Confronting the Past | Newberry

Confronting the Past

The Literature of Human Rights in South Africa
Thursday, January 19, 2012Friday, January 20, 2012

9 am - 3 pm

Room B92

Programs for Teachers
Chicago Teachers as Scholars

This Teachers as Scholars seminar will focus on one of the world’s most remarkable ventures in confronting past human rights abuses: the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). In order to understand South Africa’s effort to deal with its traumatic past and the many challenges confronted by the TRC, we will analyze a variety of nonfiction texts, particularly the poet Antjie Krog’s compelling memoir of covering the TRC as a white South African journalist. We will also read a brief selection from the testimonies of the Commission’s Human Rights Violations Hearings and discuss segments of the documentary film, Long Nights Journey into Day. These materials will help us to reflect on the translation of traumatic experience into text, the role of language in individual and societal forms of healing, and the significance of both psychological and material forms of recovery.

Seminar led by Rebecca Saunders, Illinois State University

To access seminar readings, please go to

Teachers as Scholars is a program exclusively for Chicago Public Schools teachers.