A Message from the Chair
The Department of African and African American Studies is in the midst of an exciting and transformative moment. This fall marks the forty–third anniversary of the Department. Since its establishment in 1969, the Department has remained devoted to its core mission of contributing to discussions within the field of African and African American Studies at the local, national and international levels. It strives passionately to broaden and enrich the intellectual life of Fordham community. In spring 2012, we developed a three-year strategic plan that will enable us to translate our mission and theme into reality.
Today, I can say with great confidence that the Department of African and African American Studies is rebuilding and strengthening its position as a leading resource for research on Africa and African diaspora, program and curriculum development, student mentoring and that it remains an important space for dialogue on Africa and African diaspora. We plan to increase our collaboration with other Fordham University area studies and departments including the Middle East Studies Program, International Studies Program, and Latin American and Latino Studies Institute. We will continue to work in collaboration with Fordham University departments and professional schools to offer undergraduate and graduate courses, an undergraduate major and minor. We are also exploring the possibility of offering either graduate Certificate in African and African American Studies or M.A. in the nearest future.
This past spring, in collaboration with other programs, we organized a very successful symposium on the life and legacy of Malcolm X. We also hosted a lecture given by Patricia Sullivan who spoke about the history of the NAACP and the Civil Rights Movement. The department continues to work in collaboration with community organizations in the New York area. In spring 2012, the Bronx African American History Project (BAAHP) and the department participated in the opening of Whedco's Bronx Music Heritage Center. We continue to support and encourage undergraduate research and publication in African and African American Studies. In October 2011, the department hosted its first annual Student - led Conference at Lincoln Center Campus. The department also teamed up with other programs and student clubs to host performances of former artist –in—residence Akua Naru on both the Rose Hill and Lincoln Campuses. We plan to strengthen our outreach projects in the coming academic year by featuring new projects such as the African Diplomatic Forum and numerous lectures and roundtable discussions around issues of human rights, governance, and citizenship.
In the coming academic year, we will continue to move forward with what we have achieved and initiated. We will be keen to develop the new directions and will organize debate at academic, policy and cultural levels. The 2012-2013 academic year will feature a diverse agenda of events and activities, including symposia and conferences that engage scholars, artists, writers and policy makers. We remain extremely proud of what we have accomplished since our establishment and are confident that the best is yet to come.
Dr. Amir Idris
Professor and Chair