Tavern of the Seas:
The Maritime and Urban Heritage of
Pre- and Post-Apartheid Cape Town, South Africa

Summer Study Abroad Program
11 - 25 June 2017
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC, USA

All ECU-Registered Undergraduate and Graduate Students May Apply.
Non-ECU students may participate as registered visiting ECU students.

View Fantastic Photos of the 2014 Program and 2015 Program to South Africa


Photos Courtesy of South African Stamps and the World Wide Web

This program is an intensive study of the maritime and urban heritage of pre- and post-apartheid Cape Town, South Africa. Through a survey of core readings, on-site lecture presentations, coupled with visits to select places of historic import, students will explore the geographical, maritime, socio-cultural, and political history of Cape Town as well as the broad story of South Africa generally. This international experience on the Mother Continent---in one of the world's most fascinating, diverse, and beautiful cities---will contribute significantly to the homocentric character and global education of our students. Through their course of study and overall experience abroad, they will invariably discover some new dimensions of their own humanity and also its shared, interrelatedness with the humanity of South Africans and other ethnic groups in the region. In the main, of course, studying major themes of the maritime and urban heritage of Cape Town, and actually criss-crossing the Atlantic ocean, will undoubtedly be both a defining educational event and a very special transformational moment in the lives of ECU students. All ECU-registered undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply. Non-ECU students may also participate, provided they register as visiting students at ECU.

Specifically, we will explore the impact of the Cape sea port through time on the economy of the various seafaring nations and analyze the array of social interactions between seafarers, colonists and indigenous peoples through historical and archaeological journal articles and an array of primary sources including government documents, correspondence, period newspapers and material culture. Local Maritime Archaeologists and Museum Curators will present their research to our class. We will offer tours to maritime research centers and trips to local shipwrecks. The class includes a central focus on shipwreck management issues with discussions about public involvement and development of education courses, underwater heritage trails, conservation and curation of shipwreck artifact collections, and international research partnerships in maritime history and underwater archaeology.

The study will include at least two days documenting a beached shipwreck using a variety of traditional archaeological techniques. Students will conduct research in the Cape Town library and archives to more fully understand the historical context of the shipwrecks within South African history. Shipwreck documentation projects include Thomas Tucker a World War II American supply ship and the Kakapoa (1900) a South African supply ship that represent both South African and United States heritage. The Thomas Tucker is included on the South African shipwreck trail and will expose students to maritime heritage tourism concepts, plus add to the archaeological information on the wreck for trail stewards and heritage stakeholders.

Experience the defining educational event of your life. Discover new dimensions of your own humanity. Study the maritime and urban heritage of pre- and post-apartheid Cape Town, South Africa. Explore the geographical, maritime, socio-cultural, and political history of Cape Town as well as the broad story of South Africa. Visit the Mother Continent and one of the world's most fascinating, diverse, and beautiful cities. Climb Table Mountain, walk with the lions and feed the elephants, cage dive with the Great White sharks, relax on Cape Town’s famous beaches, engage the legacy of Nelson Mandela, interact with South Africa’s diverse ethnic groups, carry out beach maritime archaeology, enjoy South Africa’s famous cuisine, visit the township of Langa, ferry out to Robben Island, and sample the famous wines of Vergelegen. Earn up to seven undergraduate or graduate credit hours.


For more information, please contact:

Dr. Lynn Harris: 252-328-1967 or harrisly@ecu.edu
Dr. Kenneth Wilburn: 252-328-1029 or wilburnk@ecu.edu


Important Information:

Ready to register? Start here: Tavern of the Seas, the Maritime and Urban Heritage of Pre- and Post-Apartheid Cape Town, South Africa.
More general information can be found at ECU's Pirate's Abroad web site.


First Online Edition: 22 October 2009
Last Revised: 14 November 2016