Courses for Ph.D. Minor in Africana Studies

Courses may not be offered during every semester. To confirm course offerings for each semester, please use the Course Search.

Course Sequence

The Ph.D. Minor in Africana Studies requires 12 credit hours of coursework for completion. Courses will be offered in a sequence of three core courses and one elective. An independent study option can also be counted as an elective, but must be approved by the program coordinator.

Schedule of offerings (in a regular cycle):

Fall Spring Fall Spring/Summer (rotating)
A569 A515 A537 A530, A531, A527, A503, or A595

Core Courses

Following three courses are required.

AFRO A569 Introduction to Africana Studies (3 credits)
Building a solid framework for the exploration of culture best begins by laying a solid foundation. This foundational course is designed to introduce the origins, developments, trends, dates of significance, and common themes of the field, but as well clinical Afrocentricity or Africology is introduced as a pedagogical guide.

AFRO A515 Africana Critical Theories (3 credits)
At the inception of Black Studies at Cornell University in 1969, the Africana Studies and Research Center became the birthplace of the field “Africana studies.” As Africana Studies has evolved over the last 50 years, the field has moved from primarily archival and historical methods to broad and diverse methods of inquiry. Today, Critical Africana studies emphasizes comparative and interdisciplinary studies of Africa, the U.S., the Caribbean and other diasporas with specific attention to their evolution over time and their continued significance in the Black public sphere. In this graduate seminar, we will look at the diverse contours of the discipline and how new methods, questions and interventions have shaped the impact and evolution of the discipline.

AFRO A537 Theorizing Feminisms: The Black Woman Cross-Culturally (3 credits)
This course is a critical, interdisciplinary inquiry that transforms and expands feminist visions by considering the question of intersectionality of differences among Black women. It investigates the specificity of material conditions that are determined by geographies, sexualities, cultures, histories, and other contexts.

Elective Coursework

Choose from one of the following electives.

AFRO A530 Black Arts Movements and Critical Literacy (3 credits)
This course will acquaint students with the historical, political, and cultural factors that ushered in, promulgated and sustained the greatest period of artistic expression in the western hemisphere—the United States, Europe, African and the Caribbean. The works of essayists, poets, musicians, visual and performing artists who forged vital, historical, social, and cultural interconnections will be explored.

AFRO A531 Theories of Africana Thought: Intellectual History and Critical Theory
This course provides an overview of major intellectual trends that have shaped ways in which Black thinkers have interpreted the larger Black experience by drawing from such fields as history, philosophy, and literature. The course will be a close reading of the various ideas, theories and practices of the thinkers, writers, artists, and activists whose work and practices have constituted an Africana intellectual tradition. The course therefore will spend substantial time working through the different meanings of Black intellectual work and critical thought and theory. *Students may not take both AAADS 591 and A531.

AFRO A503 Special Topics in Africana Studies (Graduate-3 credits)

Survive, Breath, Thrive, Black Health and the Humanities (3 credits)
This course will examine Black Americans’ historical relationships to health care systems, looking not only at medical exploitation and limited access to care, but also our roles as health care professionals and advocates for health justice. Not only will students be led to consider ways biomedicine might be reformed to build trust and address health disparities, but also how Black American and African diasporic cultures offer abundant sources of healing, both ancestral and avant-garde.

AFRO A595 Independent Readings in Africana Studies (3 credits)
This course will serve as a vehicle for students interested in independent study with a professor from the program that can be based in a specific context, subject, or research idea.

More Info

Contact Dr. Leslie Etienne, Director of Africana Studies;