Black Lives Matter demonstration event

In 2020, the confluence of a devastating global health pandemic and the grotesque killings of Black civilians catalyzed a national movement and resurgent demands to protect Black life.

Within the School of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Africana Studies has, since 1969, been devoted to close interdisciplinary analysis of black experience to support the work of social justice both nationally and internationally. Our courses examine the precise issues underpinning these inter-connected manifestations of the ways that the treatment of Black life is an indicator of the ways that inequality and oppression is structured, but they also help us understand the ways those oppressions have been challenged and dismantled.

The world stands poised to make a definitive break with the legacy of oppression, and Africana Studies stands ready to prepare a new generation to usher in that new world. As we strive together to realize the transformative potential contained within the pain of the present moment, Africana Studies is today more than ever a vital part of education for all people, not just Black people.

We encourage all students to engage with this work through the undergraduate courses offered by the Department of Africana Studies.


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01:014:302:05 Topics in Africana Studies, Section 5: Race, International Law, and Empire

This seminar critically examines how international law helped establish racial regimes in a global order using an approach known as TWAIL (Third World Approaches to International Law). Topics to be covered include how legal cases involving indigenous peoples laid the foundations for global racial exclusion; the evolution of the principle of self-determination from the League of Nations to the 1970s; abolition and imperialism using Haiti as a primary case study; repressive inclusion in the international order using Ethiopia and Liberia as case studies; Third World revolt featuring the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the American Indian Movement, and the US-based Black Power movement; the neoliberal underbelly of human rights; and laws of war for irregular combat tracing how guerrillas became combatants in the language of law. The class will meet once a week for 3 hours. Grades will be assessed based on class participation, a midterm, and a final paper.

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01:014:370 Afro-Atlantic Diaspora - [CORE- HST]

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This course is an introduction to the history of the dispersal of African people to the Americas, and focuses primarily on Latin America and the Caribbean. It traces the origins and development of the Atlantic slave trade, and the creation of new African-based cultures in the Americas. This is a companion course to African Diaspora Cultural History (Africana Studies 014:250).

No prerequisites - open to all levels.

01:014:371 New Scramble for Africa

This course reviews prospects for ‘development’ on the African continent in light of big power competition, self-serving international economic interests and internal barriers. Major topics to be examined include: UN Millennium development goals; the global economic order; strategies for development; foreign aid and African debt; the emergence of China, India, Russia and Brazil as major actors; the continent’s oil and mineral wealth; ‘free trade’; ‘fair trade’; improving education and alleviating poverty; gender and human rights, domestic political obstacles and regional organizations.

01:014:376 Pan African Movement

This course covers political initiatives of Black communities ranging from decolonization struggles to Black Lives Matter as local manifestations of reactions to global racism. The course moves from traditional pan-African ideas and institutions as they interacted with Western European colonialism and continental African, African American, Caribbean and Latinx liberation struggles to contemporary issues that simultaneously encourage/challenge the solidarity between African Diaspora communities.