How can a constitution be racist? Kate Frisch (’14) explains in her Summer Scholars project on the ‘Native Question’ in South Africa

by roanokecollege on September 10, 2013

Kate Frisch (’14) is a double major in history and international relations with a concentration in Africana studies. For her research project

“I analyzed the four constitutions of South Africa from 1910 to 1994, as well six of the commissions that preceded them in order to prove that they are part of a broader historical trend. I argued that each constitution responded to what I deemed the ‘Native Question,’ which refers to the white minority populations need for control over the black majority. I analyzed primary source documents and drew conclusions about what each constitution and commission proved about that specific time period as well as how each referred to the question of race as it evolved throughout each of the four constitutions.”

As for her experience as a Summer Scholar, Kate says that

“I really enjoyed being able to do research that interested me instead of conforming to a class prompt and I was able to follow my own curiosities because there wasn’t as strict of a deadline as in a classroom setting.”

Kate Frisch and Dr. Jesse Bucher

Kate’s faculty mentor was Dr. Jesse Bucher.

Kate also notes that

“I started out with one topic and ended up writing about something totally different. it was difficult letting the project naturally evolve and then understanding that it’s okay to change the topic based on the available research.”

Kate advises other student researchers to think and plan their project early.

“You can’t predict where the research is going to take you. In order to get the most out of it I would recommend starting early so that you have the ability to learn and explore the topic as much as possible.”

Kate plans to apply to law school this year with an early interest in international law.


Talk more with Kate and other student researchers at:

Family Weekend Showcase of Experiential Learning on Friday, September 27, 2013 6-8pm in Fintel Library

Roanoke College students from all disciplines will showcase their research, creative works and experiences from intensive learning travel courses.

The event kicks off with a social at 6 p.m. and a keynote speaker at 6:15 p.m. Students will stand at their posters at 6:45 p.m. Attendees should roam throughout Fintel Library and stop to talk to students.

Drop by the registration table for more information on experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, service-learning, study abroad, creative and artistic works and research.

Students, present at the showcase by submitting a short form.

Latest program information

Find more information about Roanoke College Research:

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