This program is available as a minor.
The fact is, people in the many countries and regions of Africa—and those of African descent around the world—have held undeniable and extraordinary influence over developments in art, medicine, politics, science, literature, and other fields in spite of at times overwhelming prejudices, historical conditions, and oppressions.
The study of these dynamic cultures, sharing common factors but existing within their own time and place, is a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary experience. At Wells, the Africana minor allows students to delve into history, examine social context, and observe the current worlds that make up the continent of Africa and the worldwide diaspora.
Students may choose from courses that take a long historical lens, bringing to light texts and provoking discussions centered on the lives of those who lived as slaves, those who fought for civil rights, the voices of African American women, and the processes and effects of colonization. Additionally, courses in post-colonial cinema and literature illuminate the forms of self-expression and communal identity that arise from African artists following movements for independence.
A focus on modern society is introduced through comparative politics, which addresses distinct cases and political movements in predominately black nations, and through the study of inequality caused by class and ethnicity. Additional options relate to individual student interest and can be explored through independent study and internship opportunities.
All together, students in the minor acquire a deeper understanding of the historical conditions that led to the world as we see it and the ongoing challenges that face black communities in African nations, the U.S., the Caribbean, and around the globe.