The Department of Africana Studies curriculum focuses on four critical areas: history, culture, social policy (especially health and environment), and entrepreneurship, as these relate to the experiences of the peoples of African descent globally. The department offers a comprehensive liberal arts curriculum that enhances global awareness, engages social policies, fosters entrepreneurial skills in regional and transnational contexts, and develops the skills needed for success in the 21st century. Its interdisciplinary approach presents a stimulating diversity of perspectives integrated into a totality not available in other disciplines, programs, or departments. The curriculum is designed to provide a useful educational experience and academic skills for students who wish to consider graduate study or professional school and pursue careers in entrepreneurship; community development agencies; federal, state, and city civil service; business; museums and archives; health and environment fields; diplomatic and foreign service; as well as research, journalism, international organizations, and teaching.
The goals of the Department of Africana Studies are:
- To disseminate knowledge about the aggregate experience of peoples of African descent by offering a wide range of Africana courses to the University community and the public.
- To generate new knowledge and paradigms about the experiences of peoples of African descent through research, publication, and teaching that are interdisciplinary, transnational, and intercultural.
- To dispel myths and stereotypes about Blackness and Africa-derived cultures and practices through critical course content, programs, exchanges of ideas, and inter-cultural interaction.
- To promote transnational perspectives that foster socio-cultural and political awareness to meet the critical challenges posed by globalization, professional careers, as well as the demands of the work world through exposure to relevant experiences and course requirements.
- To provide general and specific academic skills to majors and non-majors through courses and activities that promote research, writing, reading, critical thinking, effective communication, and problem solving.
- To advance the intellectual development and personal growth of students through the acquisition, synthesis, dissemination, and application of a multicultural liberal arts education.
- To serve and contribute to local, national, and international civic institutions.