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Undergraduate Catalog 2011

Africana Studies

Faculty

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Chair

Thomas N. Robinson, Jr.

Associate Professors

Lateef O. Badru
Gloria I. Chuku

Professor Emeritus

Willie B. Lamouse-Smith

Professor Emerita

Daphne D. Harrison

Instructors

Kwame Ansah-Brew
Terrence Hickey
Sharon King
Kibbi Mac-Shelton
Jason Rhodes
Karen Sutton

Courses in this program are listed under AFST.

The Department of Africana Studies provides an undergraduate education that draws from the intellectual heritage, accumulated knowledge, enduring experiences and contributions of Africa and its diaspora. Through multi- and interdisciplinary methodologies, students acquire knowledge in ways that help them build their analytical and critical thinking skills. Students are helped to use their knowledge and experiences to prepare for graduate study in a variety of fields and for rewarding careers that will enhance the quality of their lives and contribute to the development of their communities.

Students may pursue the standard major in Africana studies or a concentration in a track. Many students find it productive to combine Africana studies with another discipline in a dual major. Students also may minor in Africana studies. Students who select the major or double-major in Africana studies have the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge through internships or field research.

Career and Academic Paths

Majors in Africana studies have continued on into graduate and professional schools and built successful careers in many fields, including public affairs, law, health, government, social work, education, the visual and performing arts, and business and management. Many students planning careers in medicine, law, public policy, social work and education pursue a second major or a minor in Africana studies. Students with interest in foreign service in Africa and the Caribbean or students who intend to acquire graduate training with specialization on Africa or the Caribbean will be well-prepared in the department. The concentration in community involvement studies prepares students to work in community-oriented, community-based agencies or in local government. The track in education enables students with career interest in elementary-and secondary-level teaching to prepare for Maryland Teacher Certification in social studies through the UMBC Department of Education.
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Major Program

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Africana Studies consist of 36 credits for the standard major and 30 credits for the double major. A grade of “C” or better is required for all courses in the major. Courses intended to count toward the fulfillment of the major may not be taken on the P/F option.

I. Standard Major

In addition to the normal general education requirements, all majors are required to complete 36 credit hours of study distributed as follows:

A. Core Requirements (15 credits)

  • AFST 100 Introduction to the Black Experience
  • AFST 201 Introduction to Methodology and Research in AFST Studies
  • AFST 211 Introduction to Contemporary Africa
  • AFST 261 Black Literature: 20th Century
  • AFST 271 Introduction to Community Involvement

B. Additional Requirements (15 credits)

Choose from among the remaining 300- to 400-level courses, of which at least six credits must be from both of the following two categories:

  • African history and politics;
    AFST 312-326, 368, 411, 415, 430-440
  • African-American culture and experience;
    AFST 344-367, 369-370, 375, 420, 442-465

C. Individual study and directed research for a senior paper or project (6 credits)

II. Major With Concentration in Community Involvement Studies

In addition to the normal general education requirements, this AFST option requires the following:

A. Core Requirements (15 credits)

  • AFST 100 Introduction to the Black Experience
  • AFST 201 Introduction to Methodology and Research in AFST Studies
  • AFST 211 Introduction to Contemporary Africa
  • AFST 261 Black Literature: 20th Century
  • AFST 271 Introduction to Community Involvement

B. Additional Requirements (15 credits)

AFST 301, 377, 378 and six credits selected from the following:
AFST 272-299, 350, 371-375, 381-399 and 471-489.
Twelve of the 15 credits must be at the 300-400 level.

C. AFST 490 Community Internship Project; (6 credits)

III. Double Major

The foundation core requirements are the same as for the standard major. In addition, nine upper-level credits must be completed. Those who choose the double major must complete six credits of individual study and directed research for a senior paper or community internship project.

Students who opt for the double major must meet requirements for the double major requirements in the second department of their choice. They should make selections of courses in both departments in close consultation with their advisors in both departments.

MINOR PROGRAM

To earn a minor in Africana studies, a student must complete 18 credits in Africana studies. The courses selected to fulfill the requirements of the minor must include nine credits of introductory-level courses. The other nine credits will be earned in upper-level courses of the student’s interest and selection. A minimum grade of “C” must be earned in each course counting toward the minor.

A. Core Requirements (9 credits)

  • AFST 100 Introduction to the Black Experience
  • AFST 206 African-American History: A Survey
  • AFST 211 Introduction to Contemporary Africa

B. Additional Requirement (9 credits)

Nine credits of upper level AFST courses

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Transfers and Other Majors in the Upper Division

If a student successfully has completed 60 or more credit hours at the time of declaring the major, the core requirements in Africana studies may be substituted with equivalent courses completed elsewhere, subject to approval by the student’s AFST advisor and the department’s chairperson.
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Interdisciplinary Studies Major

In addition to the major options in Africana studies, a student may choose to complete the major through the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. Full descriptions of the options offered by the INDS major can be found in the catalog under Interdisciplinary Studies.
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Non-Majors

Generally, students learn comparatively little about the black experience in elementary and secondary schools. Through Africana studies, they find the opportunity to benefit from courses offering broad perspectives on the history and culture of black peoples. For students planning careers in public service (including education, health-related professions, environmental management, law and social services), an exposure to the values and dynamics of black society and culture is indispensable. In addition to AFST 100, other lower-level courses in Africana studies are highly recommended to all students for the purpose of fulfilling the general foundation requirements. Through mutual cooperation, many of the courses in Africana studies are cross-listed with other departments in the humanities and social sciences, thus offering students several electives for completing their graduation requirements.
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Honors Program

Qualified students may enroll in the department’s honors program. This is an intensive program of seminars, workshops, research and independent study. It emphasizes the development of critical thinking and leadership skills. Information and application forms are available in the department office.
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Special Opportunities

The department encourages and assists students to pursue internships focused on community involvement in urban development, health, education, justice, business and industry.
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