Africana Studies Major

Goals for the Africana Studies Major

Requirements for the Africana Studies Major

A major in Africana studies requires nine units. AFR 105, Introduction to the Black Experience, is required, and it is strongly recommended that majors and minors take AFR 105 before undertaking specialized courses of study. This course provides an overview of the discipline of Africana studies, including its philosophical and historical foundations, and introduces students to its major fields of inquiry. AFR 105 is still required but an alternative, AFR 206 will be allowed for juniors and seniors who declare their majors late and who may not have been able to take AFR 105 earlier. Majors are required to take two of the following courses: SWA 101, SWA 102, SWA 203 and AFR 204. Of the eight additional units required for an Africana studies major, at least two must be at the 300-level.  Ordinarily, no more than three courses may be taken outside the department. A student who majors in Africana Studies must also attend the “Africana Studies Colloquium: the Common Experience” that is offered each semester.

A student majoring in Africana studies will choose one of four possible tracks or concentrations: Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, the United States, or a General Africana Studies track. All of the four concentrations encompass the interdisciplinary approach of the department, while allowing students to focus on a particular area and gain expertise in one discipline. The first three courses of study focus on geographic areas; the fourth, designed in consultation with the student’s advisor, allows the student to create a concentration on a particular salient aspect (e.g., Africana women or Africana arts) or issue (e.g., comparative race relations) in the Africana world. 


For all concentrations, students are encouraged to gain first-hand experiential insights in the Africana world. Students in the Africa and the Caribbean and Latin America tracks are encouraged to consider the Wintersession courses in Ghana, East Africa and Jamaica offered by the department and Wintersession courses on Latin America offered by other departments. They are also strongly encouraged to consider study abroad programs in these geographic areas. Those focusing on the United States should consider studying away at an historically Black college and/or participating in a relevant U.S. internship.

Honors in Africana Studies

The only route to honors in the major is writing a thesis and passing an oral examination. To be admitted to the thesis program, a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all work in the major field above the 100 level. The department may petition on her behalf if her GPA in the major is between 3.3 and 3.5. See Academic Distinctions.

The Africana Studies Colloquium

The Common Africana Studies Experience is designed to offer an opportunity for students and faculty to reflect, review and study the history, philosophical underpinning of Africana Studies. It also discusses the theoretical and methodological foundations, directions and major tenets of Africana Studies. The colloquium is offered every semester, and attendance of majors and minors is mandatory.

Courses for Credit in the Major

General Africana Studies

This concentration allows students to design a more thematic and eclectic focus in Africana studies or an approach that cuts across boundaries of geography and discipline (e.g. Africana women’s studies) or a discipline-focused course of study that is cross-cultural (e.g. Africana arts) or a thematic focus (e.g. Africana urban studies). Students must have their programs of study approved by their advisors. This program should demonstrate the same geographic and disciplinary breadth as the previous three (i.e. at least two geographic regions must be represented in the courses chosen; and at least one history course, one humanities, and one social science are required). Of the courses elected, at least three must be in one discipline.

Africa

This program of study is designed to provide students with an interdisciplinary and integrated understanding of the peoples of the African continent, from its ancient foundation through its current geopolitical situation. However, to ensure students’ breadth of knowledge of the Africana world, two courses that focus on a geographic area other than Africa are required. Six courses that focus on Africa are the foundation of this concentration: one course must be in history; one must be in a social science (economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, or psychology); one must be chosen from the humanities (literature, language, art, music, philosophy, and religion); and two should be chosen from a specific discipline. The following courses are appropriate for the Africa concentration:


History: AFR 105, AFR 238, AFR 239, AFR 340, HIST 265

Social Sciences: AFR 204, AFR 213, AFR 215, AFR 235, AFR 236/POL2 231, AFR 245, AFR 255, AFR 280, AFR 297, AFR 301, AFR 306, AFR 318, AFR 341

Humanities: SWA 101-SWA 102, SWA 201-SWA 202, AFR 202/PHIL 202, AFR 207, AFR 211, AFR 222, AFR 251, AFR 316, FREN 218, FREN 330, MUS 209

 

AFR 105 Introduction to the Black Experience

1.0

AFR 207 Images of Africana People Through the Cinema

1.0

AFR 211 Introduction to African Literature

1.0

AFR 213 Race Relations and Racial Inequality

1.0

AFR 215 Unpacking Blackness

1.0

AFR 222 Blacks and Women in American Cinema

1.0

AFR 235 Societies and Cultures of Africa

1.0

AFR 236 / POL2 203 Introduction to African Politics

1.0

AFR 255 The Black Woman Cross-Culturally: Gender Dynamics in the Africana World

1.0

AFR 297 Medical Anthropology: A Comparative Study of Healing Systems

1.0

AFR 301 Seminar: South Africa

1.0

AFR 306 Urban Development and the Underclass: Comparative Case Studies

1.0

AFR 318 Seminar: African Women, Social Transformation, and Empowerment

1.0

AFR 341 Africans of the Diaspora

1.0

FREN 330 French, Francophone and Postcolonial Studies

1.0

HIST 265 History of Modern Africa

1.0

MUS 209 A History of Jazz

1.0

SWA 101 Elementary Swahili

1.0

SWA 102 Elementary Swahili

1.0

SWA 201 Intermediate Swahili

1.0

SWA 202 Intermediate Swahili

1.0

The United States

As with the other concentrations, students who choose the United States should approach their study of African America through many disciplines. The concentration requires five courses focusing on the United States: one in history, one in the humanities, one in social science, and two in the discipline in which the student chooses to concentrate. To ensure students’ breadth of knowledge of the Africana world, however, this track also requires two courses focused on one or more geographic areas other than the United States. The following courses are appropriate for the United States concentration:

History: AFR 105, AFR 206, AFR 208, AFR 239, AFR 340

Social Sciences:  AFR 213, AFR 215, AFR 217, AFR 225, AFR 255, AFR 237, AFR 306, AMST 152, AMST 215, AMST 315, POL1 337

Humanities: AFR 201, AFR 212, AFR 222, AFR 243, MUS 209, MUS 300

AFR 105 Introduction to the Black Experience

1.0

AFR 206 African American History -1500 to Present

1.0

AFR 212 / ENG 279 Black Women Writers

1.0

AFR 213 Race Relations and Racial Inequality

1.0

AFR 215 Unpacking Blackness

1.0

AFR 217 The Black Family

1.0

AFR 222 Blacks and Women in American Cinema

1.0

AFR 255 The Black Woman Cross-Culturally: Gender Dynamics in the Africana World

1.0

AFR 306 Urban Development and the Underclass: Comparative Case Studies

1.0

AMST 152 Race, Ethnicity, and Politics in America

1.0

AMST 315 Beats, Rhymes, and Life: Hip-Hop Studies

1.0

MUS 209 A History of Jazz

1.0

The Caribbean and Latin America

This program of study also provides students with an interdisciplinary knowledge of a particular geographic area: the Caribbean—its history, peoples, culture, and significance in the world system. As with the other concentrations, students focusing on the Caribbean are expected also to acquire some breadth of knowledge about the Africana world; thus, two courses focused on other areas are required. Of the five courses on the Caribbean, one must be a humanities course; one must be a social science; one must be a history course; and two must be chosen from one discipline. (See the African track for the specific disciplines considered “humanities” and “social sciences.”) The following courses are appropriate for the Caribbean and Latin America Track concentration:

History: AFR 216, AFR 299, AFR 340, HIST 215, HIST 377

Social Sciences: AFR 105, AFR 213, AFR 215, AFR 245, AFR 255, AFR 299, AFR 300, AFR 306

Humanities: AFR 207, AFR 234, AFR 310, FREN 218, FREN 330, SPAN 269

AFR 105 Introduction to the Black Experience

1.0

AFR 207 Images of Africana People Through the Cinema

1.0

AFR 213 Race Relations and Racial Inequality

1.0

AFR 215 Unpacking Blackness

1.0

AFR 234 Introduction to West Indian Literature

1.0

AFR 255 The Black Woman Cross-Culturally: Gender Dynamics in the Africana World

1.0

AFR 306 Urban Development and the Underclass: Comparative Case Studies

1.0

AFR 310 Seminar: Reading Du Bois

1.0

FREN 330 French, Francophone and Postcolonial Studies

1.0

SPAN 269 Caribbean Literature and Culture

1.0