American and European scholars long viewed Africa not only as a primitive continent, but as a cultural space outside the Western principles of meaning and progress — a place where "history is out of the question," as the German philosopher Hegel claimed two centuries ago. But Africa and its descendants are no longer invisible. African-based cultures and peoples are a crucial part of our collective experience, from art and literature to women's studies, from geopolitics to jazz and hip-hop. In truth, they always have been.
Africana Studies is an interdisciplinary program that offers both a major and a minor in the history, culture and politics of people of African descent. It focuses on four geographic areas: Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States. Students may focus on one or more of those areas as they pursue courses in Africana studies as well as anthropology, classics, comparative literature, English, French, government, history and many other disciplines. Students who choose to major in Africana studies design an individual plan of study with the help of a faculty member.