Course Requirements

Core Courses

Students are required to complete four core courses (16-quarter hours).  The core courses are designed to accomplish three goals: to introduce students to the goals of the Program; to emphasize the Vincentian tenet that questions of human value undergird scholarly inquiry; and to strengthen an understanding of the interrelationships and dynamics among and between Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, and the United States.

Courses in an Area of Concentration

For this requirement, students must take six courses (24-quarter hours) at the 300 level which should focus on one region of the Black World: Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, or the United States and its respective relation to other regions of the world.  These six concentration courses are designed to provide students with a body of knowledge about a particular region of study.  Students who wish to take a 200 level course in partial fulfillment of this requirement must petition the African and Black Diaspora Studies Program Steering Committee for approval.  These courses build upon the general foundation of knowledge provided by the core courses and serve to augment and extend student knowledge about a particular region of Africa or the Black Diaspora and its relationship to other areas of the Program, and inquiry (culture, gender, history, power, and race) impact a specific region.  These courses incorporate an explicit discussion of at least two of the five sites of inquiry into the syllabus.

The framework below outlines the kinds of courses that students will be required to take. To insure that students are exposed to a variety of methodological approaches, students will be required to take three courses in the social and behavioral sciences (anthropology, geography, history, international studies, psychology, political science, and sociology) and humanities (e.g., American studies, history of art and architecture, literature, Latin American & Latino studies, modern languages, music, philosophy, religious studies, and theatre).  Each student, in consultation with his or her advisor, which is mandatory, will design a concentration that is attentive to comparative analysis.

Major Electives

Students in the Program will be able to take two courses as major field electives (eight-quarter hours). Such courses are designed to provide students with an opportunity to take courses related to their field of concentration in African and Black Diaspora Studies and at the same time extend their academic preparation through coursework in allied fields. The selection of electives will be done in consultation with the student’s academic advisor.

Capstone

This senior seminar (four quarter hours) engages students in a synthesis of what they have learned through coursework. The capstone course will involve reading, writing, discussion, as well as the preparation by students a substantive piece of work (e.g., a senior thesis, a research paper, or a creative work).

Open Electives​

Open elective credit also is required to meet the minimum graduation requirement of 192 hours.

ABD 100

INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN AND THE BLACK DIASPORA STUDIES

The objective of the course is two-fold: first, to introduce students to African and Black Diaspora Studies as a scholarly field rooted in a tripartite intellectual tradition (Africa, Pan-African, and African American Studies) and second, to ground the history of the field in the investigation of problems raised in African and Black diasporic public spheres. The course will show how the field formulates and investigates questions designed to critique existing knowledges and to expand knowledges in the interests of Black peoples.

ABD 206

AFRO-CARIBBEAN AND AFRO-LATIN AMERICA: PEOPLES, CULTURES, IDEAS AND MOVEMENTS

This course has two objectives. First, to introduce the student to the study of peoples of African descent in the Caribbean and Latin American through lenses of history, politics, and culture. Second, to introduce students to the methods and knowledges of the field of Latin America Studies to enable students to pursue further research.

ABD 200

AFRICA: PEOPLES, CULTURES, IDEAS AND MOVEMENTS

This is an introductory survey course on African politics. The organizing topic and focus of the course will be Africa's experience with democratic governance, especially its continuing vigor and popular appeal on the continent despite its elusive character. Our goal in this course is to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Africa: its rich political tradition, incredible diversity, its contradictions, achievements and failings. The objective is to be able to ask better questions, and develop some insights about why democracy, self-sustaining economic growth, equity and social justice have been so difficult to accomplish and sustain in the region.

ABD 208

AFRICAN AMERICA: PEOPLES, CULTURES, IDEAS AND MOVEMENTS

The objective of the course is to introduce the student to the history of the field of African American Studies. The course will be organized around two inquiries central to the field. First, the study the nature and quality of the connections between Africans in the diaspora, particularly in the United States, with the cultures and histories of Africans on the continent. Second, to study the ways in African Americans have developed an specific consciousness of being of African descent. These two inquiries will be examined in their cultural, economic, geographical, historical, philosophical and political contexts. This course will also place the field of African American studies within the context o its formation. Although the pioneering programs and departments were incorporated into college and university curriculums in the late 1960's and early 1970's

ABD 391

CAPSTONE

This senior seminar engages students in a synthesis of what they have learned through coursework. The capstone course will involve reading, writing, discussion, as well as the preparation by students of a substantive piece of work (e.g., a senior thesis, a research paper, or a creative work.)