About Our Department
The African and African-American Studies department offers opportunities for students to explore the social, political and intellectual history as well as the literature, culture and artistic life of the people and places of the African diaspora. Our department, like the field of Africana Studies, is distinguished by a commitment to community-engaged, transformative research, teaching, programming, and service.
Led by leading scholars in their fields of Africana Studies, Anthropology, History, English, Sociology, Design, and more, the department examines a wide spectrum of experiences and issues and is both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary in its approach. Courses are offered in the humanities, the social sciences and the performing arts. Our faculty and students study geographic areas throughout East, West and Central Africa, the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean, and our departmental programs and initiatives are deeply enaged with St. Louis.
Students who major or minor in African and African-American Studies design a course of study that focuses on either a particular area of interest (e.g., health and wellness; arts and culture; global studies) or a more comprehensive examination of black culture and life. Students also have opportunities to collaborate in faculty research and undertake internships with St. Louis community organizations such as the Missouri Historical Society, the Griot Museum of Black History, and the George B. Vashon Museum. Our summer programs in Kenya and Senegal, as well as class trips and study abroad in other parts of the U.S. and global African Diaspora, can further enrich the student experience. Our alums have achieved success and distinction across a wide spectrum of fields, including the arts, medicine, law, education, science, and many other areas of creative and professional endeavor.