2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog

Africana Studies

Students may complete a minor in Africana Studies.


Kalala Ngalamulume, at Bryn Mawr College (on leave semester II)
Michael Allen, at Bryn Mawr College (semester II)
Susanna Wing, at Haverford College

Affiliated Faculty at Bryn Mawr College

Michael H. Allen, Political Science
Linda-Susan Beard, English
Francis Higginson, French and Francophone Studies
Philip L. Kilbride, Anthropology
Elaine Mshomba, University of Pennsylvania
Kalala Ngalamulume, Africana Studies and History (on leave semester II)
Mary Osirim, Sociology
Diala Touré, History of Art
Robert E. Washington, Sociology (on leave semesters I and II)

Faculty at Haverford College

Koffi Anyinefa, French
Tracey Hucks, Religion
Paul Jefferson, History
Jerry Miller, Philosophy
Zolani Ngwane, Anthropology

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. 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 (HIST B102). 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:

  • One-semester interdisciplinary course Bryn Mawr HIST B102: Introduction to Africana Studies (ICPR 101 at Haverford).
  • Six semester courses from an approved list of courses in Africana studies.
  • 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:

  • Regional or area studies; for example, focusing on blacks in Latin America, the English-speaking Caribbean or North America.
  • Thematic emphases; for example, exploring class politics, ethnic conflicts and/or economic development in West and East Africa.
  • 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:

EDUC B200 Critical Issues in Education
EDUC B266 Schools in American Cities
ENGL B234 Postcolonial Literature in English
ENGL B344 Black Women Writers in the 21st Century
ENGL B388 Contemporary African Fiction
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 Studies
HIST B235 Africa to 1800
HIST B236 Africa since 1800
HIST B237 History of Urbanization in Africa
HIST B336 Topics in African History
HIST B339 The Making of the African Diaspora 1450-1800
HIST B349 Topics in Comparative History: Before European Hegemony
POLS B243 African and Caribbean Perspectives in World Politics
SOCL B207 Social Dynamics of Oppression
SOCL B217 The Family in Social Context
SOCL B225 Women in Society

Africana studies courses currently offered at Haverford include:

ANTH H247 Anthropology and Literature: Ethnography of Black South African Writing 1888-2008
ANTH H249 Colonialism, Law, Human Rights in Africa
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 H276 Literature and Politics of South African Apartheid
ENGL H363 Topics in American Literature
FREN H255 Cinema et colonialisme
FREN H312 Cinema et immigration
ICPR H101 Introduction to African and Africana Studies
POLS H123 American Politics: Difference and Discrimination
POLS H247 Political Economy of Developing Countries
POLS H345 Islam, Democracy and Development
RELG H169 Black Religion and Liberation Thought: An Introduction
SPAN H266 Iberian Orientalism and the Nation