Department of Africana Studies

Undergraduate Concentration

Africana Studies presents a broad range of courses that engage with the histories, ideas, social and political life of Africa and the African Diaspora, including literature, the arts, cultural studies, history, politics, philosophy, feminism, and the legacy of scientific racism.

Four Main Objectives

  • To understand the evolution of artistic, cultural, intellectual, and political traditions of Africa and the Diaspora.
  • To gain a deeper understanding of how and in what ways slavery, colonialism, and conceptions of race have shaped the modern world.
  • To acquire competency in the theories, epistemologies, and methodologies of the Africana Studies discipline and broader interdisciplinary scholarship.
  • To prepare students to assume roles as skilled and informed citizens, scholars, and career professionals informed by critical thinking and global perspectives.


Concentrators are expected to complete nine semester-long courses offered within or cross-listed with the Department. Seven of the nine must be taught by Africana Studies core faculty (and have AFRI-prefixes). Up to two can be cross-listed. In some cases, Concentrators may petition the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the acceptance of other appropriate courses. 

Courses required as part of the six core-faculty courses:

  • AFRI 0090: An Introduction to Africana Studies
  • AFRI 1330: Junior Seminar
  • AFRI 1360: Knowledge, Texts, and Methodology (Spring Senior Seminar)

The information and critical thinking skills I learned in classes in the Department of Africana Studies were so formative to my development. I use that training every day at work as a journalist.

Randi Richardson '20
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Supplemental Coursework

As a supplement to this coursework, the Department strongly encourages study in Africa, the Caribbean, or Latin America during the student’s junior year. The Department also encourages the acquisition of languages spoken in Africa and throughout the Diaspora. Concentrators who study abroad or acquire certified language competency in some other fashion are welcome to petition the Department for credit, pending assessment.

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Resources for Students

Concentrators with outstanding academic records, those that demonstrate excellent research and writing skills from course selections to grades, may be admitted to the Department’s Honors Program.
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This array of topics serves our concentrators (and others who take our classes) as they build an intellectual foundation of critical thinking and analysis that supports them in their academic, professional, and personal lives.
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