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About the Minor in African Studies

Students interested in studying Africa at Wesleyan choose from an exciting variety of courses from across the Wesleyan curriculum: Art History, Dance, Economics, English, Feminist Gender & Sexuality Studies (FGSS), History, Government, Music, and Romance Languages & Literatures.

The African Studies minor allows students to create a coherent course of study by taking at least 5 courses that offer breadth and depth in the study of the continent.  It enables them to develop an understanding of African history, contemporary issues facing the continent, and the creative and intellectual contribution of Africans.  The minor consists of a minimum of 5 courses.

We do not require any particular sequence of courses for students to complete the minor.

1) At least one African History survey course:

  • HIST 217: Africa to 1800
  • HIST 212: Modern Africa

2)  Four additional African Studies courses from History, the Social Sciences, or Humanities with the following conditions:

  • No more than 3 total History courses may count.
  • No more than 2 MUSC and/or DANC may count.
  • No more than one 100 level may count.

African History (see WesMaps for a complete list)

HIST 138 Environment and Society in Africa

HIST 212 Modern Africa

HIST 217 Africa to 1800

HIST 226: Gender and Authority in Africa

HIST 241: African American History, 1444-1877

HIST 302: Reproductive Politics and the Family in Africa

HIST 334 Social History of Islam in Africa

ARHA 295 Art in Africa An in-Depth Look at the Past and Present

ARHA 299 African History and Art

ARHA 300 Iberian Expansion & the  “Discovery” of Africa in Travel Narratives and Art, 1420-1640

Social Studies (see WesMaps for a complete list)

ECON 366 The Economics of Developing Countries

GOVT 324 Africa in World Politics

GOVT 355 Political Theory and Transnational Justice

Humanities (see WesMaps for a complete list)

DANC 260 West African Dance I [and subsequent sections of West African Dance II and III]

ENGL 131 Writing About Places: Africa

ENGL 223 After Achebe: Contemporary African Writing

FIST 125 Jungle and Desert Adventures

FREN 311 The Francophone Arab World

FREN 303 Negotiating Gender in the Maghreb

MUSC 295  Global Hip-Hop

MUSC 445 West African Music and Culture-Beginner [and subsequent intermediate and advanced sections]

SPAN 264 Orientalism: Spain and Africa

N.B. Two dance courses must be taken to fulfill the one credit requirement .

3) Students are encouraged, but not required to study Arabic, French, Portuguese, or to pursue study of an African language through the Self-Instructional Program (SILP).  Students who complete 1 credit of coursework through SILP may count their language instruction as 1 credit out of the total 5 credits.

4) Students are encouraged to study abroad in Africa, and they may count 1 course taken abroad to fulfill one of the additional history, social sciences, or humanities course requirements.  The study abroad course must focus on the study of Africa, or an African region.

Although there is no overall GPA requirement to stay in the minor, a grade of B or higher is required to receive minor credit for a course.

Students may also create their own University Major centered on the study of Africa:

http://www.wesleyan.edu/studentaffairs/resources/majordeclaration/umajor.html

Further Research, Language, and Study Abroad Opportunities

Research

Besides participating in a variety of study abroad programs throughout the year, Wesleyan students often undertake their own original research in Africa as part of completing senior honors theses for their respective departments.

Theses are available here.

Language

Students who wish to study an African language are encouraged to submit a petition through the Language Resource Center and the Self-Instructional Language Program (SIPL). 

Study Abroad

Information on current programs may be obtained from the Office of Study Abroad, and should be discussed with a member of the African Studies faculty cluster.