University of Minnesota
African American & African Studies

African American & African Studies

Welcome to the Department of African American & African Studies! In this challenging and diverse academic environment, we offer an exciting and significantly relevant range of areas of concentration, courses, and ideas. Within a single academic department our students study the rich social, political, economic, and cultural complexities of Africa, African America, and the broader African Diaspora. Learn more >>

What can you do with a major in African American & African Studies? (PDF)

Learn about the history of African Americans at the University of Minnesota via this publication: Contributions of African Americans to the University of Minnesota (PDF)

Department News

  • AA&AS welcomes three new members of our community! 

    We have a new AA&AS academic advisor: Andrew Williams. Andrew wears many hats in CLA. He is currently director of diversity support programs, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Program (MLK) and President's Emerging Scholars (PES) programs. Andrew Williams is also serving as interim director of advising and student support. He will be a great addition to our unit as an academic advisor, given the depth and reach of his experience in the area of student services. In addition, Andrew will be teaching one of our courses this Fall. He comes to us with a solid academic training in the field of African Diaspora studies broadly and cultural anthropology specifically. Prior to the University of Minnesota, he taught courses in cultural anthropology and directed the Black Studies Program for several years at DePauw University in Indiana.

    We are also supporting the residency of Freda Fair, the 2015-16 Woodrow Wilson Mellon May Graduate Fellow. Freda comes to us from UCLA. A Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Gender Studies, Freda's areas of specializations include black queer studies, Midwest studies, visual culture, affective labor, social movements, black resistant practices, and neoliberal governance and surveillance. This residency supports Freda's dissertation research and writing.

    Finally, this Fall 2015, Peter Rachleff will teach Professor Keith Mayes's Afro 3866: The Civil Rights and Black Power Movement. For over three decades, he taught labor, immigration, and African American history courses at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is one of the leading historians of race and labor in the field of U.S. labor history. He is the author of Black Labor in Richmond and Hard Pressed in the Heartland. He also edited the book titled Starving Amidst Too Much & Other IWW Writings on the Food Industry, published by Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company. Currently he is the founding co-director of the East Side Freedom Library (ESFL) in St. Paul. The ESFL is a crossroads of labor, arts, immigration, and education that brings together people and multiple forms of knowledge.
    September 10th, 2015

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