The Department of African American Studies is an interdisciplinary department with a mission of teaching and conducting research in social sciences and humanities fields on the historical and contemporary experience of Africans and African Americans. The Department offers a major, dual majors, a minor and a host of elective courses based in interdisciplinary approaches to the study of history, culture, language, political systems and behaviors of peoples of African ancestry in the United States, the Caribbean, Africa and throughout the African Diaspora. All courses are open to all students.
Two traditions encompass the Department’s academic thrust - - African American and African. The academic offerings center their attention on three areas of cluster studies: historical studies, cultural studies, and social & behavioral studies.
The Department’s areas of focus are the experiences of Black people in the United States, from the early days of colonization and enslavement, to contemporary issues, such as Hip Hop Culture and Jazz and the experiences of Africans both in the continent of Africa and throughout the Diaspora.