Skip over navigation

Undergraduate Concentration

In order to develop requisite competency in the discipline of Africana Studies, concentrators must complete eight (8) semester-long courses offered by or cross-listed with the Department. Concentrators may also petition the Department to accept other appropriate courses. Of these 8 courses, the following Africana Studies courses are required:

AFRI 0090 An Introduction to Africana Studies
Fall ONLY
AFRI 1360 Africana Studies: Knowledge, Texts, and Methodology
Senior Capstone Seminar. Spring ONLY


The Department strongly encourages foreign study in Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America, during the student’s junior year of concentration, and the Department actively supports programs in South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Brazil, and the English-Speaking Caribbean. However, at least six (6) courses must be completed in the department at Brown (that is, the must carry AFRI prefixes).

The Department also encourages the acquisition of language competencies, in addition to English, which are spoken in Africa and the diaspora. Since no continental African language is currently offered at Brown, concentrators who study abroad and acquire certified competency in any African language are welcome to petition the department for competency credit.

Honors in Africana Studies

Africana Studies’ concentrators with outstanding academic records may be admitted to the department’s Honors Program.

Students interested in pursuing honors should identify a faculty sponsor in Africana Studies in their 6th semester and begin working on their thesis project during the summer before their senior year. By the end of the second week of Semester I of their senior year, while working in consultation with a faculty advisor, the student must prepare a work plan/proposal. Click here for proposal guidelines. This plan should include a timeline for completion of the thesis and is not to exceed (3) typewritten pages. The student should also identify a second reader at this point. The work plan/proposal must be approved and signed by a committee, comprised of the faculty advisor who is to direct the Honor's thesis, the second reader, and the concentration advisor. The thesis sponsor should inform the Director of Undergraduate Studies by email after approval of the proposal.

By the time that the proposal is submitted, the Honor's candidate should be familiar with the secondary works in the field. (Secondary readings should be extensive and be incorporated into the proposal.) The Honor's candidate is also expected to complete a research paper of distinguished quality while enrolled in an independent study with their faculty advisor during the first semester of the senior year. In most cases, this paper will be one or two chapters in their thesis. Students must enroll in at least one, preferably two, semesters of independent study to work on their thesis.

For students completing graduation requirements by the end of Semester I (Fall), a first complete draft of the thesis should be completed by November 10, 2014. Final drafts must be submitted by December 1, 2014. For students completing graduation requirements by Semester II (Spring), a first complete draft of the thesis should be submitted by March 16, 2015. The final draft of the thesis should be submitted by April 20, 2015. Students must submit bound copies of the final thesis to the department and to each of their readers, along with an electronic copy of the completed thesis to Ms. Deborah Bowen. All students will present their thsis projects to the Department of Africana Studies on the last Friday of April at a time to be determined. After this presentation, a department committee will make recommendations for honors to the Director of Undergraduate Studies and students will receive notification of the recommendation.