Overview

Why study African and African-American studies?

African and African-American studies reflects the human experience where Africa meets Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas.

Undergraduate Programs

The undergraduate academic program focuses mainly on Africa, Afro-America, and Arabic, but due attention is paid to the Caribbean and Latin America. The program deepens the knowledge and enriches understanding of the history and culture of African peoples in Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas as a necessary and desirable end in itself but also as a useful background for professionals whose careers may involve them in these geographical and cultural areas. Essentially interdisciplinary, the major gives students a basis for interpreting the historical and contemporary experiences of African peoples in Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas, both broadly and in relation to a particular region, historical period, or cultural manifestation. The major, with its flexibility and opportunity for fieldwork, encourages students to engage in independent study, if possible in a relevant community. Most undergraduate courses are also open to nonmajors.

Why study African and African-American studies?

African and African-American Studies is where Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East meet.

Graduate Programs

Founded in 1970, the Department of African and African-American Studies seeks to educate students to function in a multicultural environment in a global community. The objective of the M.A. program in African and African-American Studies at the University of Kansas is to produce scholars, teachers, administrators, and other professionals who have the intellectual and scholarly capacity and skills to make ongoing contributions to the world in which they live. Our graduate program encourages students to adapt a critical perspective, requiring an integrative approach to the study of history, politics, economics, the arts, languages, culture, anthropology, and geography that does not abstract them from their political and social contexts, but rather relocates them within the social and political contexts from which they developed. Students are required to focus not only on the experiences of Africans and African Americans, but also on the links of those experiences to the cultural, political, and economic forces of the larger world to which Africans and African Americans have been, and are, inextricably connected.

The Department of African and African-American Studies offers interdisciplinary, substantive, and language courses leading to the Master of Arts degree in two areas of concentration: (1) African, and (2) African-American studies.

The master's degree in African and African-American Studies has two related objectives: (1) it fulfills the educational needs of persons who seek positions with organizations in both the public and private sectors, and (2) it prepares persons who desire to pursue the terminal degrees in their field. The program emphasizes broader concepts in the humanities and the social sciences, but provides an option for concentration in either African or African-American Studies.

The integrative focus of the curriculum is an important characteristic of the interdisciplinary nature of this program. In this regard, the candidate should develop the capacity to continue as a self-educator throughout his/her career. Broad background study in this field enables the graduate to assimilate newly acquired skills and methodologies quickly. Graduates should be prepared to cope with the rapid changes in Africa and the African diaspora. The program places considerable emphasis on both the internal and external forces which affect African and African-American societies. The continuity and change in Africa and its impact on world civilization are emphasized in both the required courses and through electives.

Contact Info

Department of African and African-American Studies

Bailey Hall
1440 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 9
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594
785-864-3054
785-864-5330
afs@ku.edu
http://afs.ku.edu
Peter Ukpokodu, Chair
785-864-3054

Department of African and African-American Studies

Bailey Hall
1440 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 9
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594
785-864-3054
785-864-5330
afs@ku.edu
http://afs.ku.edu
Clarence Lang, Undergraduate Advisor
785-864-5569
celang@ku.edu

Department of African and African-American Studies

Bailey Hall
1440 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 9
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594
785-864-3054
785-864-5330
afs@ku.edu
http://afs.ku.edu
Shawn Alexander, Director, Graduate Studies
785-864-3054
Why KU
  • One of 34 public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
  • 2nd in the nation for prestigious faculty Fulbright awards
  • 26 Rhodes scholars
  • Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
  • One of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs. U.S. News and World Report