African & Africana Studies Concentration

The concentration in African and Africana Studies explores interdisciplinary approaches to the vast and varied study of Africa and various African Diasporas.

Curriculum & Courses

Faculty from the departments of Anthropology, Economics, History, Linguistics, English, Religion, Political Science, and Sociology teach a range of courses for the concentration, and provide an expansive and interdisciplinary perspective on Africa and its Diasporas. At the same time, we empower our students to discover and cultivate their own specific areas of interest, enriched by the knowledge they bring from their major discipline.

All concentrators are required to complete an introductory course, which is usually Introduction to African and Africana Studies or Introduction to Africana Civilizations, which provides a foundation and frame of reference for advanced work. We offer a range of additional courses, based in a variety of disciplines and illuminating many facets of Africa and the Diaspora. Committed to ensuring that students familiarize themselves with the breadth of Africana Studies, we require them to complete courses about continental Africa as well as courses about the African Diaspora. We also require them to work across disciplines: in addition to completing African- or Africana-related classes in their home departments, students in the concentration must also take relevant classes in at least two other departments.

Our scholarly community also extends beyond the classroom. The program is rich in extra- and co-curricular resources, including speakers and scholar/artists in residence, study abroad opportunities, and international internships.

  • Concentration

    • Concentrators must take either AFST 101a, “Introduction to African and Africana Studies” (Haverford College) or HIST 102A, “Introduction to Africana Civilizations” (BMC).
    • Other than the required introductory course, students must complete five additional courses from a list approved by the concentration coordinator.
    • At least two, and no more than three, courses must be completed in the departmental major.
    • At least three African and Africana Studies courses must be taken in at least two departments outside of the major.
    • At least one of the required courses must deal with the African diaspora.
    • Concentrators must complete either a senior thesis or seminar-length essay in an area of African and Africana Studies.

    Students majoring in a department that requires a thesis satisfy the requirement by writing on a topic approved by their department and by the coordinator(s) of the African and Africana Studies program. If the major department does not require a thesis, an equivalent written exercise that is a seminar-length essay is required. The essay may be written within the framework of a particular course or as an independent study project. The topic must be approved by the instructor in question and by the coordinator(s) of the African and Africana Studies program. Successful completion of the African and Africana Studies minor/concentration is noted on students’ final transcripts.

Research & Outreach

Concentrators produce a senior thesis, a work of original research. The topic of this work must be approved by both the department in which the student is majoring and by the coordinators of the African and Africana Studies Department.Thesis advising—one-on-one with a faculty advisor as well as in a group setting—and the time table for producing the thesis are determined by the policies of the department in which the student’s major is based.

After Graduation

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You can find detailed instructions and information on the Application Instructions page. If you need to contact us directly, please send an email to admission@haverford.edu.

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