Dillon Bergin

Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow

20182019 Forum on Stuff

Dillon Bergin

Comparative Literature

CAS, 2019

Dillon is a senior Comparative Literature major with a minor in Journalistic Writing, who studied German Literature in the beautiful city of Freiburg, Germany before transferring to Penn as junior. The focus of his project for the Wolf Humanities Forum will land on yet a another continent however, as he researches a modern student revolt in South Africa. The idea for this began when he wrote an article for the Daily Pennsylvanian about two Penn students who left their South African universities in the wake of these protests. When his editor refused to publish the article because it was too political, he took this as a challenge to make into a larger project. This summer he worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer and spent a month in South Africa to continue research. His interest is stories, and food, and this seems to frequently take him to new places and people.

Artifacts of Apartheid: Student Revolt in South Africa

The present paper analyses a student movement called FeesMustFall through students’ own writing about the ideas and emotions that shaped the movement. The protests began in South Africa in 2015 when students demanded that a statue of Cecil Rhodes, infamous British imperialist, be removed from the University of Cape Town campus. The protests continued from 2015 to 2016 as they expanded to universities across South Africa, taking on new meaning and new demands, while collectively falling under the banner of FeesMustFall. This paper will argue that because of the plurality of meaning and demands behind the protests, one must first engage with the plurality of the students’ voices themselves.