Douglas Foster, Associate Professor at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism
Recent works on South Africa have focused primarily on Nelson Mandela’s transcendent story. But Douglas Foster, a leading South Africa authority with early, unprecedented access to President Zuma and to the next generation in the Mandela family, traces the nation’s entire post-apartheid arc, from its celebrated beginnings under “Madiba” to Thabo Mbeki’s tumultuous rule to the ferocious battle between Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. Foster tells this story not only from the point of view of the emerging black elite but also, drawing on hundreds of rare interviews over a six-year period, from the perspectives of ordinary citizens, including an HIV-infected teenager living outside Johannesburg and a homeless orphan in Cape Town.
Douglas Foster is an Associate Professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where he oversees the South African Journalism Residency Program. Foster’s most recent major feature stories are “Jacob’s Ladder,” in the June 2009 Atlantic and “Letter from Johannesburg: The Trouble with Transformation,” in the September 2004 issue of Columbia Journalism Review. His most recent review in the Washington Post was “The Promise of South Africa,” published on Aug. 2, 2009.
The World Beyond the Headlines lecture series is a project of the Center for International Studies. This program is cosponsored by the International House Global Voices Program, the Seminary Coop Bookstore, and the African Studies Workshop.