Africana Studies Learning Objectives

The Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies offers a multidisciplinary curriculum that examines the experiences of people of African descent throughout the world, but primarily, at this point in our departmental history, from Africa, the United States, the Caribbean, and the UK.

The two-semester introductory course – Introduction to Africana Studies and Research Methods in Africana Studies – provides the students with an intellectual and methodological foundation for further study in the discipline. The capstone course - the Senior Thesis Seminar - prepares students for the culminating exercise in the major, that is, a formal thesis, a project, or a comprehensive examination, by reviewing the basics of research methods in the field and assisting students with the formulation and design or organization of their theses. Although not required, majors are encouraged to take the equivalent of three semesters of a language spoken in the African Diaspora, such as Spanish, French, Portuguese, or Arabic. In addition, when choosing sites for their off-campus study experiences, majors are urged to consider programs on the African continent, in the Caribbean, in Brazil, or at historically black colleges/universities in the U.S. The Africana Studies major prepares students for careers in education, medicine, law, social work, business, and academia.

Graduating Africana Studies majors will be able to:

  • understand and appreciate the multi- and interdisciplinary nature of the field
  • demonstrate their understanding of the major issues, questions, and debates driving theory and research in the discipline through written and oral discourse, particularly the central role of race and its intersectional relationship to other socially constructed categories, such as gender, class, and sexual orientation, in the histories and lived experience of people of African descent
  • employ acceptable methods of inquiry in order to conduct research
  • critically evaluate scholarship in the discipline

Assessment of student achievement

  • performance in Africana Studies courses
  • completion of the required number of breadth courses and the required number of courses in the chosen field of concentration, e.g. humanities; social sciences, arts
  • successful completion of a senior exercise, i.e. a thesis; a project; or a comprehensive examination
  • feedback from recent graduates about their current activities, e.g. employment; graduate or professional school; Teach for America; major honors, such as a Fulbright Fellowship