African and African-American Studies

The Department of African and African-American Studies offers opportunities for students to explore the social, political, and intellectual history as well as the literature, culture, and artistic life of various peoples in the world who are African or of African descent.

The department examines a wide spectrum of experiences and issues and is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary in its approach. Courses are offered in the humanities, the social sciences, and the performing arts. The department ensures that students are aware of the diversity of the continent of Africa and African peoples and that they understand the distinct perspective and influence of people of African descent on American, Caribbean, and global societies. In addition to producing majors who graduate with methods for approaching and solving problems both in the context of Black studies and in the world at large, we are equally committed to building a vibrant extracurricular intellectual and social community by sponsoring programs, events, and trips to give majors and minors a shared sense of purpose and identity. The major culminates in a Senior Seminar in which students explore a topic of their choice through a capstone project. We encourage students to select a capstone that expands on a topic that they have previously studied in another course or research project.

Students majoring in African and African-American Studies are encouraged to design a course of study that focuses on a particular area of interest or a more comprehensive examination of Black culture and life. Our summer programs in Kenya and Senegal as well as study abroad options in other African and Latin countries can further enrich the student experience.

Courses in the program are numbered to assist students with progressing from introductory courses (100 and 200 levels) to intermediate courses (300 level or higher) to advanced courses (400 level).

Departmental Prizes: The program sponsors several academic and service prizes that include monetary awards.

Contact Info

Contact:Shelley Mitchom