The Africana Studies program has grown in recent years with new faculty and courses dealing with the study of Africa and its diasporas. The program brings to BYU a unique understanding of the histories and cultures of Africa—a continent of increasing importance in the world—and of pressing issues regarding race relations, international development, public health, the environment, gender, and identity throughout the globe.
As an interdisciplinary minor program, it offers a variety of classes, primarily in the humanities and social sciences. It also serves as a resource to the broader campus and community. Stimulating events with guest speakers and panel discussions address current issues and celebrate African and African diaspora contributions to the world.
The range of courses offered by a vibrant group of faculty complement many majors and distinguish students on the job market and in graduate school applications. Students may also pursue a variety of language study, study abroad, and internship opportunities.
Fall 2020 Courses
IAS 221 Introduction to Africana Studies
Dr. Leslie Hadfield and Dr. Spencer James, TTh, 12:30-1:45 p.m.
ENGL 495 section 003 Contemporary African American Literature and the Politics of Home
Dr. Kristin Matthews, TTh, 2:00-3:15 p.m.
MUSIC 204 Introduction to Jazz
Dr. Steve Lindeman, MW, 4:00-5:15 p.m.
EDLF 362 Introduction to International Development Education
Dr. Macleans Geo-Jaja, MW 11:00a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
GEOG 285 Africa South of the Sahara
Dr. Jeff Durrant, TTh, 2:00pm-3:15 p.m.
HIST 261 Modern Africa
Dr. Leslie Hadfield, TTh, 2:00pm-3:15 p.m.
HIST 383 African-American History, 1865 to Present
Dr. Rebecca de Shweinitz, MWF, 11:00am-11:50 a.m.
HIST 390R section 001 Slavery and BYU
Dr. Matt Mason and Dr. Christopher Jones, M, 3-4:50 p.m.
HLTH 480 International Health
Dr. Ben Crookston, T, 5:00PM-6:15 p.m.
POLI 379 section 003 Topics in IR: Genocide: Theory, Prevention and Politics
Dr. Chris Davey
SOC 323 Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
Dr. Ryan Gabriel, MW, 8:00am-9:15 a.m. or MW, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
HIST 390R section 005 Islam in Africa
Dr. Daren Ray, TTh, 2:00-3:15 p.m.
The Africana Studies Minor
What are the minor’s requirements?
The Africana Studies minor is an 18-credit-hour program that includes an introductory course and a variety of elective courses from various disciplines such as history, anthropology, literature, education and leadership, political science, and sociology. Students may also take African language courses and participate in study abroad and internship programs.
For the minor requirements and course descriptions see the Africana Studies minor requirements in the BYU catalog.
Where can I learn more about minoring in Africana Studies?
Interested students should meet with either the Africana Studies faculty coordinator, Leslie Hadfield or one of the counselors at the Kennedy Center Advisement Center (273 HRCB).
The major is governed by an interdisciplinary Executive Committee of faculty from at least two disciplines that meets as needed. An interdisciplinary Committee of the Whole, made up of a larger group of faculty from various disciplines, approves the work of the Executive Committee and makes major curriculum changes. Most of the assessment of the major is done by the major coordinator through competency exams and surveys of graduates. The Executive Committee and the Committee of the Whole review the results of these exams and surveys and make recommendations for needed changes. The results of the assessment work are communicated annually to all faculty affiliated with the major. At that time the faculty comment on the assessment results and those same results inform decisions regarding the curriculum structure of the major.
The Executive Committee consists of Aaron Eastley, Jacob Rugh, Peter Leman, Rex Nielsen, and Robert Colson.
Visit the Scholarships page for detailed information on other scholarships.
Khwezilomso Endowed Fund in Africana Studies
In the Xhosa language of South Africa, khwezilomso is the term for “morning star,” the first star of the morning that signals the beginning of a new day filled with bright promises. This term represents the envisioned impact of this endowed fund for students in the Africana Studies program at BYU. The Khwezilomso Endowed Fund provides financial support in the form of scholarships, internships, travel grants (e.g., for research projects, conference, or other experiential learning opportunities), to students who are involved in Africana Studies, with a preference for students with a greater financial need and students who are from Africa (regardless of students’ nationality or national origin). Information Sheet and Application (PDF).
A minor in Africana Studies truly stands out on resumes. Former program participants report that their minor in Africana Studies is one of the first things they are asked about in interviews for jobs and graduate schools. It prepares students for international engagement and demonstrates that students have gained cultural sensitivity, thus can work with a broad spectrum of people. It is an excellent minor for pursuing graduate degrees or professions in fields such as public health and medicine, law, the humanities, development, global business, economics, and more. Students are advised to seek out internships, language, and study abroad programs and to work closely with BYU faculty in the program as they prepare for future careers.
When it comes to engaging and promoting all things Africa and addressing current issues, the Africana Studies program serves as a resource for the campus community and beyond. See the following suggestions, guides, and tips from our program faculty and students.
So, you want to go to Africa?
Watch the video of a panel discussion with African educators and BYU faculty and students on how to prepare to go to Africa