Africana Studies

GW's Africana Studies Program promotes an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary course of study examining the diverse histories, cultures, politics and people of the African diaspora. Regional coverage includes the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. Students in the program are introduced to methodology from core areas of the humanities and social sciences to develop skills in comparative, cross-cultural analysis and research. A student’s course of study might range from a study of Caribbean cultures, the literature of Black America, the historical evolution of African independence movements, the sociology of power and equality in the United States, to an anthropological approach to the transatlantic slave trade.

Related Majors, Minors, and Concentrations

Students from across the university pick Africana studies as a major or minor. Africana Studies students' related fields of study include in art history, English, history, biology, political science and sociology.

What can I expect to learn in the Africana Studies program at GW?

The program’s geographical scope will help prepare students to meet the challenges of an increasingly global world. These challenges include rethinking our former ideas of race, gender and national identity. At the same time, Africana Studies remains equally committed to investigating these questions within a U.S. context. The disciplinary breadth of the program will equip students with a strong academic foundation for graduate studies in the humanities and social sciences. Africana Studies students have chosen advanced study in fields such as public policy, international affairs, history, education, literature, communication, law, and ethnic studies.

What is the Africana Studies community like at GW?

It is a community of scholars devoted to an understanding of the experiences of African descended-populations in the United States, Africa and other areas of the African Diaspora. Our unique setting in the historically rich and internationally vibrant city of Washington, D.C., allows for a living program which strives to connect the classroom to the larger community and its resources: museums, embassies, and the many important historical landmarks, such as the Frederick Douglass home in Anacostia.

What can I do in the Africana Studies field?

The Africana studies program prepares students from different fields and with various majors for graduate studies in the humanities and social sciences: in education, communications, public health, public policy, international affairs, social work, legal professions and the creative arts.