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Africana Studies

About the Department

Program Overview

Africana Studies is the study, research, interpretation, and the dissemination of knowledge concerning African American, African, and Caribbean affairs and culture. An interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary field that uses the critical tools of the humanities, arts, social sciences, and physical sciences, Africana Studies at WMU examines the structure, organization, problems, and perspectives of African-descended peoples.

The Africana Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary major with two emphasis options: (1) Black Americana Studies and (2) Africana Studies. The major is a concentration of 36 credit hours in work from required core courses and a combination of electives. Both major options integrate a language requirement that emphasizes the importance of foreign language study.

As a field of scholarly inquiry, Africana Studies constructs a critique of Western civilization and also stresses methodical analyses and policy recommendations for social transformation in African American communities in addition to African, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern nations. Etymologically, the term “Africana” incorporates the global origins and connections of African-descended peoples. Africana Studies occupies a central role in the American intellectual Academy. Our curriculum produces scholars who are prepared to bridge the gap between theory and practice, Academy and communities, and generational shifts. Moreover, the curriculum is designed to interrogate and rectify the inadequacies, omissions, and distortions found in conventional American education.

However, the Black Americana Studies option provides for studying a foreign language in the United States or abroad. Students in the Africana Studies option are strongly encouraged to look into the study abroad opportunities available through the Africana Studies Program and the Diether H. Haenicke Institute for Global Studies. Students who have chosen the Africana Studies major will satisfy the baccalaureate writing requirement by successfully completing AFS 3800 Special Topics in Africana Literature and Culture. The Africana Studies minor is 18 credit hours of academic work made up of required and content courses. The minor provides students the opportunity to explore aspects of the Black experience in ways that relate to their major field of study. The sequence of lower- and upperdivision courses gives the student a well-balanced analysis of the varied aspects of the African and

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African-American experience as they relate to the social and cultural aspects of work in fields such as business, teaching, counseling, social service, medicine, and law.

Pride Points • Graduates of our program have gone on to careers in college teaching, business, counseling, social service, medicine, health care and law. • The program provides students with specific conceptualization of issues of nationality, injustice, equality, citizenship, the value and purpose of education, inter- and inter-racial relations, and social responsibility. • The program educates students who will become successful professionals, yet have a deep sense of community and commitment to serve the disadvantaged and powerless. • The program provides students a balanced understanding of the centrality of Africa and African peoples to the culture and history of world civilization.

For More Information Africana Studies Program 3061 Moore Hall, 1903 W. Michigan Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49008 Phone: (269) 387-2665 • Fax: (269) 387-2507

Fact Sheet  

Africana Studies, WMU

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