African American Studies

The Center for African American Studies

The Center for African American Studies [CAAS], founded in 1974, grew out of the African American Institute that was established on campus in 1969.  Located at the entrance to Wesleyan University at 343 High Street, the Center houses the African American Studies Program and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellows Program.  

Each year, CAAS organizes events and programs that enrich the offerings of the African American Studies Program and contribute to the rich intellectual community of the university.  The Center’s programming deepens campus and community conversations about contemporary and historic matters relating to African American Studies and the African diaspora.  

The CAAS Distinguished Lecture event has brought to campus individuals known for their influential writing, inspiring activism, demonstrated leadership, and fearless community engagement.  Past speakers have included Congressman John Lewis, Civil Rights leader Julian Bond, historian Robin D. G. Kelley and scholar of public policy and law Dorothy Roberts.  Join us on Friday, 27 March 2015 when Dr. Cheryl LaRoche, influential scholar of African American archaeology and public history, will deliver the 21st Annual CAAS Distinguished Lecture.

The Center often cosponsors events with student organizations as well as department, program, and center colleagues. Join us for our lecture series, symposia, poetry readings, exhibits, and artistic events.  All CAAS events are open to the Wesleyan community, our Middletown community, and to the general public.