Welcome to Africana Studies!
Our department is dedicated to the interdisciplinary and comparative study of the peoples, cultures, and histories of Africa and the African diaspora. The field of Africana Studies was instituted more than four decades ago following student demands during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Demonstrations on college campuses across the country, including Rutgers, called for academic units from which to study the “Africana” experience in the United States and the diaspora. As a result, the Africana Studies Department at Rutgers-New Brunswick was one of the first to be established, to be followed by more than 200 such programs and departments at universities nationwide. This new field of study grew vigorously and is now a vital thread in the intellectual fabric of the American academy. Our faculty here at Rutgers was at the forefront of the scholarly debates that helped to define the field. We commemorated our 40th anniversary in 2009-2010 with a year-long celebration of the struggle, its hard-won gains, and the scholarship that has kept the discipline vibrant over the decades since its inception.
Our faculty’s research and teaching interests are multidisciplinary and global, spanning the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Following the illustrious Rutgers alumnus Paul Robeson, we aim to interrogate the histories, politics, and experiences of peoples of African descent worldwide and invite students to join us in exploring the connection between intellectual life and struggles for social, political and economic justice.
Come visit our department in person! Our dedicated faculty and staff are eager to help you discover the exciting possibilities that lie ahead!