Interim Chairperson: Dr. Christopher Olsen
Department Office: Stalker Hall, room 109
Web site: http://www.indstate.edu/afri
The faculty in the Department of African and African American Studies provide students with a clear understanding of African and African American perspectives on issues relevant to the education of all people, especially people of African ancestry. The program enables students to contribute through research, teaching, and service to the quality of life in society, particularly in urban America and throughout the African diaspora. It also serves as a forum for academic inquiry into the vast range of the Black intellectual tradition. Department objectives include the enhancement of knowledge that furthers the growth of the field, and the cultivation of an appreciation of African and African American life and development.
A degree in African and African American studies prepares students for professional careers in human services, education, law, business, community development, and journalism. More generally, course work in African and African American studies prepares students for careers in the public sector, particularly urban institutions, and for leadership roles in intercultural relations and international affairs. Majors and minors in African and African American studies are also equipped to pursue graduate studies in the humanistic, social, and behavioral sciences, especially where the focus of study is the Black world.
The department’s faculty upholds the highest standards of instruction at the undergraduate level and participates actively in the General Education Program. The faculty is dedicated to academic excellence in research and scholarship, and features a diversity of intellectual and practical interests that draws the humanistic, social, and behavioral sciences into a rich interdisciplinary framework.
The Department of African and African American Studies offers one curriculum leading to the bachelor of science or bachelor of arts degree. Candidates for either degree must complete the University requirement of a minimum of 124 semester hours of credit, including General Education course work, as well as the requirements for the departmental major. Candidates for a bachelor of arts degree must also complete two years, or the equivalent, of a foreign language.
The degree in African and African American studies has two essential purposes. The first is to expose students to the principal intellectual concerns and subfields of the discipline through required courses in history, culture, research methods, theory, and the foundations of African and African American studies. The second purpose of the degree is to allow students considerable flexibility to pursue subject areas of their choice. As such, the curriculum includes courses in literature, music, history, psychology, sociology, political science, economics, community development, and the comparative study of people of African ancestry living in the Americas, Africa, and Western Europe.
The college, in consultation with departments, assigns each student a faculty academic advisor. Majors and minors in the Department of African and African American Studies are encouraged to maintain good contact with their advisor, and are expected to work with their advisor prior to registration each semester. Students who do so are more likely to meet their goals and achieve academic success. Students can find their assigned advisor by consulting the college, the department, or their DARS.
Department facilities include the Resource Center, the seminar/study room, the computer facility, and a lounge area. A number of activities are also sponsored by the department during the course of the year, including informal social gatherings, a lecture series, Kwanzaa observations, and the Tyi Wara Celebration.
Many African and African American studies majors and minors choose to be involved with one or more student groups, such as the Black St. Troupe, Ebony Majestic Choir, and Social Action Theater.