Vision and Learning Objectives

AAS Vision

African American Studies examines the unique experiences of African-descended people throughout the diaspora. Drawing on a rich tradition of civic engagement, scholarship, and teaching, the faculty introduce students to the foundations of African American Studies and collaborates with them to develop projects that lead to new intellectual perspectives.  Our courses and research revolve around three core areas of study: History, Religion and the Diaspora; Literature and Performing Arts; and Media, Politics, and Society. Within these, students carefully consider the construction of race, ethnicity, and identity and the performance of class, gender, and sexuality.  Students who take courses in African American Studies acquire a special skill set that enable them to critically interrogate their culture and the world around them.

AAS Learning Objectives

1. Students will understand basic facts, principles, key figures, and events related to African American experience in American society, plus recognize the significant contributions of African Americans in the United States and abroad.

2. Students will become familiar with the foundations of the discipline of African American Studies and the development of the field, specifically conceptual ideas that shape the academic study of African American life.

3. Students will acquire the tools for contextualizing and understanding the intersectionality of race, class, gender, and/or sexual orientation in an effort to identify relevant challenges and solve human problems related to the African American community. 

4. Students will learn to critically analyze cultural issues shaping the lives and conditions of African Americans through curriculum, community service and service learning as they confirm the value of diversity in the twenty-first century.

5. Students will be prepared for their potential careers or post-baccalaureate work in African American Studies and related fields through the development of skills in critical thinking, oral and written communication, and research.