Undergraduate Major


The undergraduate major in African American Studies is designed to provide students with a solid disciplinary understanding of African American Studies and critical interdisciplinary scholarship.

The major features three distinctive areas of curricular emphasis:

  1. Arts, Aesthetics, and Expressive Culture focuses on the forms, frames, theories, and traditions of African American and African diasporic artistic and cultural productions;
  2. Ethics, Politics, and Society focuses on the normative, ideological, and institutional dimensions that form and inform experiences and expressions of individual and collective life of African Americans and of people of African descent in the diaspora; and
  3. History, Culture, and Theory focuses on the intellectual, material and theoretical expressions and (self) representations of the experiences of people of African descent in the United States and in the diaspora across space and time.

This curricular feature offers students the opportunity to develop distinct competence in a particular area of concentration in African American Studies.

The African American Studies Atelier is the capstone experience for African American Studies majors. The Atelier enables African American Studies majors to develop a significant capstone project. The Atelier brings together students, faculty, artists, writers, and activists to create new knowledge grounded in the critical and comprehensive study of African and African diasporic peoples, cultures, and ideas across space and time. The Atelier is also a space for faculty to rethink their conception and approach to their research and teaching in a unique space underwritten by an ethics of community, creativity, and collaboration.

African American Studies, B.A. Requirements

Requires a minimum of 30 hours in the major.

Core Courses (12 Credits)

AAS 100 Introduction to African American Studies
AAS 200 Theories and Methods in African American Studies
One course which substantially engages slavery and race in the making of the modern world
AAS 399 African American Studies Atelier

Select at least three courses from among the following areas (at the 200 or 300 level) (9 Credits)

I. Arts, Aesthetics, and Expressive Culture
II. Ethics, Politics, and Society
III. History, Culture, and Theory

Select nine hours of electives (9 Credits)

I. Arts, Aesthetics, and Expressive Culture

AAS 207 Black Popular Culture 3
AAS 220 African American Cultural Criticism 3
AAS 370 Special Topics in Arts, Aesthetics, and Expressive Cultures in African American 3 Studies 3
HMN 223 African and Caribbean Literature 3
ENG 301 Individual Authors (when topic is Toni Morrison) 3
ENG 302 Ideas in Literature (when topic is Black is Beautiful: African American Poetics 3 and Aesthetics 1919-2019) 3
ENG 356 Literature of the Caribbean 3
ENG 381 Studies in African-American Literature (when topic is appropriate) 3
ENG 387 African-American Fiction (when topic is appropriate) 3
ENG 389 African-American Poetry 3
REL 376 Race, Religion, and Film 3
THE 376 Multicultural American Drama 3

II. Ethics, Politics, and Society

AAS 310 Organic Leadership: Lessons from the Black Freedom Struggle 3
AAS 330 Politics of Black Religion 3
AAS 340 Ethics of Black Power 3
AAS 350 Politics of Black Liberation 3
AAS 380 Special Topics in Ethics, Politics, and Society in African American Studies 3
ANT 335 Anthropology of Space and Place in the U.S 3, 4
SOC 364 Power, Politics, and Protest 3
SOC 384 Special Topics Seminar in Crime and Criminal Justice (when topic is 3 appropriate) 3
POL 213 Economic Inequality and American Politic 3
POL 223 African American Politics 3
POL 224 Racial and Ethnic Politics 3
POL 226 American Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties 3
POL 278 Politics and Identity 3
REL 246 Religion and Race 3
REL 338 Religion, Ethics, and Politics 3
REL 374 Black Messiahs and Uncle Toms 3
REL 375 Race, Myth, and the American Imagination 3
WGS 364 Women of Color, Feminisms, and the Politics of Resistance in the U.S 3
WGS 383 Race, Gender, and the Courts 3

III. History, Culture, and Theory

AAS 110 Introduction to Africana Philosophy 3
AAS 205 Black Cultural Studies 3
AAS 210 African American Intellectual Traditions 3
AAS 300 Black Feminist Theory 3
AAS 315 African American Social and Political Thought 3
AAS 320 Philosophy and Race 3
AAS 322 Critical Theories of Race 3
AAS 324 Race and the Modern World 3
AAS 355 African Political Philosophy 3
AAS 387 Black Radical Tradition 3
AAS 391 Themes in Africana Philosophy 3
AAS 392 Seminar in African American Studies 3
AAS 396 Independent Study in African American Studies 3
AAS 397 Directed Reading in African American Studies 3
ANT 111 People and Cultures of the World 3
ANT 325 Roots of Racism: Race and Ethnic Diversity in the U.S. 3
ENG 387 African-American Fiction (when topic is appropriate) 3
HMN 200 Introduction to Humanities: Themes in Literature, Culture, and Film 3
HST 105 Africa in World History 3
HST 110 Atlantic World since 1500 3
HST 271 African American History to 1870 3
HST 272 African American History since 1870 3
HST 341 Africans in the Atlantic World, 1750-1815 3
HST 375 Black Lives 3
HST 376 Civil Rights and Black Consciousness Movements 3
HST 376 Civil Rights and Black Consciousness Movements 3
REL 107 Introduction to African Religions 3
REL 345 The African-American Religious Experience 3
REL 348 Race, Memory, and Identity 3
REL 373 Special Topics in African-American Religious Traditions 3
REL 393 Topics in Religions of Africa 3
SOC 359 Race and Racism 3
WGS 322 Feminist, Womanist, Murjerista Theologies: Constructive Perspectives on 3 Christian Thought 3

Fall 2021 Courses

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