African American & African Studies, Bachelor of Arts College of Letters & Science

African American & African Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. This major introduces students to the social, cultural, historical, and artistic dimensions of global African Diaspora and Black communities in the United States, Africa, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Pacific regions of the world. The instructors are creative, accessible and highly qualified, with specializations across a range of disciplines. Students are exposed to and trained to think critically about the conditions and demands of global societies. Students may choose to enrich their education by studying for a summer, a quarter, or a year in Africa, or by studying for a quarter in the Caribbean. Majors and Minors are also encouraged to take advantage of relevant internship opportunities.

The Program

The purpose of this program is to give students a sense of the individual characteristics and common concerns of Black communities in Africa, the United States, and the wider Diaspora. The African American emphasis includes courses on history, culture, and the impact of developments in politics and the economy on the social organization of Black people in the United States. The African Diaspora emphasis enables students to study the way Black communities outside Africa and the United States have dealt with questions of race and ethnicity. It also considers how they have defined their identity in the political arena by using religion, theater and dance, literature, and film. The African emphasis allows students to focus on Africa's recent history, social issues, and contemporary culture.

Career Alternatives

Students majoring in African American & African Studies gain knowledge and strong critical thinking and analytical skills, problem-solving skills, and communication skills, all suited for advanced studies in all areas, including but not limited to the social sciences, law, education, business, medicine, and professional schools. Graduates in the major have pursued careers in all areas including education, the private and public sectors, the non-profit sector, international development agencies and human service. The interdisciplinary nature of African American & African Studies is excellent preparation for professions in community organizations such as the Urban League, NAACP, and the Office of Economic Opportunity.

Major Advisor

Katherine Ampaw-Matthei M.Ed;
African American & African Studies Staff

American History & Institutions

This University requirement can be satisfied by completion of AAS 010, AAS 100; listed in University Requirements.

The major requirements below are in addition to meeting University Degree Requirements & College Degree Requirements; unless otherwise noted. The minimum number of units required for the African American & African Studies Bachelor of Arts is 64.

Note: Although a course may be listed more than once, such a course may satisfy only one requirement.

Preparatory Subject Matter
African American & African Studies
AAS 010African-American Culture & Society4
or AAS 012 Introduction to African Studies
Choose one:4
Introduction to African American Humanities
Women in African Societies
Introduction to Caribbean Studies
Black Popular Culture
History of Afro American Dance
African Traditional Religion
Introduction to Black Politics
Choose one:4
Cultural Anthropology
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Introduction to Sociology
American National Government
American National Government
Introduction to Comparative Politics
General Psychology
General Psychology
General Psychology
Choose one:4
Introduction to Chicana/o Studies
Introduction to Native American Studies
Native American Experience
Introduction to Critical Gender Studies
Introduction to American Studies
Historical Experience of Asian Americans
Contemporary Issues of Asian Americans
Choose two:8
Africa to 1900
Africa Today
History of the United States
History of the United States
Choose one:4
Verbal & Performance Arts in Africa
History of Afro American Dance
African-American Dance & Culture in the United States, Brazil & the Caribbean
Beginning Jazz Dance
Intermediate Jazz Dance
Beginning Hip Hop Dance
Intermediate Hip Hop Dance
Introduction to African American Music
History & Analysis of Jazz
History of Rock Music
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal28
Depth Subject Matter
Choose one:4
Survey of Ethnicity in the US
Introduction to Research in the Afro-American Community
African Descent Communities & Culture in the Caribbean & Latin America
African Descent Communities & Culture in North America
African Descent Communities & Culture in Asia
West African Social Organization
Black Intellectuals
Diaspora & New Black Identities
Race & Ethnicity in Latin America
Choose one:4
Afro-American Visual Arts Tradition: A Historical & Cultural Study
Afro-American Visual Arts Tradition: A Historical & Cultural Study
Afro-American Vernacular Music & Verbal Arts
Major Voices in Black World Literature
African Literature
African-American Dance & Culture in the United States, Brazil & the Caribbean
Language & Identity in Africa & the African Diaspora
Literature & Society in South Africa
African-American Folklore
History of African American Television
African-American Film & Video
Black African & Black European Film & Video
Black Documentary: History & Theory
Black Documentary Practicum
Hip Hop in Urban America
Hip Hop Culture & Globalization
Topics in African American Film
Choose one:4
Cultural Politics in Contemporary Africa
Black Female Experience in Contemporary Society
Education in the African-American Community
The Black Family In America
Psychology of the African American Experience
Black Social & Political Thought
Black Intellectuals
Language & Identity in Africa & the African Diaspora
Islam in Africa & the Americas
African Religions in the Americas
Afro-Christianity & the Black Church
Diaspora & New Black Identities
The Politics of Resources
Politics of Life in Africa
A coordinated program of upper division courses, selected and approved in consultation with the major advisor and chosen to reflect the student's major emphasis. Possible areas of emphasis include the following:24
Creative arts in the black community worldwide, social and political trends in the global black community, African American society and culture, Africa, African Diasporas. These areas of emphasis are offered as guidelines for students in the major. They are not the only areas of emphasis that students may choose for the major.
Depth Subject Matter Subtotal36
Total Units64

Related Upper Division Courses

The following courses are offered by faculty members in other disciplines and focus on African American studies, African diaspora studies, or African studies:

AMS 156Race, Culture & Society in the United States4
ANT 104NCultural Politics of the Environment4
ANT 139ANRace, Class, Gender Systems4
ANT 140ACultures & Societies of West & Central Africa (Discontinued)4
ANT 140BCultures & Societies of East & South Africa4
AHI 150Arts of Subsaharan Africa4
CRD 151Community Field Research: Theory & Analysis5
CRD 152Community Development4
CRD 172Social Inequality: Issues & Innovations4
COM 154/AAS 153African Literature4
COM 165Caribbean Literatures4
ENL 16720th-Century African American Poetry4
ENL 178Topics in Nations, Regions, & Other Cultural Geographies4
ENL 179Topics in Comparative Racial & Ethnic Literary Studies4
ENL 181AAfrican American Literature to 19004
ENL 181BAfrican American Literature 1900-Present4
HIS 102OUndergraduate Proseminar in History: Africa5
HIS 115AHistory of West Africa 4
HIS 115BHistory of East Africa & the Indian Ocean4
HIS 115CHistory of Southern Africa from Exploration to the Rainbow Nation4
HIS 115DPostcolonial Africa4
HIS 116African History: Special Themes4
HIS 177AHistory of Black People & American Race Relations: 1450-18604
HIS 177BHistory of Black People & American Race Relations: 1860-Present4
POL 134Africa & U.S. Foreign Policy4
POL 176Racial Politics4
SOC 128Interracial Interpersonal Dynamics4
SOC 129Sociology of Black Experience in America4
SOC 130Race Relations4
SOC 137African American Society & Culture 1790 to 19904
SOC 143AUrban Society4
SOC 145ASociology of Third World Development4
SOC 145BGender & Rural Development in the Third World4
DRA/AAS 155AAfrican American Dance & Culture in the United States, Brazil & the Caribbean4
WMS 160Women, "Race" & Sexuality in Postcolonial Cinema 4
WMS 180Women of Color Writing in the United States4
WMS 182Globalization, Gender & Culture4