ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

< Back to Program List

Undergraduate: Africana Studies

  • Program Overview

    Department Information - Africana Studies

    The Africana Studies Department is an interdisciplinary unit that focuses on the histories, sociology, philosophy, literatures, politics, anthropology, religions, and experiences of people of African heritage within a global context. Our faculty facilitates social commitment, promote sensitivity to the civil rights of all people, and teach responsibility to community. 

    The major in Africana Studies provides students with a thorough background in the historical, political, social, and economic conditions of people of African descent. The major is designed to explore issues within the black international communities of Africa, the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Particular attention is focused on political concepts, cultural developments, literary manifestations, and social theories. Because of this field's interdisciplinary approach, students are exposed to the critical contributions of scholars representing a variety of theoretical approaches and intellectual perspectives.

    Africana Studies offers our majors and minors excellent preparation for graduate and professional schools in such disciplines and professions as law, medicine, business, engineering, nursing, social work, and education. Africana Studies courses also benefit students who go on to do graduate work in history, politics, anthropology, sociology, literature, cultural studies, and other fields.

     

  • Degrees and Requirements

    Requirements for the Major in Africana Studies (AFS)

    The major in Africana Studies leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree. All courses for the major, except those graded S/U, must be passed with a letter grade of C or higher.

    Completion of the major requires 39 credits, including at least 21 upper-division credits (from courses numbered 300 or higher).

    Courses taken pass/fail with an AFS or AFH designator (283, 475, 476, and 488) are considered enhancements to the major experience but do not count towards major requirements. They may fulfill university requirements.

    Students select from an Interdisciplinary concentration, a concentration in Human Rights and Social Justice, and a concentration in Health and Disease. Note that concentrations do not appear on the Stony Brook transcript.

    Interdisciplinary Concentration in Africana Studies

    The interdisciplinary concentration in Africana Studies is intended to provide students with a broad knowledge of issues pertinent to Africa and the African diaspora. Students who follow this concentration will be exposed to the breadth of courses offered in the department, including foundations courses that deal with the Black experience; courses from the humanities and the social sciences; and courses that delineate the experiences of Africans in Africa and the diaspora. Thus, students will learn about art, music, philosophy, literature, history, politics, languages, cultures, societies, religion, dance—all from an interdisciplinary and transnational Africana perspective.

    Learning Objectives  

    Students who complete the Interdisciplinary concentration in Africana Studies will be able to:

    • Apply an Africana lens to the study of the humanities and the social sciences.
    • Demonstrate an awareness of African and diasporic cultures and societies.
    • Demonstrate their ability to think critically about social, political, and economic issues pertinent to Africa and the African diaspora.
    • Interrogate and assess scholarly and popular sources on Africa and the African diaspora.
    • Demonstrate awareness of the methodologies and skills used in the humanities and social sciences.

    Requirements for the Interdisciplinary Concentration in Africana Studies

    1. Foundation Courses

    • AFS 101, 102 Themes in the Black Experience I, II

    2. Two courses from each of the following areas (at least two courses selected from 200-level courses, and at least five upper-division courses at the 300 or 400-level):

    a. Africana Studies in the Humanities

      • AFH 206 Great Books of the Black Experience
      • AFH 249/EGL 249 African-American Literature and Music in the 19th and 20th Centuries
      • AFH 329/HUF 318 Pan-African Literature I
      • AFH 330 Pan-African Literature II
      • AFH 368/EGL 368 Caribbean and American Connections in Literature
      • AFH 382/EGL 382/WST 382 Black Women's Literature
      • AFH 385/HUF 385 French Caribbean Literature
      • AFH 391 Topics in Africana Studies
      • AFH 423 Africana Literature in French

    b. Africana Studies in the Social Sciences

      • AFS 221/HIS 221 Introduction to Modern African History
      • AFS 239 Introduction to the Caribbean Experience
      • AFS 240 Issues in Caribbean Society
      • AFS 277/HIS 277 The Modern Color Line
      • AFS 365/SOC 365 Introduction to African Society
      • AFS 372 African American Political Thought
      • AFS 395/ANT 395 Religions of the Caribbean

    c. The African American Experience

      • AFS 300 Blacks in the City
      • AFS 310 American Attitudes Toward Race
      • AFS 319 The Politics of Race
      • AFS 325/HIS 325 The Civil Rights Movement
      • AFS 339/HIS 339 Recent African American History
      • AFS 350/WST 350 African American Women and Social Change
      • AFS 360 African American Social Commentary
      • AFS 363 The Media and Black America
      • AFS 370 The African American Family
      • AFS 375 Slavery
      • AFS 392 The Black Power Movement
      • AFS 394 Black Nationalism in America

    d. The Global African Experience

      • AFH 379/PHI 379 Philosophy of Race
      • AFS 345/WST 345 Culture and Gender: Women in Africa and the Caribbean
      • AFS 337/POL 337 The Politics of Africa
      • AFH 339/ARH 329 Arts of the African Diaspora
      • AFS 346/HIS 346 Political and Social History of Africa
      • AFS 380/ANT 380 Race and Ethnicity in Latin America and the Caribbean
      • AFS 381/WST 381 AIDS, Race, and Gender in the Black Community
      • AFS 388/HIS 388 Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean
      • AFS 393 Caribbean Immigrants in U.S.
      • AFS 400 Ancient Egypt (KMT): Historical and Contemporary Views

    3. Three credits in AFH 447 or AFS 447 Readings in Africana Studies or AFH 487 or AFS 487 Research in Africana Studies taken in the junior or senior year.

    4. Two additional AFS or AFH courses at the 300 or 400 level, or two upper-division courses outside of the department (approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies is necessary when taking courses outside of the department for major credit).

    5. Writing within the Discipline

    Africana Studies Majors are required to enroll in AFS 459 Effective Writing in Africana Studies, taken in conjunction with an upper-division AFS or AFH course. AFS 459 teaches the skills and techniques of effective academic writing. Students must inform the instructor of the course in advance of their plan to co-register for AFS 459 to satisfy the Africana Studies WRTD requirement. Students must earn a grade of 'S' in AFS 459 to satisfy the WRTD requirement. AFS 459 also satisfies the Stony Brook Curriculum learning objective WRTD.

    Concentration in Human Rights & Social Justice  

    Questions of human rights and social justice have been central features of modern nation-states. In fact, in the twenty-first century, issues of human rights and social justice seem even more pressing in the light of the rise of autocratic governments, a recrudescence of far-right movements and fascist sensibilities, contracting economies, restrictions placed on journalists and others who “speak truth to power”, and examples of ethnic cleansing under the watch of those who were held up as exemplars of human rights. This concentration will provide students with the knowledge and skills to address the multifarious issues that fall under the rubrics of human rights and social justice.

    Learning Objectives

    Students who complete the concentration in Human Rights and Social Justice will be able to:

    • Demonstrate expertise in the major Africana theories on human rights and social justice.
    • Evaluate and analyse the worth and veracity of various discourses (literature, moving images, inter alia) that delineate human rights issues in Africa or the African diaspora.
    • Conduct research and write a cogent analysis on a major issue pertaining to social justice or human rights in Africa or the African diaspora.
    • Apply the principles learnt in the classroom to “real-life” situations through a Social Action Project.

    Requirements for the Concentration in Human Rights & Social Justice

    • Social Action Project—the topic for the Social Action Project must be approved by the Undergraduate Director. 
    • Internship Requirement: Students must serve an internship in an organisation in Long Island or the Greater New York City area.

    1. Foundation Courses

    • AFS 101, 102 Themes in the Black Experience I, II

    2. One course from each of the following areas (two of these courses must be selected from 200-level courses and two must be upper-division courses at the 300- or 400-level):

    a. Africana Studies in the Humanities

      • AFH 206 Great Books of the Black Experience
      • AFH 249/EGL 249 African-American Literature and Music in the 19th and 20th Centuries
      • AFH 329/HUF 318 Pan-African Literature I
      • AFH 330 Pan-African Literature II
      • AFH 368/EGL 368 Caribbean and American Connections in Literature
      • AFH 382/EGL 382/WST 382 Black Women's Literature
      • AFH 385/HUF 385 French Caribbean Literature
      • AFH 391 Topics in Africana Studies
      • AFH 423 Africana Literature in French

    b. Africana Studies in the Social Sciences

      • AFS 221/HIS 221 Introduction to Modern African History
      • AFS 239 Introduction to the Caribbean Experience
      • AFS 240 Issues in Caribbean Society
      • AFS 277/HIS 277 The Modern Color Line
      • AFS 365/SOC 365 Introduction to African Society
      • AFS 372 African American Political Thought
      • AFS 395/ANT 395 Religions of the Caribbean

    c. The African American Experience

      • AFS 300 Blacks in the City
      • AFS 310 American Attitudes Toward Race
      • AFS 319 The Politics of Race
      • AFS 325/HIS 325 The Civil Rights Movement
      • AFS 339/HIS 339 Recent African American History
      • AFS 350/WST 350 African American Women and Social Change
      • AFS 360 African American Social Commentary
      • AFS 363 The Media and Black America
      • AFS 370 The African American Family
      • AFS 375 Slavery
      • AFS 392 The Black Power Movement
      • AFS 394 Black Nationalism in America

    d. The Global African Experience

      • AFH 379/PHI 379 Philosophy of Race
      • AFS 345/WST 345 Culture and Gender: Women in Africa and the Caribbean
      • AFS 337/POL 337 The Politics of Africa
      • AFH 339/ARH 329 Arts of the African Diaspora
      • AFS 346/HIS 346 Political and Social History of Africa
      • AFS 380/ANT 380 Race and Ethnic

    3. Five courses under area of specialization; 3 of these courses must be from the Department of Africana Studies. Courses in the Department of Africana Studies which will be used to satisfy the Human Rights and Social Justice concentration are as follows:

    • AFS 340 Human Rights in Africa
    • AFS/HIS 325 The Civil Rights Movement
    • AFS 350 Black Women and Social Change
    • AFS 373 Sexualities: African and Caribbean Perspectives
    • AFH 380 African American and Caribbean Theatre
    • AFS 382 Race, Ethnicity, and Environment
    • AFS 392 The Black Power Movement
    • ARH 328 Exhibiting Africa

    Courses from outside of Africana Studies which can be used to satisfy the concentration are as follows:  

    • SOC 303 Social Inequality
    • SOC 309 Social Conflicts and Movements
    • POL 310 Immigration and Refugee Politics
    • POL 325 Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
    • HWC 304 Contemporary Social Justice Issues
    • HWC 361 Implications of Racial Issues for Social Welfare

    4. 2 Research and EXP+ Courses at the 400-level:

    • AFS/POL 477 Qualitative and Mixed Methods
    • AFS/AFH 487 Research in Africana Studies

    5. Writing within the Discipline

    Africana Studies Majors are required to enroll in AFS 459 Effective Writing in Africana Studies, taken in conjunction with an upper-division AFS or AFH course. AFS 459 teaches the skills and techniques of effective academic writing. Students must inform the instructor of the course in advance of their plan to co-register for AFS 459 to satisfy the Africana Studies WRTD requirement. Students must earn a grade of 'S' in AFS 459 to satisfy the WRTD requirement. AFS 459 also satisfies the Stony Brook Curriculum learning objective WRTD.

    Concentration in Health and Disease

    Access to healthcare is one of the defining features of compassionate nations. Moreover, establishing standards of care is critical to delivering adequate health services. The concentration in health and disease considers these issues while at the same time creating educated citizenry who can move easily between academic and professional healthcare settings.

    Learning Objectives

    Students who complete the concentration in Health and Disease in Africa and the African Diaspora will be able to:

    • Demonstrate expertise in the areas of health and disease in Africa and the African diaspora from historical and contemporary perspectives.
    • Analyse case studies of health issues from Africa and the African diaspora.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and be able to use these methodologies to measure health outcomes.
    • Interpret data.
    • Demonstrate awareness of how the law and health intersect including areas relating to patient confidentiality and medical ethics.
    • Demonstrate verbal and written skills consistent with those needed in professional healthcare settings.

    Requirements for the Concentration in Health and Disease in Africa and the African Diaspora

    • Students must earn a grade of “C” or higher in all courses towards their major. 
    • Social Action Project—the topic for the Social Action Project must be approved by the Undergraduate Director. 
    • Internship Requirement: Students must serve an internship in an organisation in Long Island or the Greater New York City area.

    1. Foundation Courses

    • AFS 101, 102 Themes in the Black Experience I, II

    2. One course from each of the following areas (two of these courses must be selected from 200-level courses and two must be upper-division courses at the 300- or 400-level):

    a. Africana Studies in the Humanities

      • AFH 206 Great Books of the Black Experience
      • AFH 249/EGL 249 African-American Literature and Music in the 19th and 20th Centuries
      • AFH 329/HUF 318 Pan-African Literature I
      • AFH 330 Pan-African Literature II
      • AFH 368/EGL 368 Caribbean and American Connections in Literature
      • AFH 382/EGL 382/WST 382 Black Women's Literature
      • AFH 385/HUF 385 French Caribbean Literature
      • AFH 391 Topics in Africana Studies
      • AFH 423 Africana Literature in French

    b. Africana Studies in the Social Sciences

      • AFS 221/HIS 221 Introduction to Modern African History
      • AFS 239 Introduction to the Caribbean Experience
      • AFS 240 Issues in Caribbean Society
      • AFS 277/HIS 277 The Modern Color Line
      • AFS 365/SOC 365 Introduction to African Society
      • AFS 372 African American Political Thought
      • AFS 395/ANT 395 Religions of the Caribbean

    c. The African American Experience

      • AFS 300 Blacks in the City
      • AFS 310 American Attitudes Toward Race
      • AFS 319 The Politics of Race
      • AFS 325/HIS 325 The Civil Rights Movement
      • AFS 339/HIS 339 Recent African American History
      • AFS 350/WST 350 African American Women and Social Change
      • AFS 360 African American Social Commentary
      • AFS 363 The Media and Black America
      • AFS 370 The African American Family
      • AFS 375 Slavery
      • AFS 392 The Black Power Movement
      • AFS 394 Black Nationalism in America

    d. The Global African Experience

      • AFH 379/PHI 379 Philosophy of Race
      • AFS 345/WST 345 Culture and Gender: Women in Africa and the Caribbean
      • AFS 337/POL 337 The Politics of Africa
      • AFH 339/ARH 329 Arts of the African Diaspora
      • AFS 346/HIS 346 Political and Social History of Africa
      • AFS 380/ANT 380 Race and Ethnic

    3. Five courses under area of specialization; 3 of these courses must be from the Department of Africana Studies. Courses in the Department of Africana Studies which will be used to satisfy the Human Rights and Social Justice concentration are as follows:

    • AFS/HIS 368 Health and Disease in Africa
    • AFS/WST 381 AIDS, Race, and Gender in the Black Community
    • AFS 374 Environment and Development in the African Diaspora

    Courses from outside of Africana Studies which can be used to satisfy the concentration are as follows:  

    • SOC 200 Medicine and Society
    • SOC 339 Sociology of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
    • SOC 393 Special Topics in Health, Medicine, and Social Change
    • HIS 293 Disease in American History
    • WST 394 Special Topics in Medicine, Reproduction, and Gender

    4. 2 Research and EXP+ Courses at the 400-level:

    • AFS/POL 477 Qualitative and Mixed Methods
    • AFS/AFH 487 Research in Africana Studies

    5. Writing within the Discipline

    Africana Studies Majors are required to enroll in AFS 459 Effective Writing in Africana Studies, taken in conjunction with an upper-division AFS or AFH course. AFS 459 teaches the skills and techniques of effective academic writing. Students must inform the instructor of the course in advance of their plan to co-register for AFS 459 to satisfy the Africana Studies WRTD requirement. Students must earn a grade of 'S' in AFS 459 to satisfy the WRTD requirement. AFS 459 also satisfies the Stony Brook Curriculum learning objective WRTD.

    Notes:

    1. Students are recommended, but not required, to take AFS 491 Interdisciplinary Seminar.

    2. Students must take at least two 200-level courses in Africana Studies prior to beginning their junior year.

    3. Only six credits of directed readings or independent study courses (courses numbered 447 and 487) may be used toward the major.

    4. The following courses may not be used to fulfill major requirements: AFS 283, AFS 475, AFS 476, AFS 488, AFH 475, AFH 476.

    5. Transfer students must take at least 12 credits of upper-division Africana Studies courses in residence at Stony Brook to complete the AFS major.

    6. Students can earn credit (S/U) by enrolling in AFS 283 (Community Service with the BlackWorld newspaper option). AFS 283 may not be used to fulfill major requirements.

    Africana Studies Honors Program

    Departmental majors with a minimum G.P.A. of 3.33 in Africana Studies courses as specified in the major requirements and an overall G.P.A. of 3.0 are eligible to enroll in the Africana Studies Honors program at the beginning of their senior year. The student must submit a research project proposal to a faculty sponsor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies, indicating the merit of the proposed project. The faculty sponsor must submit to the Department a statement of support for the proposal. The resulting project is read and evaluated by a committee consisting of the faculty sponsor and two faculty members (one may be a member of a department outside of Africana Studies). If the committee deems that the honors project has been completed successfully, honors are conferred by the Department.

    Requirements for the Minor in Africana Studies (AFS)

    The minor in Africana Studies is intended for students interested in exploring aspects of the Black experience in ways that relate to their own major field of study. The sequence of lower- and upper-division courses gives the student a well-balanced analysis of the varied aspects of the African, African American, and Caribbean experience. All courses offered for the minor, except those graded S/U, must be passed with a letter grade of C or higher.

    Completion of the minor requires 21 credits, including 12 upper-division credits.

    1.    AFS 101, AFS 102 Themes in the Black Experience I, II

    2.    One course from each of the following areas (see above):

    a. Africana Studies in the Humanities
    b. Africana Studies in the Social Sciences
    c. The African-American Experience
    d. The Global African Experience

    3.     One additional upper-division course selected from one of the areas listed in requirement 2        

    OR

    Three credits in AFH 447 or AFS 447 Readings in Africana Studies or AFH 487 or AFS 487 Research in Africana Studies taken in the junior or senior year.

     

  • Sequence

    Sample Course Sequence for the Major in Africana Studies: Interdisciplinary Concentration in Africana Studies

    A course planning guide for this major may be found  here.  The major course planning guides are not part of the official Undergraduate Bulletin, and are only updated periodically for use as an advising tool.  The Undergraduate Bulletin supersedes any errors or omissions in the major course planning guides.

     
    FRESHMAN

    FALL Credits
    First Year Seminar 101 1
    WRT 101 3
    AFS 101  3
    SBC  3
    SBC  3
    Elective  3
    Total  16
     
    SPRING Credits
    First Year Seminar 102 1
    WRT 102 3
    AFS 102  4
    SBC  3
    SBC  3
    Elective  3
     Total  16
     
    SOPHOMORE

    FALL Credits
    Course from Area A   3
    SBC  3
    SBC  3
    SBC  3
    Elective  3
       
     Total  15
     
    SPRING Credits
    Course from Area A   3
    SBC   3 
    SBC  3
    Elective  3
    Elective  3
       
     Total  15
     
    JUNIOR

    FALL Credits
    AFH 447 or AFS 447 or AFH 487 or AFS 487  3
    Course from Area B   3
    Course in related discipline*  3
    Course from Area C  3
    SBC  3
       
     Total  15
     
    SPRING Credits
    Course from Area B   3 
    Course in related discipline*  3
    Course from Area C  3
    Upper-division elective  3
    SBC  3
       
     Total  15
     
    SENIOR

    FALL Credits
    Course from Area D
    Course in related discipline*
    SBC
    SBC
    SBC 3
     AFS 459 0
     Total 15 
     
    SPRING Credits
    Course from Area D  3 
    Course in related discipline*  3 
    SBC  3
    Elective   3 
    Elective  3
       
     Total 15 

    *Course may not be crosslisted with AFH or AFS.

     

     

  • Contact

    Africana Studies (AFS)

    Major and Minor in Africana Studies

    Department of Africana Studies, College of Arts and Sciences

    Chair: Tracey Walters

    Director of Undergraduate Studies: Shimelis Gulema

    Assistant to the Chair: Ann Berrios

    Email: ann.berrios@stonybrook.edu

    Office: S-249 Social and Behavioral Sciences

    Phone: (631) 632-7470

    Website: http://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/africana-studies/

    Minors of particular interest to students majoring in Africana Studies: Anthropology (ANT), Economics (ECO), English (EGL), History (HIS), Philosophy (PHI), Political Science (POL), Sociology (SOC)

     

     

  • Courses
top
©