African and African-American Studies Major

As an African and African-American studies (AFAS) major, you will explore the social, political, and intellectual history as well as the literature, culture, and artistic life of various peoples in the world who are African or of African descent. Courses are offered in the humanities, social sciences, and the performing arts. You are encouraged to design a course of study that focuses on either a particular area of interest or a more comprehensive examination of black culture and life.

sample courses:

Black Women Writers

When someone says, black woman writer, you may well think of Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison. But not long ago, to be a black woman writer meant to be considered an aberration. When Thomas Jefferson wrote that Phillis Wheatley's poems were "beneath the dignity of criticism," he could hardly have imagined entire Modern Language Association sessions built around her verse, but such is now the case. In this class we will survey the range of Anglophone African American women authors. Writers likely to be covered include Phillis Wheatley, Harriet Wilson, Nella Larsen, Lorraine Hansberry, Octavia Butler, and Rita Dove, among others.

Blacks, Latinos, & Afro-Latinos: Constructing Difference & Identity

Dominant discourses on Black-Latino relations focus on job competition, while a few others celebrate the future of an America led by "people of color." What is at stake in these narratives? How did we come to understand what is "black" and "Latino?" Students taking this course will examine the history of African Americans' and Latinos' racialization under British, Spanish, and American empires, paying attention to both the construction of the racial "Other" by European elites, the re-claiming of identities by the racially marginalized through the Black and Brown liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s, and the movements' impacts on black-Latino electoral and grassroots coalitions, mass incarceration of youth, and Afro-diasporic productions of hip hop.

our students have gone on to become:

Business Analysts

Museum Curators


Philanthropic/Non-Profit Workers

Professional Researchers


Publishers and Editiors

Social Workers