The Department of African American Studies offers both a concentration and an undergraduate certificate. The curriculum reflects the complex interplay between political, economic, and cultural forces that shape our understanding of the historic achievements and struggles of African-descended people in this country and their relation to others around the world. Toward that end, the course of study is organized into three thematic subfields:

  1. Global Race and Ethnicity: Using race and ethnicity as a lens, students are introduced to a critical perspective and approach to the examination of American institutions (e.g., schools, families, prisons, etc.). They are also exposed to other related questions such as the formation of racial and ethnic identities and the nature of inequality in an increasingly global context.
  2. African American Culture and Life: Drawing on the insights of cultural studies, broadly understood, students encounter the rich history, literature, religion, and the arts of African Americans. Moreover, pushing the boundaries of historical accounts of African American life beyond U.S. national borders to include the diaspora in all of its diversity and plurality, this subfield also familiarizes students with many of the contributions of African-descended peoples around the world.
  3. Race and Public Policy: Exploring, among other things, the historical, cultural, political, and economic causes and consequences of problems facing African American communities, students examine the various initiatives that have defined American public policies in relation to race. In addition, they are challenged to assess the implications for creating and implementing effective public policies that directly relate to communities of color in the United States.

In addition to the concentration and certificate, the Department of African American Studies organizes a Senior Colloquium for seniors, as well as an array of courses, events, lecture series’ open to all students, that expand and deepen understanding of race in the United States and in the world.

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact our Director of Undergraduate Studies Professor Tera Hunter at (609) 258-8904 or via email at thunter@princeton.edu.