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African American & African Studies


We study the cultures of Africa and its diaspora from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.  Our course offerings focus on African societies as well as on African-descended communities of the United States,the Caribbean, Latin America, and other African diaspora communities around the world. The faculty of African American and African Studies are all specialists of Africana scholarship but trained in a variety of fields, among these literature, history, sociology, political studies, and anthropology. Our courses are mostly interdisciplinary and designed to integrate scholarship on race, gender, and class. Several of our courses are cross-listed with other units. We offer courses that fulfill the general education requirement as well as the intensive writing requirement.

How You Will Learn

Geared towards both the scholarly and the working world, we aim to produce graduates who are ready for advanced graduate study in the humanities or social sciences. We also aim to produce professionals who can work in a variety of fields that require an understanding of the history and cultures of African and African-descended peoples. This major can be used in a broad array of fields,including education; law; health professions; marketing; journalism; and the arts. We encourage our majors to pursue internships, where they can apply their scholarly knowledge to a particular career. Flexibility is a key characteristic of our program.

John Keene

John Keene

Welcome to the Department of African American and African Studies at Rutgers University-Newark.

Our department, which was founded in 1970 as a result of student activism, is one of the oldest departments of African American and African Studies in the nation. We are committed to cultivating and bringing together a diverse community of students, scholars and artists interested in better understanding the experiences and contributions of people of African descent throughout the world.

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John Keene
Chair, Department of African American and African Studies

Syllabus Archive

Review our course syllabi

If you're trying to decide which course is best for you, check out the syllabi already on our website. 

Circle with three question marks inside it underscored by text reading TRYING TO DECIDE WHICH CLASSES TO TAKE? CHECK OUT OUR SYLLABUS ARCHIVE

Congratulations Class of 2020!

Our warmest congratulations to the very special class of 2020! Help us celebrate their achievements by following us on social media and posting your own message of congratulations.

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Alumni Spotlight

Mikal Nash

"The interdisciplinary nature of the program... allowed me to study from the perspective of different disciplines... such as history, political science, sociology, literature and religion."

Headshot of Mikal Nash in glasses speaking at a microphone.
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African American & African Studies

175 University Avenue
323 Conklin Hall
Newark, NJ 07102
United States

Tel: (973) 353-5528
Fax: (973) 353-1193

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Lacey P. Hunter

Lacey P. Hunter


Melanie R. Hill

Melanie R. Hill

Assistant Professor of American Literature

Melissa M. Valle, Ph.D.

Melissa M. Valle, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor