Department of Africana Studies

2023-2024 Season   

Now back in Churchill House, The Department of Africana Studies/Rites and Reason Theatre dedicates a year of programming to reflect on home, return, displacement, and the inflections of place. We are launching new initiatives with guest writers and theater artists, producing re-imagined works by Rites and Reason Theatre founder George Houston Bass, and serving as an incubator for our extended community of scholars, artists, and community-based practitioners.We invite you to come visit us in our newly renovated building, to reminisce and honor and also to envision a future, together. 
Our programming is evolving, please stay in touch with us! To join our newsletter, click here


New Initiatives in Africana Studies / Rites and Reason Theatre

Distinguished Visiting Writers of Africa and the African Diasporas

We kick the year off with the launch of  a series of readings, lectures and related events hosted by Africana Studies and Literary Arts. Our departments  are happy to host the award winning poet, Kwame Dawes in the fall, and the academic and literary writers Christina Sharpe and Dionne Brand during the spring of 2024. Each of our visiting writers will be doing a variety of readings, lectures, public conversations  and writing workshops during the semester they are in residence.  

New Books/Black Studies 

This series is an opportunity for our faculty in Africana Studies to invite 1-2 authors of a new book in the broadly understood field of Africana studies for a public dialogue about their work. The visit may take the form of a webinar, or an in-person event. 

Webinar Series: Africana Studies: Renewing the Fight for Justice

The Departments of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, Brown University, and the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst are hosting an inaugural collaboration and 2023-2024 webinar lecture series under the theme of Africana Studies: Renewing the Fight for Justice.  This series is aimed at sharing resources and expertise among departments offering degrees in Africana Studies while simultaneously illuminating topics of concern and interest to Black communities nationwide.

Interdisciplinary Black Theatre Series

The Department of Africana Studies / Rites and Reason Theatre, in partnership with Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, are bringing interdisciplinary black theater artists to campus for a series of talks, performances, and workshops across the spring semester. Stay tuned.