University

Degrees

Bachelor of Arts

About African American and African Studies

Africana Studies is an interdisciplinary program devoted to the understanding of Africa and people of African descent throughout the world. The department offers a major and minor at the undergraduate level, specialized graduate courses, and programming designed to raise consciousness about the histories and issues that concern black life.

Africana Studies exposes students to Africana culture, economics, politics, and history, both nationally and internationally. This is made possible by elite professors from several departments who teach about the Africana experience through innovative courses in Literature, Dance, Art, Sociology, Anthropology, Criminal Justice, and History.

 

What can I do with a major in Africana Studies?

Given its subject matter, many people may suspect that a degree in Africana Studies is only for those who can lay a biological claim to Africa. However, Africana Studies is not just for Africans or people of African descent, though it certainly holds special meanings for those groups. Consider the following benefits of an Africana Studies major or minor:

  • Understand the World from an Africana-informed Perspective
  • Connect and Critique Various Forms of Inequality
  • Achieve Your Personal, Professional, and Academic Goals

Understand the World from an Africana-informed Perspective

Africana is for anyone interested in how histories and ideas related to Africa, blackness, and race have shaped our world. It is for people who want to make sense of reality from the perspective of all the information that we have gained from African-descended thinkers, experiences, and cultures. Our core battery of courses in Africana theory, history, and literature provides a foundation for processing contemporary events and historical formations from an Africana perspective.

Connect and Critique Various Forms of Inequality

Present debates about race provide a powerful motivation for Africana Studies. But even beyond our present moment, Africana studies and related fields have been the home for pioneering critiques of perhaps the single most important social problem that affects us all: inequality. Black Studies helped to open a space for Women’s Studies and other identity-based programs, and it continues to debunk myths about white privilege, male power, and ethnocentrism. When done in a compassionate and thoughtful way, Africana Studies also has the ability to offer effective challenges to heterosexism, ableism, and other forms of discrimination that threaten to stigmatize a range of human differences.

Achieve Your Personal, Professional, and Academic Goals

With new capstone options, qualified Africana students can engage in learning experiences that bolster their preparation for graduate school, deepen their understanding of social problems, and practice skills that will make them more marketable in the professional world. Reduced and revised credit requirements enable students to degree more efficiently while also taking classes that speak to their own specific interests.

 

Sample Courses

  • Power and Decision Making in Urban Communities
  • The Psychology of Minority Groups & Politics of Minority Groups
  • African American History I & II
  • Poverty and Urban Environmental Systems
  • The Slave Narrative
  • Poor, Minorities, and Justice
  • Contemporary Social Problems

Clubs and Organizations