The minor in African American Studies provides an interdisciplinary investigation of the experiences, conditions, origins, accomplishments and contributions of people of African ancestry in the United States. Students may deepen their appreciation and understanding of African Americans by studying their earlier history in Africa, their transition to the New World and their diasporic experiences in other parts of the world.
The African American Studies program is comprised of more than 20 courses offered through nearly 10 departments and programs within the USA College of Arts and Sciences. The minor in African American Studies takes advantage of those characteristics of the African American experience that make it uniquely valuable for serious academic study and teaching, for it exposes students to the diversity and unity of the African American experience as well as to the similarities and differences among the cultures of Africa.
Join us for an upcoming event! After a successful first conversation in June, Dr. Laura Vrana, Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies, will facilitate another Zoom discussion, Deliberate Dialogue: Discussing 2020 with Contemporary African American authors on Thursday, July 30th at 7 p.m. This time, the discussion will feature three short pieces written over recent weeks about current events including two by Danez Smith and Roxane Gay. Please email her for the Zoom link and copies of the three texts or with any questions.
Reading recommendations for summer 2020:
African American Studies faculty have compiled a list of texts by African American authors across genres that might shed light on current events. Contact us for more ideas or information!
- Detective Fiction: Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley (2019)
- Speculative Fiction: Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (2000), The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (2016)
- Satire: The Sellout by Paul Beatty (2016)
- Literary Fiction: Iron City by Lloyd Brown (1951), Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (2017), An American Marriage: A
- Novel by Tayari Jones (2018)
- Poetry: The Essential Etheridge Knight (1986), Don’t Let Me Be Lonely by Claudia Rankine (2004), Citizen by Claudia
- Rankine (2014), Felon: Poems by Reginald Dwayne Betts (2019)