Africana studies is the study of Africans and African-descended peoples. It offers a multidisciplinary approach to investigate, educate, promote and value the contributions and experiences of Africans and African-descended peoples worldwide.
Students learn about the national global roles, cultural contributions and experiences of Africans and people of African descent; oral traditions, literature, art and aesthetics; expressions and conceptualizations of spiritualism within the African purview; and the social, political and economic history of Blacks and the evolution of Black nationalism.
Internships, Research Opportunities and More
Internship projects are completed under the guidance of a faculty member in an institution, agency or program.
Students can also take independent study credits and/or pursue independent research on a topic of their interest in consultation with a faculty member.
For internship opportunities, visit the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development.
Some courses to consider in your first year:
AFST 101 - Intro To Africana Studies
A broad survey of some of the major themes in African, African American and other African diasporic experiences over a period of several hundred years. It centers on systems, movements and ideas that have transcended national, continental and oceanic boundaries - including slavery and emancipation, politics and religion, culture and identity, colonialism and nationalism. Overall, the course is an introduction to the making of the modern world, from the standpoint of black experiences globally. This course is offered in the fall. 4 credits
AFST 251 - Islamic Cultures in Africa
Introduction to Islamic cultural productions in North, West, East and South Africa from the advent of Islam to modern times. Focuses on literature, music, architecture and films in studying the syncretism of Islam and indigenous African religions and/or cultures and in highlighting the unifying cultural influences of the religion. Attends also to factors and issues of artistic production. This course is offered in the spring. 4 credits
AFST 171 - Intro to African Religion
E. A. Wallis Budge defined African religion as “the worship of the souls of the dead, commonly called Ancestor Worship.” Also, Diodorus, a Greek historian, wrote over 2,000 years ago that blacks were “the first to be taught to honor the gods and to hold sacrifices and processions and festivals and other rites by which men honor the deity; and … sacrifices practiced among the Ethiopians [black people] ... are those which are the most pleasing to heaven.” Thus, the course reviews the history of religion as a discipline, nature and phenomenon of African religion, conception of God and gods and goddesses, ancestors and elders, witchcraft, and rituals and symbols that offer meaning to the lives of believers. Course offering varies. 4 credits
AFST 317 - African Women & Feminism
An interdisciplinary approach to issues of importance to African women drawing extensively from a range of theoretical writings, literary and/or filmic works to study the political, social and economic roles of women. Paying close attention to culture, it examines the impact of colonialism, nationalism, dictatorship and military rule on women's autonomy, agency and rights within and outside the family. This course is offered in the spring. 4 credits
After You Graduate
Africana studies at Binghamton University prepares students for a wide array of careers including:
- law enforcement
- public health
- social work
Our graduates have gone on to continue their studies at prestigious graduate schools including:
- Harvard University
- Yale University
- New York University
- Columbia University
- University of Michigan
- Boston University
For more information,
visit the Africana Studies website.
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