Welcome to the Department of
Africana Studies at Brown University


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Located in the historic Churchill House on the campus of Brown University, the Department of Africana Studies is the intellectual center for faculty and students interested in the artistic, historical, literary, and theoretical expressions of the various cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora. Central to the intellectual work of the department is the close collaboration of artists and scholars in examining relationships between academic and artistic knowledge about the world and human experience.

The Department offers a rigorous undergraduate program and graduate program leading to the Ph.D. in Africana Studies and has one of the leading faculties in the discipline. Members of the faculty have received many prestigious honors and awards for their innovative scholarship and contributions to the academy and public life, including the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Gish Award, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the MacArthur Fellowship, and the Man Booker International Prize. The faculty in Africana Studies is at the forefront in advancing the discipline by researching and teaching new and innovative knowledge produced by the critical study of the intersections of class, gender, nation, race, and sexuality informed by multiple theoretical and methodological perspectives.

The Department’s unique forum for arts and ideas, Rites and Reason Theatre, brings together artists and scholars to collaborate in communicating new and innovative thought forms and creative expressions. Since 1970 Rites and Reason has developed and produced over 100 plays and a wide range of artistic projects that have uniquely explored the breadth and depth of the histories, experiences, and ideas of the cultures of Africa and the African diaspora as well as other cultures from around the world.

With the dynamic growth and evolution of the discipline, the Brown University Department of Africana Studies will remain at the forefront in creating new knowledge through the critical and comprehensive study of the peoples and cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora.