African & African American Studies

African & African American Studies

Degree Options: Major, Minor
Locations: Lincoln Center, Rose Hill
Visit the African & African American Department

Study the African diaspora around the globe.

African american student in class - LG

Can a conversation about civil rights in America be more inclusive? Of course. But we aim much higher. The discourse in African & African American Studies at Fordham has been rich, diverse, and complex for more than four decades. Founded in 1969, we’re one of oldest academic departments in the U.S. devoted to exploring the breadth and depth of the African diaspora experience in America and around the globe.

African & African American Studies embraces diverse intellectual and ideological perspectives in researching, teaching, and civic engagement. It’s an interdisciplinary field, pulling from history, literature, language, sociology, economics, and the arts. It’s deeply eclectic and intellectually exhilarating.

Study civil rights and citizenship. Begin to speak Swahili. Analyze the role of race in the black prison experience. Examine the role of women in African politics. Read contemporary African literature. Parse African American identity in film. Learn the 19th-century roots of South African apartheid.

Join a department of diverse community of students and faculty in small, interactive classes where learning is a conversation, not a lecture.

Program Highlights

We sponsor a wide range of cultural programs, lectures, conferences, and community events throughout the year. Students lead an annual symposium based on course-related research. These debates help you sharpen your mind, back your ideas with facts and interpretations that express your thoughts clearly.

The Bronx African-American History Project reveals the untold stories of the people living in the diaspora all around us. You’ll document the histories of more than 500,000 Bronx residents of African descent with roots in the U.S. South, West Indies, and Africa. Our research focuses on jazz history, the roots of hip-hop, and Caribbean and African immigration.

Do you speak our language? We mean that literally. Be prepared to learn a foreign language relevant to the study of Africa, such as French, Swahili, and Arabic.

Maybe you’ll travel to learn it. We urge African & African American Studies majors at Fordham to study abroad during junior year to gain extraordinary perspective and firsthand life experience. There’s nothing like immersing yourself in another country for gaining invaluable understanding of its people, history and politics.

Sample Courses

Elementary Swahili I
African Intellectual History
Understanding Historical Change: Africa
Social Construction of Women
Contemporary African Literatures
Buffalo Soldiers: Race and War
Black Prison Experience
Social Welfare and Society
Major Debates in African Studies
Affirmative Action: American Dream
Harlem Century

Life After Fordham

Are you ready to be a global citizen, committed scholar, or social activist? To leave campus with knowledge about our globalized world that enables you to understand the complexity of our contemporary societies from London to Lagos, Cairo to Capetown, and New York to Port au Prince?

You will be sensitive to the demands of an increasingly diverse American society and world. Our alumni move on to graduate school in African & African American Studies, history, literature, ethnic studies, law, education, and social work. They pursue careers in public service, teaching, law, journalism, public administration, international affairs, urban affairs, performance studies, and public history. 

The African & African American Studies Degree