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Africana Studies


Binghamton University Africana studies

Welcome to the
Department of africana studies
at Binghamton University

Established in 1969, we are one of the oldest Black Studies departments in the United States and have offered courses that affirm the intellectual importance of research and scholarship, and their contributions to the world culture of peoples of African descent the world over since 1970. As important, while other, similar academic programs began only as programs, Binghamton University demonstrated its commitment to curricular diversity by establishing a full-fledged department from the outset. Initially known as the Department of Afro-American Studies and later as the Department of Afro-American and African Studies, we became the Department of Africana Studies in 1994.

Committed to academic excellence and rigor.

We mentor and challenge our students, providing them with the necessary tools to understand, analyze and evaluate events and phenomena that structure the experiences and possibilities of people of African descent.

The Africana Studies Department is multidisciplinary 

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The department's offerings range across the traditional fields of anthropology, art history, history, literature, political science, sociology, theater, etc. These disciplines are integrated by certain themes that underscore the uniqueness of the department.

First, subject matter focuses on African peoples and cultures and those peoples of the New World who are descendants of Africans. Second, the department's courses offer a non-Eurocentric and nonracial approach to the investigations, interpretations, and understanding of the experiences of African peoples and of the wider world social, political, and economic systems. Third, departmental courses broaden the scope and range of traditional disciplines and offer a corrective to those disciplines in which the knowledge of the presence, roles, cultural contributions, and experiences of African peoples and their descendants have been omitted or neglected.

We attract students of all ethnic backgrounds who benefit from exposure to academic materials and perspectives not otherwise available to them. Our award-winning faculty provides a challenging educational experience for students who appreciate the willingness of professors to mentor them.

Our Academic edge:
what Africana Studies offers that no discipline does!

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Africana Studies at Binghamton University is a challenging and demanding academic program focusing on African peoples and cultures and their descendants in the New World. It adopts an intellectual approach that is sensitive to the history, interests and outlook of African peoples everywhere in the context of the social, political, religious and economic systems of the wider world.

Africana Studies is a multidisciplinary field that broadens the scope and range of traditional disciplines and offers a corrective to disciplines in which knowledge of the presence, roles, cultural contributions and experiences of African peoples and their descendants have been omitted or neglected. It enlightens students about the philosophies, conceptual schemes, and value-systems of Africans and people of African descent everywhere.

In a globally interdependent world, Africana Studies provides an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge that expands students' awareness of African peoples' contributions in the arts and the sciences and to human development and civilization.

A Rigorous program

The Africana Studies department offers a superior academic program through Harpur College, the oldest and largest of Binghamton University's five academic units. We offer an honors program, a cross-disciplinary major (BA program), a minor, and a concentration in Africana Studies.

Read the department's history >

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Last Updated: 7/29/14