Program: B.A., Africana Studies
African and African-American Humanities and Cultural Studies
The Africana Studies (AFRS) major is a multidisciplinary academic major (45 units) designed for students who wish to gain an understanding of the history, psychology, sociology, literature, culture and education of African-Americans and other Africans in the diaspora and the continent. The three specific options within the major enable students to concentrate their efforts on certain aspects of this broad subject. These options are intended to enhance students’ preparation for both graduate school and employment. By carefully selecting General Education courses in consultation with an AFRS advisor, students majoring in AFRS also have the opportunity to complete a second major. For example, a double major in AFRS and Urban Studies and Planning can be completed with the selection of Option II (below) plus the core course requirements in Urban Studies and Planning. Consult an advisor for other possible combinations within the major.
Africana Studies majors interested in teaching social studies at the middle school or high school level may combine their major program with the Single Subject Social Science Subject Matter Program in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (CSBS) to meet requirements for entering a Single Subject Credential program. View Social Science Subject Matter Program for Secondary School Teachers (.pdf) for more information. See also the disclosure statement regarding Programs Leading to Licensure and Credentialing.
The Africana Studies major consists of two components: the completion of the core requirements (21 units) and the completion of one of three specific options (24 units). For each of the options, there are specific lower and upper division core courses and electives that are relevant to that concentration. All students who major in Africana Studies must select one of the three options, each of which is designed to prepare students for graduate study or for a career of their choice.
1. Core Requirements for All Options (21 units)
AFRS 100 Introduction to Black Studies and Culture (3)
AFRS 168 Introduction to the African Diaspora (3)
AFRS 201 Economics of the African-American Community I (3)
AFRS 220 Psychological Environment of the African-American (3)
or AFRS 221 Social Environment of the African-American (3)
AFRS 245 African-American Literature Since 1930 (3)
or AFRS 252 Popular Culture and the Black World (3)
AFRS 271 African-American History to 1865 (3)
2. Required Courses in African and African-American Humanities and Cultural Studies (18 units)
AFRS 226 Traditional African Cultures (3)
AFRS 332 African-American Music I (3)
or AFRS 346 Contemporary Black Female Writers (3)
AFRS 344 Literature of the Caribbean and African Experience (3)
or AFRS 451 Mass Communication in the African-American Community (3)
AFRS 366 Colonialism in Africa (3)
or AFRS 382 Traditional Religions of Africa (3)
3. Complete 6 units from either the Humanities or Cultural Studies Track
a. Humanities Track Electives (6 units)
Select two courses from the following:
AFRS 244 African-American Literature to 1930 (3)
AFRS 246 Introduction to African-American Drama (3)
AFRS 280 Workshop in Creative Writing for Minority Students (3)
AFRS 331/L African-American Religious Music: History, Literature and Gospel/Lab (2/1)
AFRS 333 Coltrane (3)
AFRS 337 Black Images on the Silver Screen (3)
AFRS 345 African-American Autobiography (3)
AFRS 447 African-American Theatre (3)
b. Cultural Studies Track Electives (6 units)
Select two courses from the following:
AFRS 171 Classical African Civilization (3)
AFRS 274 History of Caribbean Societies Since the 1830s (3)
AFRS 282 African Religion in the New World (3)
AFRS 355 Black World News Practicum (3)
AFRS 368 Politics of Hip Hop (3)
AFRS 376 African Enslavement in the New World (3)
4. Languages (Optional)
All students majoring in Africana Studies are encouraged to take foreign languages (French, Portuguese, Spanish or Swahili recommended).
5. General Education (48 units)
Undergraduate students must complete 48 units of General Education as described in this Catalog.
15 units are satisfied by the following courses in the major: AFRS 201 and AFRS 220 or AFRS 221 satisfy D1 Social Sciences; AFRS 271 satisfies D2 American History, Institutions and Ideals; and AFRS 100 and AFRS 226 satisfy F Comparative Cultural Studies.
If taken, AFRS 245, AFRS 344 or AFRS 346 satisfies C2 Humanities; and AFRS 366 satisfies 3 units of upper division F Comparative Cultural Studies.
Total Units in the Major/Option: 45
General Education Units: 33
Additional Units: 42
Total Units Required for the B.A. Degree: 120
Department of Africana Studies
Chair: Theresa R. White
Santa Susana Hall (SN) 221
Student Learning Outcomes
The interdisciplinary degree program in Africana Studies enables the graduate to gain an understanding of the political-social-historical cultural perspectives of the African-American and African experience. Students also will learn key concepts and fundamental literature; gain a knowledge of the broad cultural, political and historical contexts in which the African-American experience took place; and learn appropriate skills in research design and methodology used to examine the various interdisciplinary areas (e.g., political-historical, humanities, sociopsychological) of Africana Studies.