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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01:014:140 Intro to American Cultures (1.5 credits)

Through an examination of narratives of American settlement, pluralism, and national dialogue, the goal of this course is to introduce students to the key cultural debates that have informed American society, both historically and during the contemporary moment. The course discusses the process of identity and cultural construction, and the political struggles that have come out of this process.

01:014:202 What Everyone Should Know About Race

What everyone should know about ‘race’ is an introductory course about ‘race’ in the United States. Literally every person in this country is impacted in some way by what we call ‘race’, many on a daily basis. Yet, this complex, all-consuming, multifaceted, bewildering phenomenon is not at all well understood. The goal of this course is to help students understand ‘race’ by paying attention to the historical, biological, political, social, psychological and economic dimensions, by considering the points of view of important segments of our population, and by exploring the insights provided by relevant theoretical frameworks.

01:014:233 Intro to Research in Africana Studies

This course connects the ways that the philosophical underpinnings of Africana Studies influence which questions we ask, and how.  Africana Studies uncovers the hidden stories of black people and histories through critical and innovative thinking that has developed a range of new investigative techniques. In this course, you will learn to develop and apply those skills through multidisciplinary approaches to the study of Africana materials, original research projects, lectures and introduction to major archival resources.  Additionally, you will learn how to conceptualize and write a research proposal.

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01:014:404 Race in Today's World

This course is about ‘race’ in the United States and elsewhere. It critically explores and analyzes theories of race and evaluates their relevance to today’s events. There are several objectives: (1) to acquaint students with sociological, psychological and anthropological theory as regards ‘race’; (2) to create a comparative perspective for viewing ‘race’ in the United States and elsewhere; (3) to help students hone their analytical skills; and (4) to explore pressing ‘race’ issues.