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There are a variety of educational resources available on and about South Africa for both students and teachers alike. The following compilation of resources of both general online resources and materials found specifically at Northwestern University Libraries are offered to both enhance the student learning experience and to provide teachers with interest in teaching Africa with knowledge of educational resources that can be found at many local libraries.

Online Resources

The compiled online resources (23) are readily accessible on the internet covers both South African and International websites. The sites cover South African current events, art, geography, and politics. The online resources provide a window into South African society with streaming local news and radio to major newspaper publications. See the list.


The Geographic Information System (GIS) map of Johannesburg created specifically for this project allow students to explore the city of Johannesburg by using present spatial and geographic data. The particular mapping of Johannesburg provides points of interest to a city and region that has gone through tremendous spatial changes after the decline of apartheid. However, make no mistake issues of segregation, wealth, poverty, inequality, and uneven development still persists.  See the map.

South African Fiction

Over the many decades there have been tremendous contributions to South African literature. Contributions to a rich literary tradition which includes authors like Nadine Gordimer, Alan Paton, and J. M. Coetzee.  The South African literary canons have primarily focused on the apartheid experience. The following compilation of contemporary South African fiction focuses on a post-apartheid experience from a variety of perspectives. The list includes both prominent and up and coming South African writers. See the list.

South African Literary Criticism

The compiled list of literary criticism reflects on the course of current literary production by a new generation of South African writers. Historically, the breadth of South Africa fiction has gone hand in hand with the tumultuous social conditions within the country. South Africa has a tremendous literary tradition championing human rights and the end of the Apartheid system. As South Africa transitions from Apartheid to Democracy writers explore both old and new themes that resonate with a changing society. This compilation focuses on the literary criticisms that connect these two periods and illuminates on the growth and evolution of South African literature as it is viewed today. See the list.

South African Films

Films on and about South Africa are too numerous to comprehensively list. This selected compilation displays the wealth, breath, and diversity of South African films produced over several decades of filmmaking. Several films on this list are adaptations of seminal literary works. Many of the films on this list are also of the Hollywood variety. However, there are a few locally made films that are included. Most importantly, films are an excellent media to teach and explore topics in South African history, politics, and culture.  See the list.

Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies

Established in 1954, the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University is the largest separate Africana collection in existence. Its scope is as wide as the continent of Africa itself; its subject matter ranges from art, history, literature, music, and religion to communications, management, and cooking. The Africana collection is a resource for the entire university, and most of Northwestern’s disciplinary programs are reflected in the collection. In addition to serving the Northwestern community, the Herskovits Library staff also serves regional, national, and international scholars as well. Visit the library’s website.