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Africana Studies Program

Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies

The Africana Studies curriculum is designed to give students an integrated and critical understanding of the experiences, contributions, and achievements of peoples of African descent throughout the world.  The core courses emphasize conceptual and methodological issues within Africana Studies.  Students are taught academic skills and encouraged to conduct critical research and analyses designed to understand the relationships between and solutions to the political, social, cultural, and economic developments in Africa and the African Diaspora.  The overall goal of the Africana Studies program is to provide students with competencies to succeed as citizens, workers, and leaders of the global community.

For more information see the Africana Studies website.

Minor in Africana Studies

The Minor in Africana Studies provides a comparative and interdisciplinary study of the Black experience in Africa and the Americas.  Africana Studies courses (AFS) and activities expose students to the historical and comparative patterns of life, labor, culture, development and social protest of peoples throughout the African Diaspora.  The Minor is designed to bring together students from diverse backgrounds who share an interest in the global experience of African people.  Three required courses include African Civilizations AFS 240), an Introduction to African-American Studies (AFS 241), and Introduction to the African Diaspora (AFS 342).  Two elective courses may be selected from a list of designated courses in such disciplines as Anthropology, English, History, Music, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Social Work.  Study Abroad (e.g., Africa, Caribbean) and service learning opportunities are also available.


Dr. Sheila Smith-McKoy
Associate Professor (Director, African American Cultural Center)

Core Faculty

Dr. Craig C. Brookins
Associate Professor

Dr. Deidre H. Crumbley

Dr. Lloyd D. McCarthy

Dr. Tracey E. Ray
Assistant Vice Provost for Student Diversity, Office for Institutional Equity & Diversity Instructor

Africana Studies Advisory Committee

Dr. Tracey Ray
Assistant Vice Provost, Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity

Dr. Samuel T. Addo
University of Ghana-Legon, West Africa (Geography)

Dr. Charity Akotia
University of Ghana - Legon, West Africa (Psychology)

Dr. Paul Bitting
Educational Research and Leadership

Assistant Prof. Kofi Boone
Landscape Architecture

Dr. Karen Bullock
Social Work

Prof. Chandra Cox
Art + Design

Dr. Mark K. Dudley

Dr. Marsha Gordon
Film Studies

Dr. Clifford Griffin
Political Science

Dr. Walter Jackson

Dr. Felysha Jenkins

Dr. Charles Joyner
Emeritus (Art & Design)

Dr. Owen Kalinga

Dr. Blair Kelly

Dr. James Kiwanuka-Tondo

Mr. Lloyd McCarthy
Africana Studies

Dr. Rupert Nacoste

Dr. Juliana Nfah-Abbenyi

Prof. Kofi Asare Opoku
Lafayette College, Pennsylvania (Religion)

Dr. Melvin Thomas

Prof. John Charles Williamson

AFS - Africana Studies Courses

AFS 230 Introduction to African-American Music 3.

Comprehensive survey of African-American music in the United States from Colonial times to the present, with emphasis on its unique features and contributions to American culture.

AFS 240 African Civilization 3.

An interdisciplinary study of centers of African civilization from antiquity to the 1960s. Such centers include ancient Egypt, Nubia, Axum, Ghana, Mali, Songhai, Kilwa, Malinda, Sofola, Zinzibar and Monomotapa.

AFS 241 Introduction to African-American Studies II 3.

Second in a two semesters sequence in the interdisciplinary study of sub-Saharan Africa, its arts, culture, and people, and the African-American experience.

AFS 248 Survey of African-American Literature 3.

African-American writing and its relationships to American culture and history. Covers such writers as Wheatley, Douglass, Chesnutt, Dunbar, DuBois, Hughes, Hurston, Wright, and Morrison.

AFS 260 History of Jazz 3.

History of jazz and the contributions of major artists. Emphasis of the various styles that have contributed to this American art form. Investigation of structural forms in the jazz idiom.

AFS 275 Introduction to History of South and East Africa 3.

The African kingdoms (Lunda, Buganda, and Zulu); the European encroachment; the origins of colonialism and the character of colonial societies and economies, South African apartheid; African protest, nationalism and independence.

AFS 276 Introduction to History of West Africa 3.

The history of Western Africa. Forest civilizations and the slave trade, trade and the expansion of Islam, colonialism in West Africa; African nationalism and the achievement of independence; and postcolonial West Africa.

AFS 305 Racial and Ethnic Relations 3.
Prerequisite: 3 cr. in SOC, 200 level.

Study of the nature of the relationships among racial and ethnic groups in societies around the world but with emphasis on the United States. Explores topics such as inequalities of wealth, power, and status, racism, conflict, and social boundaries among groups. Current trends in intergroup relations are discussed.

AFS 342 Introduction to the African Diaspora 3.

Exploration of the global experiences of people of African descent. Geographical areas include the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. Exploration of the web of interrelated histories, social dynamics, and politico-economic processes affecting and reflecting world cultures and histories. Foundational course for the exploration of methodological issues and theoretical concerns in the field of African Diaspora Studies.

AFS 343 African Religions 3.

Examination of African Religions on the African continent and throughout the African Diaspora. Focus on traditional religious practices, African reformulation of Islam and Christianity, New Orleans and Haitian vodun, Cuban Santeria, and Brazilian Candomble. Designed to de-mystify African religion without divesting it of its cultural uniqueness and richness.

AFS 344 Leadership in African American Communities 3.

Historical, cultural and political examination of the dynamics of leadership in African American communities. Focus on structure of Leadership in the context of gender, ideology, and style. Interdisciplinary examination of impact of leaders on broader American society.

AFS 345 Psychology and the African American Experience 3.
Prerequisite: PSY 200 or PSY 201.

Historical and cultural examination of the psychological experiences of African American experience from pre-American times to the present. Focus on mental health, personality, identity development, racism, oppression, psychological empowerment andan African-centered world view. Discussion of contemporary issues within the African American community.

AFS 346 Black Popular Culture 3.

A multidisciplinary examination of contemporary black cultural expression in film, music, art, and the media. Emphasis on race, class, gender, and political discourse.

AFS 349 African Literature in English 3.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

Anglophone literature in Africa. Emphasis on the relationship between the African world-view and literary production and the persistent trend by African writers to connect literature with politics. Writers such as Achebe, Ngugi, Soyinka, and Serote.

AFS 372 African-American History Through the Civil War, 1619-1865 3.
Prerequisite: 3 hours of history or Sophomore standing.

African background and continuity of the particular role, experience and influence of African Americans in the United States through the Civil War.

AFS 373 African-American History Since 1865 3.
Prerequisite: 3 hours of history or Sophomore standing.

The history of African-Americans from the Reconstruction era through the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s to the present.

AFS 375 African American Cinema 3.
Prerequisite: ENG 101.

Survey and analysis of African American film culture from 1900-present. Examination of pre-Hollywood, classical Hollywood, and Independent filmmaking. Particular focus on independent filmmakers' response to dominant industry representations and the work of filmmakers who seek to create a specifically African American cinematic style.

AFS 409 Black Political Participation in America 3.

African American political participation in the United States; political culture, socialization, and mobilization, with a focus on the interaction between African Americans and actors, institutions, processes, and policies of the American political system.

AFS 440 Senior Seminar in Africana Studies 3.
Prerequisite: AFS 342; Africana Studies Majors or Africana Studies Minors.

In-depth examination of Africana Studies issues. Interdisciplinary exploration of key problems and proposed solutions for African communities on the African continent and throughout the world. Requires written research project using interdisciplinary approaches and critical analyses.

AFS 442 Issues in the African Diaspora 3.

Multidisciplinary exploration of the interrelated histories, social dynamics, and politico-economic processes of the experiences of people of African descent throughout the world. Particular focus on the experiences of slavery, artistic expression,gender practices, and the impact of the nation state.

AFS 448 African-American Literature 3.
Prerequisite: Junior standing..

Survey of African-American literature and its relationships to American culture, with an emphasis on fiction and poetry since 1945. Writers such as Bontemps, Morrison, Hurston, Baldwin, Hayden, Brooks, Naylor, Harper, and Dove.

AFS 455 History of the Civil Rights Movement 3.
Prerequisite: 3 hrs. of History.

The black revolution; stages and leaders of the movement; successes and failures in the fight for desegregation, the vote, and economic opportunity; impact of Civil Rights movement on the United States. Credit will not be given both for HI (AFS) 455 and HI 555.

AFS 475 History of the Republic of South Africa 3.
Prerequisite: 3 hours of history.

Evolution of the Republic of South Africa's society, with emphasis on the interaction of diverse peoples and cultures. Particular attention is given to the period since 1870. Credit will not be given for both HI (AFS) 475 and HI 575.

AFS 476 Leadership in Modern Africa 3.
Prerequisite: 3 hours of history.

Recent sub-Saharan African political history (excluding South Africa). Overview of concepts, vocabulary, historical trends. Detailed examination of specific African countries as case studies, such as Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Tanzania. Credit will not be given for both HI (AFS) 476 and HI 576.

AFS 479 Africa (sub-Saharan) in the Twentieth Century 3.
Prerequisite: 3 hrs. of History.

Developments in sub-Saharan Africa during the colonial period, from the end of the nineteenth century to the advent of decolonization in the early 1960s. Interplay of political, social, economic and cultural factors in the experiences of African peoples during this period. Credit will not be given for both HI (AFS) 479 and HI 579.

AFS 490 Africana Studies and Community Involvement 3.
Prerequisite: Africana Studies Majors or Africana Studies Minors.

First part of a two semester service-learning experience. Provides interdisciplinary and experientially based opportunity for students to engage in community and classroom-based experiences that examine issues of relevance to African American people(or communities in the African Diaspora). Students apply and examine concepts addressed in class to their own practical experience in service to others. Development of interpersonal and professional skills. Focus on the values, beliefs, attitudes, and ideas that are central to definitions of democracy, social justice, civic resiliency, self-help, and public life.

AFS 491 Study Abroad in Africana Studies 3.

Specific category of revolving set of field/seminar courses involving multidisciplinary focal areas taught in foreign countries through Africana Studies. Course includes pre-trip orientation and readings and onsite field experiences and lectures. Additional program fees, travel costs and appropriate immunizations are required beyond registration fees.

AFS 497 Topics in African-American Studies 3.
Prerequisite: AFS 240.

Multidisciplinary examination of selected topics in African-American studies.