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African drummers

Africana Studies

What does it mean to call something, or someone, “African”? How can we even begin to talk about such a huge place—a place that’s actually many places with so many people and such a vast story? A place that’s the been the source and center of so much of the world’s history, art, culture, and politics?

Degree Types
Complementary Programs
Total credits
Program Focus Options
The African Diaspora or African Americans in the U.S.

Africana Studies is an interdisciplinary minor that provides students with the opportunity to study, from multiple perspectives, the culture and experiences of peoples from Africa and its diasporas. Drawing from the humanities and social sciences, this minor engages a variety of topics such as language and culture, social struggle and inequality, and social advancement and artistic creativity. It provides students with the opportunity to explore the diverse backgrounds of African-origin people all over the world.

Africana Studies is designed for students of all backgrounds and majors who are interested in learning more about the cultures and heritages of this varied group, including people from differing countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and North, Central, and South America.

African flag in shape of Africa

Distinctive Courses

SOC 3429 - Race and Ethnic Relations in the U.S.

A comparative approach to race and ethnic relations in the United States. The course compares and contrasts the experiences of multiple racial and ethnic groups. Special attention is paid to issues of privilege and power and the underlying historical and contemporary symbolic and structural factors affecting both intra and inter-group interactions.

HIS 2236 - Black America and the Civil Rights Era, 1865-1968

This course examines the long view of the civil rights era, beginning with Reconstruction in the aftermath of the Civil War and continuing on to the climactic events of the 1960s.

MUL 2232 - Black Music: Slave Songs to Rap

An examination of Black Music from slave songs to rap.  In this course students explore the sounds, contexts, and receptions of African-American musical cultures and their impact on other American cultures.

ENG 2250 - Post-Colonial Literature

An exploration of literature written in English by people of the variety of races and cultures that once were part of the British Empire. Works covered reflect and represent their experiences and creative genius. Writers studied include Conrad, Rushdie, and Chinua Achebe.

Program Requirements

The McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Linda L. Semu

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT Linda Semu Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of Africana Studies

Professor and Comparative International Sociologist Linda Semu has published significant scholarship in the social sciences, public health, the intersections of gender, and more. An advocate as well as an educator, Semu had conducted outreach in Malawi and other parts of Africa. She was recognized in 2022 with the Ira G. Zepp Distinguished Teaching Award.