2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog

2008-2009 Catalog

Africana Studies

Students may complete a minor in Africana Studies.


Kalala Ngalamulume, at Bryn Mawr
Susanna Wing, at Haverford College
Affiliated Faculty
Michael H. Allen, Political Science
Linda-Susan Beard, English
Francis Higginson, French and Francophone Studies (on leave semester I)
Philip L. Kilbride, Anthropology
Elaine Mshomba, University of Pennsylvania
Kalala Ngalamulume, Africana Studies and History
Mary Osirim, Sociology
Diala Touré, History of Art
Robert Washington, Sociology

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 Edu-cation-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. Also, Bryn Mawr’s Africana Studies Program sponsors a study abroad semester at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and participates in other 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 GNST 101: Introduction to Africana Studies (ICPR 101 at Haverford).
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 blacks in Latin America, the English-speaking Caribbean or North America.
2.   Thematic emphases; for example, exploring class politics, ethnic conflicts and/or economic development in West and East Africa.
3.   Comparative emphases; for example, problems of development, governance, public health 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 both the instructor in question and the Africana Studies Program coordinator.

Africana Studies courses currently offered at Bryn Mawr include:

ANTH B200/HIST B200 The Atlantic World 1492-1800: Indians, Europeans and Africans
ANTH B253 Childhood in the African Experience
ARCH B101 Introduction to Egyptian and Near Eastern Archaeology
CITY B266/EDUC B266/SOCL 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
GNST B103 Introduction to Swahili Language and Culture I
GNST B105 Introduction to Swahili Language and Culture II
HART B282 Arts of Sub-Saharan Africa
HART B362 The African Art Collection
HIST B102 Introduction to Africana Civilizations
HIST B125 The Discovery of Europe
HIST B237 Themes in Modern African History: Urbanization in Africa
HIST B336 Topics in African History: Social and Cultural History of Medicine
POLS B243 African and Caribbean Perspectives in World Politics
SOCL B175 Environment and Society: History, Place and Problems
SOCL B215 Challenges and Dilemmas of Diversity
SOCL B229 Black America in Sociological Perspective

Africana studies courses currently offered at Haverford include:

ANTH H247 Anthropology and Literature: Ethnography of Black South African Writing 1888-1988
ANTH H327 Ritual, Performance and Symbolic Practice
ARTS H217 The History of African-American Art from 1619 to the Present
ENGL H265 African American Literature
ENGL H270 Portraits in Black: The Influence of an Emergent African-American Culture
ENGL H363 The Awful Rehearsal: Traumas of Freedom in U.S. Literature
FREN H312 L’Art du ridicule de Rabelais a Voltaire
FREN H312 La Revolution Haitienne: Histoire et Imaginaire
HIST H243 African American Political and Social Thought: Black Modernism, 1895-
HIST H343 Black Paris—Art and Ideology in a Modernist Diaspora, 1925-1975
MUSC H227 Jazz and the Politics of Culture
PHIL H233 Philosophy and Race
POLS H123 American Politics: Difference and Discrimination
POLS H235 African Politics
POLS H340 Postcolonialism and the Politics of Nation-building
POLS H345 Islam, Democracy and Development
RELG H132 Varieties of African American Religious Experience
RELG H169 Black Religion and Liberation Thought: An Introduction
RELG H214 Prophetic Imaginations in the American Tradition
RELG H242 The Religious Writings of James Baldwin
RELG H330 Seminar in the Religious History of African-American Women
RELG H347 Souls of Black Folk: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Problem of Religion
SOCL H235 Class, Race, and Education

Updated August 25, 2008 by Tracy Kellmer