The Africana Studies (AFS) program utilizes an interdisciplinary framework to explore the historical, political, cultural, and economic experiences of people of African descent around the world with specific regional emphasis on the African continent, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Using the theoretical and methodological approaches of Africana Studies, our goal is to equip students with the analytical skills required to produce creative scholarship across disciplines. Having an interdisciplinary minor can serve to further maximize the potential of students because they learn to articulate their perspectives to different audiences in other fields. Furthermore, in an effort to move beyond the classroom, AFS also hosts events that function as a platform for our minors to share the innovative projects they develop with the larger university community.
The Africana Studies program provides opportunities for (a) students who wish to minor in Africana Studies, (b) students who are not concentrating on Africana Studies but who wish to improve their understanding of the myriad of experiences of people of African descent, and (c) students who wish to supplement their work in related fields with courses offered by the program. The program also offers training to those considering careers in social work, education, journalism, law, business management, city planning, international affairs, and creative writing. Students with backgrounds in history, sociology, anthropology, literature, law, psychology, education, nursing, philosophy, politics and government, art, music, religion, economics, business, and communication arts will find that the Africana Studies program offers them an important perspective with which to approach their respective disciplines.
The backgrounds and research interests of the faculty in the Africana Studies program are very diverse and include the social sciences and the humanities, in addition to practitioners in the fields of law, social work, and development. Therefore AFS minors have opportunities for mentorship both academically and professionally.