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Africana Studies

Students may complete a minor in Africana Studies.


Robert Washington
Tracey Hucks, at Haverford College

Advisory Committee Members

Michael H. Allen
Linda-Susan Beard
Francis Higginson
Philip L. Kilbride
Lázaro Lima
Elaine Mshomba
Kalala Ngalamulume
Mary Osirim

The Africana Studies Program brings a global outlook to the study of Africa and the African diaspora. Drawing on analytical perspectives from anthropology, history, literary studies, political science and sociology, the program focuses on African people and African cultures within the context of increasing globalization and dramatic social, economic and political changes.

Bryn Mawr's Africana Studies Program participates in a U.S. Department of Education-supported consortium with Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges and the University of Pennsylvania . Through this consortium, Bryn Mawr students have an opportunity to take a broad range of courses beyond those offered in our program by enrolling in courses offered by the three other participating institutions. Bryn Mawr's Africana Studies Program sponsors a study abroad semester at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and participates in similar study abroad programs offered by its consortium partners in Zimbabwe , Ghana and Senegal .

Students are encouraged to begin their work in the Africana Studies Program by taking Introduction to Africana Studies (GNST 101). This introductory level course, which provides students with a common intellectual experience as well as the foundation for subsequent courses in Africana studies, should be completed by the end of the student's junior year.

Minor Requirements

The requirements for a minor in Africana studies are the following:

  1. One-semester interdisciplinary course Bryn Mawr/Haverford GNST 101: Introduction to Africana Studies.
  2. Six semester courses from an approved list of courses in Africana studies.
  3. A senior thesis or seminar-length essay in an area of Africana studies.

Students are encouraged to organize their course work along one of several prototypical routes. Such model programs might feature:

  1. Regional or area studies; for example, focusing on Brazil , the English-speaking Caribbean or North America .
  2. Thematic emphases; for example, exploring decolonization, class politics, ethnic conflicts and/or economic development in West and East Africa .
  3. Comparative emphases; for example, problems of development, public health, governance or family and gender.

The final requirement for the Africana studies minor is a senior thesis or its equivalent. If the department in which the student is majoring requires a thesis, she can satisfy the Africana studies requirement by writing on a topic that is approved by her department and the Africana Studies Program coordinator. If the major department does not require a thesis, an equivalent written exercise - that is, a seminar-length essay - is required. The essay may be written within the framework of a particular course or as an independent study project. The topic must be approved by the instructor in question and by the Africana Studies Program coordinator.

Africana studies courses currently offered at Bryn Mawr include:

ANTH B200/HIST B200 European Expansion and Competition: History of Three Worlds: The Atlantic World
ANTH B253 Childhood in the African Experience
ANTH B341 Cultural Perspectives on Sexuality, Marriage and Family
ARCH B101 The Uses of the Past: Introduction to Egyptian and Near Eastern Archaeology
ARCH B230 Archaeology and History of Ancient Egypt
CITY B237/HIST B237 Themes in Modern African History: Urbanization in Africa
CITY B266/EDUC B266 Schools in American Cities
EDUC B200 Critical Issues in Education
ENGL B234 Postcolonial Literature in English
ENGL B263 Toni Morrison and the Art of Narrative Conjure
ENGL B362 African American Literature
ENGL B379 The African Griotte
GNST B101 Introduction to African Studies
GNST B103 Introduction to Swahili Language and Culture I
GNST B105 Introduction to Swahili Language and Culture II
HIST B236 African History: Africa since 1800
HIST B243 Atlantic Cultures: Maroon Societies
HIST B303 Topics in American History: Immigration and Ethnicity
HIST B337 Topics in African History: Social History of Medicine in Africa

Africana studies courses currently offered at Haverford include:

ANTH H205 Social Anthropology: Artisans in Global Context
ENGL H270 Portraits in Black: The Influence of an Emergent African-American Culture
ENGL H275 Thinking Globally, Writing Locally
FREN H255 Cinéma français/francophone et colonialisme
FREN H312 Advanced Topics in French Literature
HIST H243 African American Political and Social Thought: Black Modernism, 1895-1945
HIST H343 Black Paris: Art and Ideology in a Modernist Diaspora, 1925-1975
POLS H264 Political Economies in Developing Countries
RELG H132 Varieties of African American Religious Experience
RELG H242 Topics in African American Religious History: The Religious Writings of W.E.B. Dubois and James Baldwin
SOCL H235 Class, Race and Education
SPAN H340 The Moor in Spanish Literature

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