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Why major in African and African American Studies?

In 1901, Dr. W.E.B. DuBois noted that the twentieth century's most critical issue would continue to be the problem of the "color line," and "the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea." DuBois' assessment continues to be true for the twenty-first century and is a key reason for majoring in African and African American Studies.

African and African American Studies helps to develop an understanding of:

  1. the histories and cultures of African and African American peoples in the Diaspora;
  2. the impact of race and ethnicity in american society;
  3. how race and ethnicity have interacted with class, gender, sexuality and other factors to shape American institutions.

What can I do with a major in African and African American Studies?

African and African American Studies interdisciplinary structure exposes students to  socio-cultural and historical perspectives that readily complement specialized knowledge in other liberal arts disciplines, and also professional fields such as, education, journalism, law, business management, city planning, international relations, psychology, public health, and social work.

For examples of the types of careers available to African American Studies majors, check out these listings compiled by Robert Fikes, Jr., Librarian at San Diego State university.

  1. 222 Answers

  2. 150 Answers

African and African American Studies can be taken either as a primary major or as one of two or three majors, in consultation with the director of the program. Appropriate majors to combine with African and African American Studies might include, but are not limited to History, English, Philosophy, Anthropology, Economics, Music, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Theater, Art History and Foreign Languages.

Is African and African American Studies only for African and African American Students?

While the focus of this program is on African and African American peoples, these courses are not limited to African and African American students. African and African American studies is for students of all national, ethnic and religious backgrounds.

African and African American studies should be viewed in the context of world and human history. The historical and contemporary development of African and African American people, like that of people of European and Asian descent, is relevant and significant to human history in general.

How do I declare a major in African and African American Studies at the University of Memphis?

Visit the Undergraduate Advising Center, online or at 107 Scates Hall. Complete the Major/Minor Approval Form, which is available online or in the office. Schedule an advising appointment with:


     Dr. Beverly Bond
     Director, AAAS
     Scates Hall 107 (front entrance)
     901.678.3550
    bgbond@memphis.edu

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Last Updated: 1/9/13