Last update: 10/24/96

African Area Studies

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

African Area Studies Program
HSS 384
415-338-7496 or 415-338-7541
Co-Director: Jacques Hymans
Co-Director: Aguibou Yansane


Professors--Bettelheim, Hoffman, Hymans, Nobles, Katz, Kirkeberg, Treichel, T'Shaka, Yansane

Associate Professors--Richards, J., Steier

Lecturers--Bernstein, Gearring, Malonga-Casquelourd


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 closely 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.

Courses for this program are listed in alphabetical sequence (consult Index for page reference).


Core Curriculum

One course selected from each of the following 
Classical Africa				3
BLS 305		Ancient Egypt
CLAR 500	Ancient Egyptian Civilization
Africa: Tradition and Transition		3
BLS 302		Black Diaspora
HIST 610	History of Africa
Modern Africa					3
BLS 301		Africa in Global Perspective
HIST 611	Modern Africa
HUM 515	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							15
Behavioral and Social Sciences
ANTH 315	Regional Ethnography: East and South Africa
ANTH 315	Regional Ethnography: Peoples and Culture of West Africa
GEOG 570	Regional Studies: Africa
HIST 600	Ancient Egypt
HIST 610	History of Africa
HIST 611	Modern Africa
IR 321		African Foreign Policy
Ethnic Studies
BLS 300	From Africa to America
BLS 301		Africa in Global Perspective
BLS 302		Black Diaspora
BLS 305		Ancient Egypt
BLS 411		African--African-American Literature
Humanities and Arts
ART 503	African Art History
CLAR 500	Ancient Egyptian Civilization (to 2000 B.C.)
CLAR 501	Ancient Egyptian Civilization (after 2000 B.C.)
CLAR 502	Ancient Egyptian Language and Literature
DANC/BLS 617	Black Dance Experience
HUM 515		Styles of African Cultural Expression
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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