About the Department
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About the Department

The Department of Africana Studies undertakes an intellectual consideration of how racial blackness, and the concept of race itself, influences the development of the modern world. To that end, we investigate the social, historical, cultural, and aesthetic works and practices of populations of African-descent throughout the Diaspora. The work in Africana Studies is interdisciplinary as well as multi-disciplinary, and it is intersectional in its focus on identity.

A student in our department is first a critical thinker, one who learns to ask questions, seek connections, unpack what is invisible or ignored. This critical thinking is achieved through an engagement with the methods of various disciplines (for example, history, sociology, and literature).


Our courses emphasize close reading, research, and writing, and give students a chance to engage contemporary popular culture (for example, hip hop) alongside earlier cultural material. Our curriculum also expects students to think about the Caribbean, Africa, and diaspora communities in Europe and elsewhere. In support of this expectation, we encourage students to travel abroad.


One advantage of studying in our department is the chance to develop a curriculum that includes courses from other academic units. We advise students in their coordination of classes from departments like philosophy, government, psychology, women and gender studies, economics, American studies, to name a few. Our aim, always, is to help students have a rich intellectual experience.