Department of African American and African Studies

About the Department


The Department of African American and African Studies at Rutgers University-Newark offers students an opportunity to study the cultures of the African diaspora, from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Our course offerings focus particularly on the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean, and we hope to include courses on Afro-Hispanic culture in future. Our faculty are trained in diverse fields – anthropology, film studies, literature, history, political science, to name a few -- and our courses are often interdisciplinary in nature. All of the courses are designed to integrate scholarship on gender, race, and class.

The African American and African Studies major/minor is geared towards both the scholarly and the working world. We aim to produce graduates who are ready for advanced graduate study in the humanities or social sciences; we also aim to produce professionals who can work in a variety of fields that require an understanding of the history and cultures of African and African-descended peoples. Our major can be used in a broad array of fields, such as marketing; journalism; education; and the arts. In future we hope to establish internships for our majors, where they can apply their scholarly knowledge to a particular career. Flexibility is a key characteristic of our program. African American and African Studies majors have a wide array of courses to choose from, and may also take courses in other departments as a way to fulfill electives in their major. Additionally, some of the courses in African American and African Studies may be taken for credit towards a major or minor in another department. The Department of African American and African Studies is dedicated to giving our students the most expansive education possible, and for this reason we allow our students a range of course options, both from within and without the department. Several of our courses are also offered during the evening.