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Africana Studies

Africana Studies

Africana Studies offers a major, interdepartmental major and a minor that explore the history, culture, intellectual heritage and social development of people of African descent.

Focusing on the continent of Africa as well as such places in the diaspora as the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the United States, our program features a variety of approaches that draw upon the arts, humanities, and social and behavioral sciences.

Africana studies majors have more than 60 courses from which to choose. There are also opportunities to pursue mini-terms in SenegalSouth Africa and the American south.

"My majors in history and Africana studies cross into political science, economics and other fields. Initially, I saw this as preparation for law school, but my new plan is to pursue a master’s degree in education."
- Victor Murphy


Students who graduate with a degree in Africana studies are prepared for graduate study in the humanities and social and behavioral sciences, as well as for professional careers in a wide array of fields, including human services, education, government, law, business, community development, journalism and international affairs.

No matter which path you pursue, you will have a solid understanding of the diversity that characterizes our society and its workplace – a foundation that will serve you well anywhere.

Meet some of our faculty

Zoe Oxley

Brian Peterson

Associate professor of history and director of Africana studies
Ph.D.,  Yale University
Special interests: The social history of colonialism in Africa

Michele Angrist

Michele Angrist

Associate professor of political science
Ph.D., Princeton University
Special interests: Middle East and African politics, gender politics in the Muslim world and west Africa

Deidre Hill Butler

Deidre Hill Butler

Associate professor of sociology
Ph.D., Clark University
Special interests: African American culture and African American women’s representation

Peter Bedford

Peter Bedford

John and Jane Wold Professor of Religious Studies
Ph.D., Yale University
Special interests: Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions

After Union:

Historic preservation professional, Planting Fields Foundation

Youth leader, Harvest Fields Community Church

Corps member, City Year

Educator, Teach for America