The African Studies Program is dedicated to fostering the production of knowledge about Africa and its global Diasporas, and in disseminating this knowledge by introducing students to the continent's contributions to the contemporary world. Africa's historical primacy, as well as its recent comparative disadvantage can in fact be understood as a function of a variety of complex factors.
A recent update in the 2020-21 academic year nearly doubled the number of courses available to complete the minor. The courses are offered across several disciplines and departments, including history, political science, anthropology, art history, French, English and Arabic literatures, and public health, enabling students of all backgrounds and origins (including those who are themselves African) to examine a wide variety of issues from the often untold glories of Africa's past and present to the conundrums and tragedies of its 20th and 21st centuries. Courses and public lectures therefore explore everything from Africa's indigenous sciences, religions, art, forms of government, architecture, culture, music, and informal economies, to the difficult histories of colonial and postcolonial trauma from Biafra and Rwanda through Apartheid and Darfur that were endured or suffered in the midst of resource-rich regions in which gold, uranium, diamonds, oil, silver, bauxite, and human capital in numbers were and are present.
The African Studies Program offers a Minor that enriches the undergraduate curriculum and makes an important contribution to the international education of all students. At the same time, it strengthens students' knowledge and appreciation of the diversity of human culture and experience.
Study Abroad opportunities for immersion in African cultures are available in different parts of Africa, typically offered by the Program's faculty and affiliated faculty at locations that have included in Ghana, South Africa, and Egypt.
The current African Studies faculty and affiliates are from the departments of Anthropology, Art History, Black American Studies, Foreign Languages, Civil & Environmental Engineering, English, Food and Resource Economics, Hotel and Restaurant Management, Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences, and Political Science and International Relations.