The African American and African Diaspora Studies Program is offered under the auspices of the Interdisciplinary Studies unit of the College of Liberal Arts. Students may major or minor in African American and African Diaspora Studies. The program in African American and African Diaspora Studies is designed to provide students with the critical tools required, and to expose them to the historical knowledge and current research necessary, for an informed understanding of the Afro-American experience today. The program is built around a core of courses that systematically document critical aspects of the Afro-American experience from its antecedents in antiquity to the prominent issues of the present day. Engaging both past and contemporary aspects of this experience provides students access to materials and events that have historically not been given adequate treatment, and allows students to contextualize current issues relating to Afro-Americans in an academically critical way. The program is also designed to effectively prepare students who desire to continue on to graduate work in Afro-American Studies.
The primary objective of the major in African American and African Diaspora Studies is for students to gain a solid foundation in the history and culture of Afro-Americans from before the beginnings of slavery in British North America up to the present time. This foundation is a historically and critically contextualized one in that the African American and African Diaspora Studies Program does not start with the assumption that Afro-American history begins in 1619. Rather, the program very specifically reaches much farther back in history in order to allow students to gain an appreciation of the ways that global economic systems, technological advances, and political change contributed to the environment that made the introduction of Africans to British North America in 1619 possible. This primary objective is met through the first three of the four core courses: AAS 101 (Afro-American Survey I), AAS 102 (Afro-American Survey II), and AAS 330 (From Civil Rights to Black Power and Beyond). A secondary objective is for students to be able to concentrate their studies on particular areas of interest within an overall African American and African Diaspora Studies framework. With affiliated faculty in other UNLV departments, the African American and African Diaspora Studies Program is especially suited to meet this objective. Related to both of the above objectives is the tertiary objective for graduates of the program to be well prepared for post-baccalaureate work in African American and African Diaspora Studies. An undergraduate degree in African American and African Diaspora Studies gives potential graduate students the firm foundation necessary for engaging the more complex material they will encounter in graduate programs focused on African American and African Diaspora Studies.
For information regarding accreditation at UNLV, please head over to Academic Program Accreditations.
- Through interdisciplinary study, develop and display university level critical thinking, research, and writing skills, especially as it pertains to Africa, African America, and the larger African Diaspora.
- Identify and explain key political, cultural, and historical moments, forces, and agents that have shaped Africa, African America, and the larger African Diaspora.
- Identify and explain major literary and/or artistic movements, their impacts, goals, and prominent figures that have shaped Africa, African America, and the larger African Diaspora.
- Develop broad knowledge about global and local Black thought at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, and other identity markers.
- Apply the methods and analytical approaches of the humanities, social sciences, and/or the arts to the study of Africa, African America, and the larger African Diaspora.
- Identify and relate historical and contemporary issues, major debates, and key conversations in and about communities throughout Africa, African America, and the larger African Diaspora.
- Understand the historical and cultural importance of activism, especially in relationship to the creation of the field of study.
Bachelor of Arts in African American and African Diaspora Studies
Plans of Study