About Our Department

Our faculty pursue interests across the spectrum of African and African-American studies. In addition to our expertise in core subjects areas like English, history, sociology, and anthropology, AFAS faculty are actively engaged in interdisciplinary, practice-oriented fields across Washington University, including social work and public health, architecture and design, computer science, business, law, and education. 

The department regularly sponsors lectures and events, such as plays, film festivals, exhibits, field trips, and panels and speakers, which focus on contemporary or perennial topics of interest in all areas of the Black experience. In many cases, guest lecturers and artists visit classes and interact directly with our students and others across the campus community. Through our scholarship, teaching, and broader engagement activities we seek to foster a vibrant and impactful social and intellectual community of African and African-American Studies. 

upcoming
events

Panel: Ghost Sanctuary

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis

Jonathan Stitelman, visiting assistant professor of architecture and urban design, Sam Fox School, and students in this semester’s graduate architecture studio course “Ghost Sanctuary” discuss the notion of sanctuary in relation to their own work and to Ai Weiwei: Bare Life.

View Event

Truths and Reckonings: The Art of Transformative Racial Justice

Kemper Art Museum at Washington University

In Truths and Reckonings, a Teaching Gallery opening in Spring 2020 at Kemper Art Museum, AFAS professor Geoff Ward creates a "pop-up" memorial museum to explore the roles of art works and art spaces in addressing histories of racial violence, their legacies, and the need for repair.

View Event

History of Black Studies

Gerald Early talks about how black studies programs came to college campuses across America. In spring 2017, Early oversaw a milestone for African and African-American Studies, when the former program in Arts & Sciences became a full department.

AFAS Professor Ward serves as Scholar in Residence on Pursuing Justice Bus Tour

AFAS Professor Ward serves as Scholar in Residence on Pursuing Justice Bus Tour

campus organizations

  • African Students Association

    ASA's mission is to advance political, social, cultural, and economic awareness about the African continent by engaging individuals in dialogue that will establish a deeper understanding and appreciation of the dynamic cultures within the continent.

  • Association of Black Students

    The Association of Black Students is an organization with a rich, powerful history of fellowship, service, and advocacy at Washington University..

  • Black Alumni Council

    The mission of the BAC is to support the professional and personal development of WashU black alumni, to assist in the recruitment and retention of African-American students, and to enhance the continued growth and development of the university.

  • Black Anthology

    Black Anthology was founded in 1989. It is an annual performance that is written, choreographed, directed, and produced entirely by Washington University students.

AFAS Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2020-2021

The Department of African and African American Studies (AFAS) at Washington University in St. Louis invites applications from recent Ph.D. graduates in the humanities and social sciences for a one-year postdoctoral fellowship, with the option to apply for a second-year renewal. The fellowship aims to support junior scholars whose research focuses on topics related to Africa, African Americans, and/or the African Diaspora by providing them with opportunities for mentorship, advancing their research, and enhancing their teaching. Follow the link below for more information about the fellowship and application instructions.

AFAS Postdoctoral Fellowship