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Knowledge in the Blood: Confronting Race and the Apartheid Past

Knowledge in the Blood: Confronting Race and the Apartheid Past (Hardback)

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This book tells the story of white South African students-how they remember and enact an Apartheid past they were never part of. How is it that young Afrikaners, born at the time of Mandela's release from prison, hold firm views about a past they never lived, rigid ideas about black people, and fatalistic thoughts about the future? Jonathan Jansen, the first black dean of education at the historically white University of Pretoria, was dogged by this question during his tenure, and Knowledge in the Blood seeks to answer it.

Jansen offers an intimate look at the effects of social and political change after Apartheid as white students first experience learning and living alongside black students. He reveals the novel role pedagogical interventions played in confronting the past, as well as critical theory's limits in dealing with conflict in a world where formerly clear-cut notions of victims and perpetrators are blurred.

While Jansen originally set out simply to convey a story of how white students changed under the leadership of a diverse group of senior academics, Knowledge in the Blood ultimately became an unexpected account of how these students in turn changed him. The impact of this book's unique, wide-ranging insights in dealing with racial and ethnic divisions will be felt far beyond the borders of South Africa.

Jonathan D. Jansen is Honorary Professor of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand and Visiting Fellow at the National Research Foundation, both in South Africa. He was a Fulbright Scholar at Stanford University and Dean of Education at the University of Pretoria. His latest co-authored book is Diversity High: Class, Color, Character and Culture in a South African High School.

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