Africana Studies


The concentration in Africana Studies critically examines the artistic, historical, literary, and theoretical expressions of the peoples and cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora.  Central to the work of students and faculty in the concentration is the close collaboration of artists, scholars, and writers in examining relationships between academic and artistic knowledge about the world and human experience.  Concentrators work closely with faculty members in developing new knowledge about the world and human existence through the critical and comprehensive study of the peoples and cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora.  Concentrators are encouraged to study abroad in Africa, the Caribbean, and/or Latin America and to acquire language competency in a language other than English spoken in Africa and the diaspora.

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Understand the evolution of artistic, cultural, intellectual and political traditions of the peoples and cultures in Africa and the African diaspora
  • Gain a deeper understanding of how and in what ways slavery, colonialism, and conceptions of race and practices of racism have shaped the modern world
  • Acquire competency in the theories and methodologies of Africana Studies and interdisciplinary scholarship
  • Be prepared to assume roles as skilled and informed scholars and career professionals informed by critical thinking and global perspectives


Click here for a list of the Africana Studies concentration requirements.

Honors and Capstones

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All Africana Studies concentrators must participate in a senior seminar. Africana Studies concentrators who wish to be admitted to the department's Honors program must complete an Honor's Thesis. Before the end of the junior year, Honors candidates must submit a work plan, written in consultation with a faculty advisor who will direct the thesis and the concentration advisor. Please see the department's website for a complete description of program requirements.

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Work on your speaking and writing
  • Understand differences among cultures
  • Evaluate human behavior
  • Learn what it means to study the past
  • Expand your reading skills
  • Enhance your aesthetic sensibility
  • Embrace diversity
  • Collaborate fully
  • Engage with your community

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Director of Undergraduate Studies

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors
201318 18 
201422 22 
201515 15 
201616 16 

Alumni Pathways

Brown alumni with a degree in Africana Studies have gone on to careers in community organizing, consulting, economic development, education, finance, law, marketing, medicine, politics, public health, and public policy. 

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.