Africana Studies

As a field of inquiry, Africana studies analyzes the experiences of people of African descent wherever they live or have lived. It is inherently comparative, international, and multidisciplinary in approach.
Ariel Adams speaking at convocation
Professor Lumumba-Kasongo in Macmillan classroom
preparation for Black Lives Matter demonstration on campus
discussion in the art exhibit room

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.

"I like to think of my writing as bridging divides; I want to encourage people to think of how the personal is always political, not just the reverse. I love making connections—between people and between ideas."

Atiya Jordan '16
English: Creative Writing major, Communication Studies minor, Chief Editor of the Yearbook
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The student organization UMOJA presents their second annual conference, titled "Looking Back, Moving Forward." The conference will feature the following community discussions and presentations: Thursday,...
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About Minor Programs

Although minors have fewer required courses, they're an integral part of the curriculum, adding additional experience and expertise to your education. A minor can push you deeper into your program or add a whole new perspective.

Students may declare up to two minors until the end of the first semester of their senior year. See information on declaring a minor in the Academic Catalog.


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