A Message from the Chair
On behalf of the Department of African and African American Studies, I would like to welcome you to a new academic year. Since its inception in the 1960s, the Department of African and African American Studies (AAAS) has been devoted to linking research, teaching, and community interest. The stated mission of the department is to provide an intellectual space in which students learn to critically examine, analyze, and interpret the experiences, traditions, and dynamics of people of African descent and in turn formulate a better understanding of humanity in a globalized world. To translate our mission into a reality, we introduced a three-year plan (2011-2014) that will increase our majors and minors, improve the prominence of our research and service activities and increase faculty involvement in our discipline.
Building on the achievements of the last two years, the department is poised to grow and expand our offerings and services to students. The diverse make-up of the department of AAAS faculty and our collective interest in dynamic, interdisciplinary, and community-based research are main strengths of our unique department. The department emphasizes a cross-regional and cross-cultural perspective and a comparative analysis of and between different Diasporan groups and the national and global context they inhabit. One thing that makes our department distinctive is our remarkable concentration of expertise in Africa and African American Studies. Accordingly, in the fall 2013 we will begin offering a new minor in African Studies.
For undergraduates, our department is committed to providing the best environment for friendly interaction with our students. Our undergraduate classes are small and interactive, enabling us make your education a two-way street, rather than a series of lectures. Our faculty emphasize class discussion, critical writing, and developing research skills. We also believe that we provide an atmosphere of open doors and approachability. And, New York City provides some exciting further opportunities, including internships in international and nonprofit organizations.
In short, we have a lot to offer. I look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions about us.
Sincerely, Amir Idris
Professor and Chair