The Center for Africana Studies in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences pursues broad inquiry into the ideas and experiences of African peoples throughout the world. Its interdisciplinary approach is organized around three major sub-fields:

  • African Diaspora
  • African-American Studies
  • African Studies

The center’s work spans diverse academic disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and public health. While its sub-fields possess distinct and distinctive intellectual traditions, they offer exciting possibilities for comparative as well as integrative inquiry.

Through research, coursework, and public programs, the center seeks to promote fundamental examination and understanding of the commonalities and contrasts among the historical and contemporary experiences of Africans and African Americans, and of the place of African diasporas in both local and global contexts. The center strives to understand the movement of black peoples from their ancestral homelands to a variety of host lands, as well as expand upon black studies research to raise new inquiries into all aspects of African-American experiences, all the while building upon existing Krieger School strengths in the study of Africa.

The center offers an undergraduate major and minor, with courses covering issues in anthropology; English, history; history of art; Latin American studies; political science; public health; music; sociology; and women, gender, and sexuality studies.

Learning Goals

  • To develop critical learning skills that will enable participating undergraduates to synthesize and analyze any argument as well as to differentiate carefully between comparable arguments that arrive at different conclusions regarding a specific problem especially when non-European populations are involved
  • To place facts and arguments in a national, regional, or global context for more meaningful comparative examination thereby affording a better understanding of the history of specific peoples
  • To develop adequate oral and writing skills that will facilitate the clear communication of ideas about themes dealing with the history, culture, religion, and gender in African societies or societies of African descent around the globe
  • To permit the formulation and testing of hypotheses across several disciplines of the humanities and social sciences about groups and communities
  • To compare critically complex arguments especially pertaining to race, class, gender, and individual ability