Jun 15, 2024  

Africana Studies

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Africana Studies Faculty   

Africana Studies Core Faculty (teaching two or more courses in Africana Studies)

Tracey Hucks, Africana Studies

Dan Aldridge, History

Laurian Bowles, Anthropology

Caroline Beschea-Fache, French and Francophone Studies

Brenda Flanagan, English

Hilton Kelly, Educational Studies

Geraldo Marti, Sociology

Ken Menkhaus, Political Science


Africana Studies Affiliated Faculty

Suzanne Churchill, English

Rick Gay, Educational Studies

Melissa Gonzalez, Hispanic Studies

Michael Guasco, History

Tae-Sum Kim, Director of Multicultural Affairs

Thomas Pegelow-Kaplan, History

Clark Ross, Economics

Fred Smith, Economics

Anne Wills, Religion


Visiting Scholars

Samantha Noel, Art History


Core Faculty Emeritus

Nancy Fairley, Anthropology

Major Requirements

Major Requirements


  • • One Africana Survey Course (see offerings under Courses below)

  • •  One methodological course from any of the approved methodology course from the list of Methods Courses below.

  • •  Six courses at the 300 and 400 levels (see Courses below)

    •  Capstone course in which Senior majors produce a substantial senior thesis.

Africana Studies Honors

Africana Studies Honors: Students who qualify during their junior year with a minimum GPA and an approved research proposal will be eligible to complete a year-long thesis (AS 498/499) by way of which honors in the major can be earned, and which serves as the capstone for those students. These courses will be taught as independent studies. To qualify for honors at graduation, candidates must earn an average of 3.5 or above in the major, and an overall average of 3.2 or above.

Methods Courses

 Majors must complete at least one course that involves training in methodology.  The purpose of this requirement is to prepare majors to engage in independent research projects later in the major and during the senior capstone.  This course should be completed by the end of the junior year.  The methods course will be selected in consultation with the student’s major adviser. 

Breadth Requirement

Africana Studies majors must take the following from the list of courses below:

  1. at least one course which primarily concerns the African American experience,
  2. one course that primarily concerns the African experience,
  3. and one course that concerns the broader African Diaspora or comparable ethnic, minority, or identity groups including LGBT.

Students must also take at least two courses in the Humanities and two courses in Social Science. Lists of courses that would satisfy each of these requirements listed below. A single course may satisfy more than one of the distribution requirements described above.

Course Description and Offerings

Africana Studies 101: This course introduces students to the fundamental issues, basic debates, and different methodological approaches to Africana Studies. Students will read a selected group of important texts drawn from a variety of fields and which cover different geographical parts of the African diaspora. Faculty from different disciplines and with different area focuses and methodological approaches will deliver guest lectures and discussion sessions. Students will do short written projects and prepare a final research paper or other suitable assignment. The course will advance students’ analytic skills by requiring them to engage with different perspectives and different approaches to Africana Studies. The final research project will enhance students’ skills at assembling evidence, forming a sound argument and analysis, and engaging other scholars who have addressed similar issues. It will also enhance students’ written communication skills.

Africana Survey Course: As a pre-requisite or co-requisite to Africana Studies 101, students will take a survey-type course in one of a variety of fields, drawn from a list of courses, that gives them a substantive grounding in a particular field or topic in African Studies. A student may take AS 101 and the Africana Survey Course during the same semester. A list of approved survey courses is attached hereto. The survey course may also satisfy one or more of the distribution requirements described below.

Upper Level Courses: Africana Studies majors will take six additional elective courses, with at least four at the 300 or 400 level. Students may take no more than four courses in a single department.

Senior Capstone: Majors will complete a senior research project as part of the capstone experience. This senior project will require students to demonstrate their familiarity with the theories, methods, and foundational debates of Africana Studies, and call upon their knowledge of different academic disciplines in order to conduct research on a self-designed topic from an interdisciplinary perspective. Until Africana Studies has at least three senior majors, the capstones will be taught as independent studies with the close guidance of an Africana Studies-affiliated faculty member.

Africana Studies Courses

The courses below with satisfy either a survey requirement or an elective requirement. 

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