Minor in Afro-American Studies

The Afro-American Studies Program is offered under the auspices of the Interdisciplinary Studies unit of the College of Liberal Arts. Students may major or minor in Afro-American Studies. The program in Afro-American 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 Afro-American 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 Afro-American 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 Afro-American Studies framework. With affiliated faculty in other UNLV departments, the Afro-American 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 Afro-American Studies. An undergraduate degree in Afro-American Studies gives potential graduate students the firm foundation necessary for engaging the more complex material they will encounter in graduate programs focused on Afro-American Studies.

For information regarding accreditation at UNLV, please head over to Academic Program Accreditations.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify major events in Afro-American history.
  2. Relate major events in Afro-American history to British North-American and United States history generally.
  3. Identify and analyze select current issues in contemporary Afro-American life and culture.
  4. Identify general cultural or sub-cultural aspects of the Afro-American experience vis-à-vis the mainstream American experience.
  5. Explain how the rapid rise of the United States as a world power in the 19th century was directly related to the forced labor of Africans and Afro-Americans.
  6. List the major events of the Civil Rights Movement.
  7. Relate the Black Power Movement to the Civil Rights Movement that preceded it, and to the current era.
  8. Describe at least one mode of Afro-American literary or artistic achievement, including its major figures.
  9. Recognize the major political and social figures of Afro-American history and culture.
  10. Display an ability to produce acceptable, university-level written work.

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