Course Catalog

Department of Africana Studies


Janie Ward, Chair and Professor

Theresa Perry, Professor

Dawna Thomas, Associate Professor


The intellectual domain of Africana Studies (AST) consists of four major areas:

  1. The study of African and European American relationships beginning in the 16th century.
  2. The study of African/African American community building, i.e., African Americans’ founding and organization of economic, educational, religious, and cultural institutions and related achievements of self-determination.
  3. Africanity and diaspora studies in the Americas, Africa, and Europe.
  4. Africana women’s studies which seeks to study race, gender, and culture in ways that allow us to understand often interrelated diasporic experiences across the globe.

Each of these areas may be examined further by focusing upon specializations in the humanities (e.g., literature, film, journalism), social sciences (e.g., research, public policy, health care), physical sciences (e.g., environmental studies), interdisciplinary studies (e.g., women’s and gender studies, management, education) or in professional programs (nursing, teacher preparation, social work). An AST major or minor is appropriate for students with strong interests in studies of Americans of color; in the intersectional study of race, gender, and class in the humanities or social sciences; or in one or more subject areas indicated above. The department prepares students for the labor market and continued professional and graduate training by providing a solid foundation of critical, analytical, and technological skills. Pre-graduation internships are available for all interested students. Study abroad and modern language skills are highly recommended. Students interested in dual degree programs or self-designed majors should consult with department faculty to design an individualized program.

Departmental Honors

Departmental honors is offered to eligible students according to the College requirements on page 26. Majors with a minimum 3.30 cumulative grade point average and a 3.67 grade point average within the Department of Africana Studies are eligible for the departmental honors.