Requirements for the Major in Africana Studies
The Center for Africana Studies (CAS) offers a rigorous focus on African-descended peoples and their cultures across the globe. Over the past millennium, the contribution, traditions, and values of African, African-American, and African Diaspora cultures helped create the modern and pre-modern world. Africana studies, as a field of study, grew from the activist and scholarly traditions of black studies and the blending of peoples and ideas between Europe, Africa, and the America. It therefore offers a broad, multidisciplinary approach to history and culture centered on the interests, conditions, philosophies, conceptual schemes, and value systems of African-descended people everywhere. Our courses focus on the human experience in the context of social, political, demographic, cultural, religious, and economic systems. They also offer a unique perspective on racism, colonialism, capitalism, and geography that properly situates the importance of people of color to the making of the modern world.
The Center for Africana Studies offers a multidisciplinary curriculum that expands the scope and range of traditional academic disciplines to the presence, roles, cultural contributions, experiences, and particular interests of African peoples and their descendants.
Students who choose to major in Africana Studies must complete at least 33 credit hours of course work in three areas of Africana Studies: African and African Diaspora Studies, African American Studies, and Urban Studies. All course must be taken for a letter grade and be completed with a grade of C- or better. Students must take 3 core courses plus electives. Examples of core courses listed below:
- AS 362.104 Introduction to the African Diaspora
- AS 362.111 Introduction to African American Studies
- AS 362.122 History of Africa (since 1880)
- AS 100.121 History of Africa to 1880
- AS 100.122 Introduction to History of Africa (since 1880)
Each student must complete a minimum of 24 additional credit hours comprised of elective courses offered by participating faculty. At least 12 credit hours must be in courses at the 300 level or above. The Center staff maintains an updated list of appropriate current course offerings, including courses offered by visiting faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and Dean’s Teaching Fellows, and will assist students in selecting courses to construct a coherent program of study. Participating faculty will also be encouraged to develop courses specifically for Africana studies, including interdepartmental and/or team-taught courses.
Honors in Africana Studies
Students who wish to do honors in Africana studies are required to take a two-semester (eight-credit) research seminar, in which they will prepare an honors thesis in consultation with a faculty adviser in the student’s particular area of interest and the faculty coordinator of the undergraduate research seminar. The research seminar will provide guidance on research design, methodology, and analysis and presentation of findings, and give students an opportunity to discuss one another’s projects, share experiences, and receive constructive comments from their peers as well as the faculty coordinator.
In selecting research topics and collecting materials, students are encouraged to explore resources outside those immediately available on campus. With its rich collection of museums and archives, large and historic African-American communities, and growing populations of recent migrants from Africa, the Baltimore-Washington area offers many opportunities for research in Africana studies. Students who wish to undertake research in Africa, or in African American or African diasporic communities beyond the local area, will be encouraged to take advantage of summer research grants and/or study abroad opportunities available at Hopkins. The Center will work with other departments and programs at Hopkins on behalf of students who wish to combine their research in Africana studies with work in another field or ongoing program, such as the joint Minority Health Program recently established by the School of Public Health and Morgan State University.
Requirements for the Minor in Africana Studies
Students who wish to minor in Africana Studies must complete a minimum of 18 credits, including two core courses and electives. Three of the electives must be upper-level courses. All course must be taken for a letter grade and be completed with a grade of C- or better.