The African American and African Studies program offers courses on the societies and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora, including the Caribbean and Latin America. Courses offerings also cover subjects such as identity and community, black women writers, social thought, film, and race theory.
Majors and minors may also pursue independent work (295 and 395) exploring a particular topic in depth. They may apply courses in other departments, such as American studies, English, education, gender studies, history, and politics, toward the major or minor and may also take courses at other Five College institutions and apply them toward the major or minor with approval of the chair.
For first-year students, the program offers a writing-intensive seminar, 100s: First-Year Seminar: American Dreams, American Dilemmas: Race, Democracy, and Human Capability in the Twenty-First Century Dreams of full citizenship in North America for the descendants of enslaved African Americans have been overdetermined by dilemmas of racial inequality and racial conflict. After nearly 400 years in "the new world," the "beloved community" remains elusive. What progress has been made? What challenges remain? Is the project of integration and racial harmony dead (and, if so, what would an autopsy reveal)? What work remains in the quest for racial, gender, and economic justice and democracy? The course has two goals: to highlight critical questions and debates around black striving, and to develop good writing and critical thinking skills.