Friday, October 11, 2013
Inside USD -- Mike Williams, PhD, is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations and a 1992 USD undergraduate alumnus. Inside USD asked Professor Williams a few questions to gain a better understanding of what drives his research and instruction.
Q: You are an expert on South Africa and have spent considerable time in the country. What led to your fascination with South Africa?
I first visited South Africa during the summer of 1991. I was in South Africa touring a production of a play called “The Birthday Party” with a group of students that I had met while studying in Oxford, England. While in South Africa, I was able to talk with people about the future of their country and the conversations that I had were fascinating. Mandela had been released from prison in February 1990 and the country was still three years away from their first election. Whether the transition would be successful or end in a civil war was still unknown in 1991 and I came back to USD (I was a student here at the time) with a passion for all things Africa. In addition to visiting South Africa, I also traveled through Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and Kenya. (Full Article)