Africana Studies


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. The Africana program engages cross disciplinary approaches to understand and to encounter Africa and the African Diaspora in a global context. The cross disciplinary 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 19 credit hours according to the requirements listed below.
  • no more than nine hours from a single discipline.


Required Courses Credit Hours
GAFST 200. Introduction to Africana Studies 3
AFST 489. Senior Research Experience 2 1
Choose one from each of the following options: 6
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/HIST 436. Afro-Latin America  
Choose four or more of the following courses, at least one 9
of which must be at the 400-level.  
AFST 400. Selected Topics in Africana Studies  
ANTH 391. Study Abroad (must be in Africa or in Diaspora) 1, 3  
ANTH 395. Special Topics 1, 3  
ARTH 210/GHUM 252. African Experience  
ARTH 310. African Art: The Sahara and Northern Sahel  
ARTH 312. Sub-Saharan  
ARTH 418. Modern and Contemporary African Art  
ARTH 419. Topics in African Art  
ARTH 424. Arts of Ancient Egypt  
ARTH/AFST 488. African American Art  
ARTH 489. Topics in Art History  
GENG 260. Survey of African American Literature  
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  
GEOG 335. Geography of Africa  
GEOG 339. Geography of the Caribbean  
GHUM 252. Cross-Cultural Perspective: African Culture in the Humanities 1, 3  
HIST 263. Introduction to African History  
HIST 307. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade  
HIST 341. Selected Topics in World History (when appropriate)  
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/ANTH 436. Afro-Latin America  
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 353. African Politics  
POSC 361. Contemporary Problems in International Affairs 1, 3  
REL 330. African and African-American Religion  
SOCI 336. Race and Ethnic Relations  
SOCI 354. Social and Cultural Stratification  
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  
SWA 101-490. Kiswahili  



1 Course topic and content must focus on Africa and be approved by the program director.
2 Research must have an African, African-American or Diaspora focus.
3 Course topic and content must focus on people of African descent 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. Intermediate Swahili courses may count for credit in Africana Studies.