Africana Studies

Brian Purnell, Program Director
Elizabeth Palmer, Program Coordinator

Associate Professors: Judith S. Casselberry†, Tess Chakkalakal* (English), Brian Purnell (History)

Contributing Faculty: Ericka A. Albaugh, Dana E. Byrd†, Guy Mark Foster, David M. Gordon, David K. Hecht†, Scott MacEachern, Tracy McMullen, Elizabeth Muther, H. Roy Partridge Jr., Patrick J. Rael, Hanétha Vété-Congolo**, Anthony E. Walton

Africana studies offers courses in the following fields of study: African American, African, and African Diaspora. Over the course of their major/minor in Africana studies, students acquire knowledge and develop skills through course work, independent studies, and, in some cases, a senior honors project. These skills and knowledge include:

  • learning about the past and present of the African continent and its diaspora, with a particular focus on the United States, by employing interdisciplinary methods;
  • writing clear and concise arguments about the historical, literary, economic, political, social, visual, and religious texts of Africa and its diaspora;
  • working collaboratively with peers and/or faculty on research pertaining to African American and African political thought and historical contexts;
  • speaking or performing coherently to a diverse audience about a specific topic pertaining to African American and African culture and politics; and
  • designing a project using primary and secondary sources regarding Africa and its diaspora.

Requirements for the Major in Africana Studies

The major in Africana studies consists of nine courses. There are two tracks or concentrations:

  • African American, on the national black experience in the United States; and
  • African and African Diaspora, on African regional, trans-regional, and African diaspora themes.

Required courses:

  • Africana Studies 1101
  • one Africana studies intermediate seminar (2000–2969)
  • one Africana studies senior seminar (3000–3999)
  • six additional electives:
    • at least five courses at the intermediate or advanced level (2000 or higher)
    • Students in the African American concentration must take at least one course from the African and African Diaspora track.
    • Students in the African and African Diaspora concentration must take at least one course from the African American track.

For both concentrations:

  • A maximum of two courses, either as independent study course or a course taken at another college or university, can count toward the major.
  • An approved honors project can count toward the senior seminar requirement.

Requirements for the Minor in Africana Studies

The minor in Africana studies consists of five courses.

Required courses:

  • Africana Studies 1101
  • four Africana studies elective courses from either of the two Africana studies tracks
    • Three of these courses must be at the 2000 and 3000 levels.
    • Only one of these four electives can be an independent study course or a course taken at another college or university.

Additional Information

  • A first-year seminar in Africana studies counts toward the major or minor in Africana studies.
  • Courses that count toward the major or minor must be taken for regular letter grades, and students must earn grades of C- or better.

(Department/Program website)