African Area Studies

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

African Area Studies Program
HUM 244
Director: Aguibou Yansane


Professors—Bettelheim, Hoffman, Nobles, Obenga, T'Shaka, Yansane

Associate ProfessoróRichards

Assistant ProfessorsóGetz, Wangui



African Area Studies Minor

Program Scope

This aggregate of courses should lead students to appreciate the richness of Africa and its unity in diversity. It should help students to understand the issues facing African communities, societies, and nation-states in the past as well as the present. Students will examine African accomplishments, mores, traditions, cultures, and civilizations. Students should finish the minor with a greater degree of understanding of, and tolerance for, cultural differences and ethnic pluralism as well as the problems inherent in the process of social change in Africa.

Students who select this minor are presented with different disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. Each course provides alternate ways to describe and analyze what was, and what is, important to individual Africans; to African communities, societies, and nation-states; to the African continent as a whole; and/or to the whole of Africa as part of the Third World. Common to all the perspectives is the examination of the process of change/development/modernization. It is hoped that students will be provided the tools to enable them to build their own frames of reference, syntheses of concepts, data, and theories, as well as to enrich their social attitudes and cultural values concerning Africa.

Career Outlook

Students will be encouraged to take advantage of the African Area Studies Minor to apply their knowledge, understanding, and interest in things African to their career goals (teaching, journalism, business, and international endeavors in the public sector, non-governmental agencies, and multilateral institutions).


Students interested in this minor should see one of the African Area Studies faculty to choose the courses most appropriate to them. (NOTE: No more than six units may be taken on a CR/NC basis; no more than nine units may be transferred from other campuses.) All students completing the minor are required to demonstrate intermediate level competency in a relevant language other than English. For specific information on how to meet the requirement students should consult with the coordinator of the minor program.

The African Area Studies Minor consists of a core curriculum of three courses which contain material and perspectives which reach across the normal disciplinary divisions of the university, plus fifteen units of upper division courses taken from the following list, on advisement.

On-line course descriptions are available.

Core Curriculum Units
One course selected from each of the following areas:
Classical Africa 3
BL S 305 Ancient Egypt  
CLAR 500 Ancient Egyptian Civilization
Africa: Tradition and Transition 3
BL S 302 Black Diaspora  
HIST 610 History of Africa
ART 508 African Art History
BL S/DANC 617 Black Dance Experience
Modern Africa 3
BL S 301 Africa in Global Perspective  
HIST 611 Modern Africa
HUM 360 Styles of African Cultural Expression
Units selected on advisement with at least one course from each group and no duplication of courses that were taken as part of the core curriculum
Behavioral and Social Sciences
ANTH 315 Regional Ethnography: East and South Africa  
ANTH 315 Regional Ethnography: Peoples and Culture of West Africa
GEOG 571 Regional Studies: Africa
HIST 600 Ancient Egypt
HIST 610 History of Africa
HIST 611 Modern Africa
I R 321 Development and Foreign Policy—Africa
Ethnic Studies
BL S 300 From Africa to Olmec America: Ancient African Prehistory and History  
BL S 301 Africa in Global Perspective
BL S 302 Black Diaspora
BL S 305 Ancient Egypt
BL S 411 African/African-American Literature
Humanities and Arts
ART 508 African Art History  
CLAR 500 Ancient Egyptian Civilization (to 2000 B.C.)
CLAR 502 Ancient Egyptian Language and Literature
DANC/BL S 617 Black Dance Experience
Total for minor 24

Language Requirement

All students completing this area studies minor are required to demonstrate intermediate level competency in a language (other than English), relevant to the area. This requirement may be met by completing the university entrance requirement of two years of high school language study, one year of successful college level language study, or by demonstration of equivalent competency.

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