The Africana Studies program is the oldest multidisciplinary program at Vassar College. The program is concerned with the cultural, historical, political, economic, and psychological consequences of the dispersal of Africans from their ancestral continent to the diverse regions of the world. It comprises the focused and critical study of the people, cultures, and institutions of Africa and the African Diaspora through a generous offering of courses both originating in the program and cross-listed or approved from other departments. These courses span a majority of the standard disciplines: literature and the arts; area studies; history; social sciences; psychology.
Requirements for concentration:
11 units are required for the major.
a) At least one course at the 100-level not including foreign language courses; b) (AFRS 229 - Black Intellectual History); c) (AFRS 299 - Research Methods); d) at least two units at the 300-level, and e) a senior thesis.
Distribution of unit requirements:
Students must also meet two distribution requirements. Apart from clearly specified courses, AFRS 229, AFRS 299 and senior thesis, the remaining 8 required units must include: (a) one course from each of the two divisions in the program, namely the 1) Arts and Humanities and 2) the Social Sciences, and (b) at least one course from each of the three regions of the African Diaspora, namely 1) Africa, 2) North America, and 3) Europe, the Caribbean, and South America. Note that one course (for example, African Religions) can meet the two distribution requirements (Africa\Humanities).
Students should normally take AFRS 229 and AFRS 299 before their junior year. A maximum of two units of language study can be counted toward the major. A maximum of one unit of fieldwork can be counted toward the major. JYA credits normally accepted by the college will count towards the distribution requirements in consultation with the program. NRO work may not be used to satisfy the requirements of the Africana Studies Program.