African American studies is devoted to the study and understanding of the cultural, historical, political, and social development of people of African descent. Wesleyan's dynamic African American studies program allows undergraduates to apply the methodologies and insights of many disciplines to provide a solid grounding in theories of race and a deep understanding of the Americas.

Students who major in African American studies often pursue careers in education, academia, journalism, politics, psychology, law, business, and social work, among other fields.

What You'll Study

  • As an African American studies major, you’ll have the opportunity to explore such topics as Western conceptualizations of race and the relationship between issues of race and identity, as well as the social structures, cultural traditions, and political realities of Africans in the diaspora.
  • The major’s requirements include three core courses—Introduction to African American Literature; African American History, 1444-1877; and Introduction to Modern African American History—and a junior colloquium.
  • African American studies majors must also take four courses to form a disciplinary or thematic concentration; one elective course each in literature and literary theory, social and behavioral sciences, and the arts (art, art history, dance, film, creative writing, music, and theater); and a capstone experience.

Minor Requirements

Minors must complete a minimum of five semester courses, all of which are housed or cross-listed with African American studies, including one course in African American history and one course in African American literature.