Minor in African American Studies

The African American Studies program provides an introduction to the study of peoples of African descent as well as the cultural products and insights gained from their experiences. Courses are designed to make students aware of the complexities of these experiences and to explore connections and differences between peoples of African descent, other Americans, and global populations. We balance critical thinking with relevant research training that enables students to succeed in any professional sphere. Due to the particular details of American history and the legacies of slavery, immigration, and colonization, the study of race, ethnicity, and other forms of collective identity are central concerns of the program, as are intersecting issues such as gender, sexuality, diversity, and power. Our commitment to global learning is also practical and includes the course Experiencing Cuba, a one-week study abroad course in Havana, Cuba.

The African American Studies program offers an undergraduate minor and hosts an Events & Lecture Series where scholars are invited to explore these and other topics in the context of today’s society.


The minor requires a total of six 4-credit courses, completed with a grade of C or higher.

Three required courses:

  • CAS AA 371 African American History
  • CAS AA 408 Seminar: Ethnic, Race, and Minority Relations
  • CAS AA 591 Black Thought: Literary and Cultural Criticism in the African Diaspora

Three elective courses:

  • three additional courses in African American Studies (AA) or approved electives chosen from the list below

Elective Courses

  • CAS AA 100 Topics in African American Studies
  • CAS AA 103 Introduction to African American Literature
  • CAS AA 112 Black Power in the Classroom: The History of Black Studies
  • CAS AA 113 Introduction to Antiracism
  • CAS AA 132 The Prison and Black Writing
  • CAS AA 200 Topics in African American Studies
  • CAS AA 207 Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
  • CAS AA 215 Arts of Africa and Its Diaspora
  • CAS AA 270 Race, Sex, and Science Fiction
  • CAS AA 296 Religion and Hip Hop
  • CAS AA 297 African American Women’s History
  • CAS AA 300 Topics in African American Studies
  • CAS AA 303 African Americans and the Humanities
  • CAS AA 304 Introduction to African American Women Writers
  • CAS AA 305 Toni Morrison’s American Times
  • CAS AA 306E Experiencing Cuba
  • CAS AA 308 Politics of Race and Ethnicity
  • CAS AA 309 African American History in Global and Comparative Perspective
  • CAS AA 310 History of the Civil Rights Movement
  • CAS AA 311 African American Religious History
  • CAS AA 313 The Politics and Policy of HBO’s The Wire
  • CAS AA 316 African Diaspora Arts in the Americas
  • CAS AA 319 Race and the Politics of Criminal Justice Policy
  • CAS AA 335 Sociology of Race, Class & Gender
  • CAS AA 350 Resistance, Revolution, and Slavery in African American Literature
  • CAS AA 363 Race and the Development of the American Economy: A Global Perspective
  • CAS AA 380 European Dimensions of the Black Diaspora
  • CAS AA 382 History of Religion in Pre-Colonial Africa
  • CAS AA 385 Atlantic History
  • CAS AA 388 Transnational Black Radicalism from the 19th Century to the Present
  • CAS AA 395 Power, Leadership, and Governance in Africa and the Caribbean
  • CAS AA 400 Topics in African American Studies
  • CAS AA 404 Seminar: The Family
  • CAS AA 415 Fictions of Race and Migration
  • CAS AA 459 Reparations, Restitution, Restorative Justice for Slavery and Jim Crow Segregation: The Debate
  • CAS AA 477 Critical Studies: Diaspora
  • CAS AA 489 The African Diaspora in the Americas
  • CAS AA 490 Blacks and Asians: Encounters Through Time and Space
  • CAS AA 491, 492 Directed Study in African American Studies
  • CAS AA 500 Topics in African American Studies
  • CAS AA 501 Topics in African American Literature
  • CAS AA 502 Topics in African American Literature
  • CAS AA 504 African American and Asian American Women Writers
  • CAS AA 507 Literature of the Harlem Renaissance
  • CAS AA 514 Labor, Sexuality, and Resistance in the Afro-Atlantic World
  • CAS AA 517 Urban Politics and Policy
  • CAS AA 571 African American Art
  • CAS AA 580 The History of Racial Thought
  • CAS AA 588 Women, Power, and Culture in Africa
  • CAS AA 590 The World and the West
  • CAS EC 325 The Economics of Poverty and Discrimination in the United States
  • CAS EN 483 Critical Studies in Literature and Ethnicity
  • CAS HI 339 A History of the Present: The United States since 1968
  • CAS HI 505 The American South in History, Literature, and Film
  • CAS IR 510 Comparative Immigration and Racial Politics
  • CFA MH 403 Latinos Making Music in the United States
  • CFA MH 432 Jazz Music
  • CFA MH 435 Music of Africa
  • CAS PH 436 Gender, Race, and Science