Courses of Study

African Studies
See course descriptions for this program 

Director, Professor James Webb
Program Faculty And Advisory Committee: Professors Catherine Besteman (Anthropology), Michael Burke (English), Jill Gordon (Philosophy), and James Webb (History); Associate Professor Anindyo Roy (English); Instructor Mouhamedoul Niang (French and Italian)

One of the culturally and ecologically richest areas in the world, Africa is a vast continent of 30 million square kilometers embracing 54 countries and 748 million people. With its history of global connections, its wealth of resources and people, and its creative energy, the continent’s future is linked to global currents. Some suggest that the 21st century will be the Century of Africa.

The African Studies Program offers a minor that is both flexible and interdisciplinary and can be combined with a wide range of majors. In particular, it supports and complements majors in anthropology, French studies, environmental policy, history, government, and international studies.

Students may complete all their requirements for the minor in English or, if they are students of French, may take several of their courses in French. For opportunities involving the independent study of other African languages, please see the director.

The minor is composed of six courses, including a research seminar in which a major piece of writing on an African subject will be produced. Foreign experience is an essential complement to traditional class work on campus, and all students are strongly encouraged to include study abroad on an approved academic program in Africa.

Requirements for the Minor in African Studies
Six courses, including: 
  • Two core courses, History 261 and Anthropology 237 or 297A;
  • Two courses such as the following or from approved study-abroad courses: English 348, French 238, 370, 372, History 364, Music 118, Philosophy 360;
  • One course in African-American studies from the following: American Studies 276, Anthropology 231, English 343, History 247, Religious Studies 256, Sociology 357;
  • One research seminar, in the senior year, serving as the capstone experience and requiring a substantial research project dealing with Africa, such as Anthropology 452, Economics 474, Government 451, History 446, or French 493 when the theme is appropriate.