University of Notre Dame

Introduction to Africana Studies

AFST 20082: Introduction to Africana Studies

Through a multidisciplinary and cross-cultural exploration, this course will:

1) introduce students to key concepts, themes, and theories in the field of Africana Studies; and
2) introduce students to the identities and experiences of black populations throughout the global African Diaspora.

Over the course of the semester, we will tackle the following questions:

  • What is Africana Studies?
  • What are the historical, intellectual, and political origins of Africana Studies?
  • What are race and ethnicity?
  • What is blackness?
  • What roles do class, culture, gender, nationality, and religion, play in blackness?
  • What is the African Diaspora?
  • What role does Africa play in blackness?
  • How do the arts, humanities, and social sciences help us investigate, analyze, conceptualize, represent, and understand this thing we refer to as “blackness?”
  • What are some of the historical, geographical, socio-political, and cultural points of divergence observable between populations of African descent throughout the Diaspora and what, if any, are the points of commonality that unite these dispersed populations?