Information for First-Year Students

Director: Professor Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg

Africana Studies, or AFST, provides a cross-cultural and historically comparative framework to study the rich connections and exchanges among African people, their descendants, and the various "new worlds" in which they have made and are making their lives.

Can I major in it? Students may pursue this interdisciplinary course of study as a major or a minor.

Topics explored: Combining area and ethnic studies, AFST examines the cultural, literary, political, social, and intellectual responses to slavery, colonialism, missionization, and racialization throughout Africa and its many diasporas. Through multidisciplinary training, students are encouraged to develop their analytic, research, and literary skills. Doing so, they acquire the intellectual tools to critique and correct the distortions and silences about Africans and their descendants in both academic canons and public discourse.

How to get started: We offer a number of pathways into Africana Studies. The best way to get started is to take one of our interdisciplinary gateway courses, marked with the AFST (formerly AFAM) prefix. These courses change from year to year. Another great way to get started is by taking a “survey” course, which is an introduction to Africana Studies within a specific discipline, e.g. History, Art History, or English. You can follow that by sampling from our wide array of distribution courses. Interested in the major or concentration? We encourage you to visit with the Director of the program, Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg, to learn more.