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Africana Studies Minor

Dr. David Owusu-Ansah, Coordinator
Phone: (540) 568-6743
E-mail: owusuadx@jmu.edu

Dr. Jacqueline B. Walker, Coordinator
Phone: (540) 568-3994
E-mail: walkerjb@jmu.edu

The minor in Africana studies broadens students’ world perspectives by enhancing their acquaintance with and understanding of the peoples, issues of identities, and institutions of Africa as well as the African Diaspora in the western hemisphere. The Africana program engages interdisciplinary approaches to understand and to encounter African and the African Diaspora in a global context.
The interdisciplinary character of the program is further enhanced by the fact that courses taken to fulfill program requirements are drawn from several departments. From these course offerings, students will examine and engage with some of Africana studies major contributing disciplines, concepts, methods and topics including the development of new identities.

The minor program in Africana studies is open to all undergraduate students at JMU. Courses taken to complete the Africana studies minor can also be used to satisfy the student’s major, as well as General Education requirements.

The Africana studies minor requires:

  • successful completion of 24 credit hours according to the requirements listed below.
  • no more than nine of the 24 hours coming from 100- or 200-level courses
  • no more than 12 of the 24 hours coming from a single discipline
  • no more than six of the 24 hours coming from special topics, special studies or independent studies (typically courses listed as 490 within most majors, e.g., ANTH 490, GEOG 490, HIST 399, POSC 490, SOCI 490.)
Required Courses
Credit Hours
G AFST 200. Introduction to Africana Studies
Choose one from each of the following options:
Option I: Africa
HIST 263. Introduction to African History
ANTH 280. Peoples and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa
Option II: African Descendants in the New World
HIST 355. Afro-American History to 1865
HIST 356. Afro-American History Since 1865
ANTH 425. Afro-Latin America
Choose four or more of the following courses, working toward a theme in your selections and not repeating courses from above. Courses not listed but that have Africa or African Diaspora content may be approved. 3
ANTH 391. Study Abroad (must be in Africa or in Diaspora) 1,3
ANTH 395. Special Topics 1,3
ARTH 210/ G HUM 252. African Experience
ARTH 410. African Art I
ARTH 412. African Art II
ARTH 419. Topics in African Art
ARTH 489. Topics in Art and Art History
ENG 358. Oral Literature 1,3
ENG 361. African-American Fiction Writers
ENG 362. African-American Poets
ENG 412. Special Topics Seminar 1
ENG 431. Studies in Caribbean Literature
ENG 432. Studies in African Literature
G ENG 260. Survey of African-American Literature
GEOG 335. Geography of Africa
G HUM 252. Cross-Cultural Perspective: African Culture in the Humanities
HIST 263. Introduction to African History
HIST 355. Afro-American History to 1865
HIST 356. Afro-American History Since 1865
HIST 361/HON 200J. Class and Ethnicity in Africa
HIST 391. Study Abroad (must be in Africa or in Diaspora) 1,3
HIST 439. Selected Topics in American History 1,3
HIST 470. Modern Africa
HIST 489. Selected Topics in World History 2,3
MUS 356. History of Jazz in America
POSC 326. Civil Rights
POSC 361. Contemporary Problems in International Affairs 1,3
REL 330. African and African-American Religion
SOCI 354. Social and Cultural Stratification
SOCI 336. Race and Ethnic Relations
SOCI 378. Introduction to Africa-Centered Critical Theory
SOCI 379 Africentric Social Thought
SOCI 391. Study Abroad (must be in Africa or in Diaspora) 1,3
AFST 489. Senior Research Experience 2,3


1 Course topic and content must focus on Africa and be approved by the program director(s).
2 Research must have an African, African-American or Diaspora focus.
3Course topic and content must focus on African descendants in the Western Hemisphere and be approved by the program director(s).

In addition to taking these courses, students are encouraged to participate in travel or study programs to Africa, the Caribbean and other relevant areas. Students who want to earn credit hours through participation in an accredited travel/study program are encouraged to do so with the prior approval of the program director(s).