The mission of the Africana Studies program is to inform students about the history and cultures of the African continent and the many diverse African diaspora communities throughout the world. Through in-class experience, symposia, guest lectures, exposure to the arts, and Study Abroad programs in Senegal, South Africa, and Cuba, AFS provides Lafayette students with a rich interdisciplinary learning experience that prepares them for the twenty-first century.
Through ongoing engagement with the most recent scholarship on Africa and the African Diaspora, as well as with traditional benchmark works that are foundational to the field, the program strives to inform and stimulate students on the subject of the role of Africa in the formation of the modern world and its ongoing impact and participation in globalization processes.
Our approach is transnational and interdisciplinary, and we seek to further understanding between and across communities as well as to motivate students to see themselves as vibrant and dynamic civic leaders who further the cause of public engagement in fighting for social justice.
The Africana Studies program facilitates study abroad experiences that enhance student understanding of Africa and its diaspora communities. We also aim to help students engage in the local and to develop a firm understanding of social, environmental and economic development issues as they impact African Americans.
In this interdisciplinary major, students combine approaches of the traditional disciplines (history, literature and languages, anthropology and sociology, religion, economics, etc) in analyzing the experiences, problems, and questions at the center of the social, cultural, and political thought and actions of peoples of African heritage.
Many students have double majors. Look under Courses for descriptions.
A major in Africana Studies prepares students for further study in African Studies, Africana Studies, and African American Studies graduate programs. Students are also well prepared for careers in teaching and education, business, international development, and marketing. Students who have a double major in Economics or International Affairs often pursue careers in diplomatic service or corporate management, which require expertise in working in culturally diverse environments.
Honors: Students who meet College and major requirements may submit a written proposal for approval during their junior year for an honors thesis. Students pursuing honors will be allowed to substitute first-semester AFS 495 for AFS 400.