About Africana Studies
The Africana Studies program is part of the
Consortium of Studies in Race, Colonialism and Diaspora. Africana Studies is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on
the study of the people of the African continent and people of
African descent in the global African Diaspora. Students can elect
to major in Africana studies or
minor in the discipline.
The Africana studies major exposes students to the historical,
political, social, economic, and cultural systems and institutions
that reveal the lived conditions and creativities of Africana
peoples within the countries of the African continent and the
African Diaspora. Moreover, Africana studies critically interrogates
the sociohistorical contexts in which western epistemologies
developed, while examining the important contributions to human
labor, talents, and natural resources made by African peoples to the
movement to modernity experienced and claimed by Mediterranean and
Africana studies offers an interdisciplinary approach to the
philosophical foundations of knowledge production and highlights the
history of complex interaction between the social and biological
sciences in providing justification for the oppression of Africans
and peoples of African descent. It also provides a critical approach
to major social and cultural processes that are essential to an
understanding of contemporary globalization.
Contemporary Africana studies grows out of the curricular
transformation that accompanied the Civil Rights and Black Power
eras that called for social, political, and economic justice in the
United States and abroad and that demanded a more diverse and
inclusive educational agenda. Africana Studies as a field of study
has grown and expanded since its origins more than four decades ago.
Contemporary Africana Studies incorporates many disciplinary and
interdisciplinary approaches, but retains its distinctive inclusion
of a social justice lens. The field also draws on nineteenth and
early twentieth century intellectual movements focusing on
political, experiential, and other relationships of peoples of
Africa and the global Diaspora.
The goal of an in-depth study of Africa and the global African
Diaspora is to develop critical thinking, research, and writing
skills while educating students about the political, cultural,
historical, and contemporary importance of peoples of Africa and of
African descent, as well as the sociopolitical and economic problems
faced by that global community. Equally important, the mission is to
teach students methodological skills that will enable them to
conduct independent research.
Graduates of Africana studies programs go on to careers in
academia, government, education, and public service. The
intellectual skills acquired in this discipline are also an
excellent preparation for careers in public health, public policy
and urban planning, journalism, law and criminal justice, and
business, both nationally and internationally.