Courses of Study 2019-2020 
    May 21, 2024  
Courses of Study 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Africana Studies and Research Center

In the College of Arts and Sciences .

Course Offerings  

The Africana Studies and Research Center (ASRC) is concerned with examining the history, culture, intellectual development, and social organization of Black people and cultures in the Americas, Africa, Caribbean, and the entire African Diaspora. Its program is structured from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective and presents a variety of subjects in focal areas of history, literature, social sciences, popular culture, race and inequality, gender and sexuality, and African languages. African languages are consistently offered fall and spring semesters and some are also taught during summer/winter session.

The Africana major offers a unique and specialized program of study that leads to an undergraduate degree through the College of Arts and Sciences. A student may also minor in Africana Studies. The Africana Studies minor program enables the student to complete a major in other disciplines while at the same time fulfilling requirements for the minor. Africana courses are open to the Cornell community and may be used to meet a number of college distribution requirements in humanities and social sciences, to include first-year writing seminars, and languages.

Africana brings distinguished visitors to the campus, coordinates conferences, organizes a colloquium series, and houses the John Henrik Clarke Library. Africana supports faculty and student research, promotes intellectual pursuit, and sponsors vibrant and relevant academic programming.

Offices: 310 Triphammer Road, (607) 255-4625.



O. Táíwò, interim chair; S. Grovogui, director of undergraduate studies; O. LaBennett, director of graduate studies; G. Aching, A. Ademoyo, N. Assié-Lumumba, C. Boyce Davies, H. Bulugu, G. Farred, S. Hassan, R. Richardson, N. Rooks

The Africana Major

The undergraduate major offers interdisciplinary study of the fundamental dimensions of the African American, African, Caribbean, and African Diasporan experiences. Because of the comprehensive nature of the program, it is to the students’ advantage to declare themselves Africana majors as early as possible. The following are prerequisites for admission to the major.

Students should submit:

  1. a statement of why they want to be an Africana Studies major;
  2. a tentative outline of the area of study they are considering (African, African American, Caribbean or African Diaspora) for the major; and
  3. a full transcript of courses taken and grades received
  4. a proposal for an advisor from the Africana faculty

The director of undergraduate studies will review the applications and notify students within two weeks of the status of their request.


A major in Africana Studies requires at least ten (10) Africana Studies (ASRC) courses (with a grade of C or better), distributed as follows:

►Caribbean, or
►Other Diasporan Studies

  • Four (4) Courses: at the 3000 level or above; to generate a more specific focus, choose two topics (that fall within the African Diaspora) from the following: History, Literature, Politics, Popular Culture, Race and Inequality, or Gender and Sexuality (take TWO courses in each of the TWO chosen topics)
  • Two (2) Seminar courses at the 4000 level or above

Please visit for up-to-date listings of courses and the requirements they meet.

The Africana Minor

Africana offers a minor in Africana Studies. The director of undergraduate studies will assist students in the design and coordination of minor programs. A minor in Africana Studies requires at least five (5) Africana Studies (ASRC) courses (with a grade of C or better), distributed as follows:

►African American
►Caribbean Studies

One (1) course at the 3000 level or above on History, Literature, Politics, Popular Culture, Race & Inequality, or Gender & Sexuality within the African Diaspora

Double Majors

In the case of double majors, students undertake to carry the full load of stipulated requirements for a major in each of the two departments they have selected.


The honors program offers students the opportunity to complete a library research thesis designed by the student. An honors designation from the Africana Studies program requires a 3.5 grade point average in Africana Studies Courses and a 3.0 grade point average overall. This option is only available for students pursuing an Africana Studies Major. In addition, the student must also:

  • Select an Honors’ Thesis Chair and a Minor Member
  • Submit a written request to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, by April of Junior Year, requesting to write an Honors’ Thesis
  • If request is granted, the Honors’ Thesis will be evaluated by the Honors’ Committee and the degree of honors to be awarded will be determined

You will receive 1 of 3 honors designations: Highest Honors (Summa Cum Laude), High Honors (Magna Cum Laude), or Honors (Cum Laude)

Language Requirement

African language courses in Arabic, Swahili, Yoruba, Wolof, and Zulu may be used to satisfy the language requirements of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and College of Arts and Sciences. Wolof and Zulu languages are taught distance learning at Columbia and Yale Universities. Africana majors are encouraged to take a language, and the study of an African language is recommended.

First-Year Writing Seminars

Consult the John S. Knight Institute for times, instructor, and descriptions of the courses offered each year by Africana.