and finally how veterans now navigate memorialising this time in their lives. Evidence has revealed that, as the war progressed, the SADF became increasingly aware that leisure was as much a need to cater to, and boredom as much a state to guard against, as were clean water and nutritious food needed to ensure the physiological well-being of the soldiers under their command. Countering boredom, as a result, became a significant enterprise into which many resources were funnelled, from simpler aspects such as ensuring access to reading materials to more involved and far-reaching socio-military structures such as sports, religious organisations, and civilian support networks such as the Southern Cross Fund. For the men themselves, resolving boredom was as much an exercise in relieving daily duty drudgery as it was about survival in a hostile and alien environment with some successfully bearing their required National Service as a result, whilst for others, these strategies led to significant trauma and destructive coping mechanisms. The result of this study is a broader image of an under-researched conflict that demonstrates that the impact of the lesser known 99% of boredom is as important to a fuller understanding of this war as the 1% of terror is. This is also where a significant aspect of the human cost of such a war is hidden, the impact of which we are only now beginning to understand.
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    Work, wedlock and widows : comparing the lives of coloured and white women in Cape Town, 1900–1960
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Rommelspacher, Amy Fairbairn; Fourie, Johan; Bickford-Smith, Vivian; Inwood, Kris; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of History.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation explores the lives of coloured* and white women in Cape Town from 1900 to 1960. This period includes the South African War, the formation of the Union, white women obtaining the vote, the two World Wars and the formalisation of apartheid. The comparison is appropriate because the population sizes of the two groups were similar – and there were many other social and cultural similarities, from language to religion. One important difference is that while white women have received some academic attention in South African history, coloured women have not. This work aims to fill the gap. I do so using sources such as a household survey and marriage records in order to understand their position in society. Themes that are investigated include marriage age, employment trends, family structures, living standards, wages and the gender wage gap, to name a few. Although these topics might seem disparate, they are all aspects of women’s lives that have been identified as important factors in understanding women’s agency within a society. Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum have argued that these aspects of women’s lives, such as whether or not they are employed in paid labour, play a pivotal role in their own position in society as well as that society as a whole. Ultimately, my purpose is to study the factors that shaped the lives of coloured and white women in early twentieth-century Cape Town. In other parts of the world these aspects of women’s lives have been investigated by historians in much detail, but women’s history in South Africa has been marked by different concerns and approaches. When South African scholars first turned their attention to women’s history, the country was in political turmoil amidst the apartheid regime; this set the tone in the field for decades. This thesis focuses on the history of coloured and white women in South Africa by asking new questions and adopting new approaches to answer them. While the subject is no longer neglected in South Africa, there are areas of women’s history and approaches to the field that have been overlooked. Women’s history has been limited by the availability of sources – and these sources usually focus on specific aspects of women’s lives, such as their involvement in political organisations or events. Often, though, we lack a basic understanding of women’s social lives. This has forced historians to make assumptions; assumptions that I am able to test with new evidence. This dissertation therefore challenges some ideas that have been expressed in existing historiography. One such idea, for example, is that all white households employed domestic servants in South African history. New sources and approaches show that this was simply not the case. This dissertation also provides significant information on wages – something that is severely under-researched in South African history. This wage information is used in this thesis to determine the nature of women’s work in Cape Town, to understand race and gender wage gaps and to ascertain whether Cape Town was a male-breadwinner society. Interdisciplinary methods and new ways of using source material now provide the opportunity to study hidden aspects of women’s lives that have been disregarded. These new approaches can challenge past assumptions and shed light on new questions.