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Black Studies

Interdisciplinary Minor


Elena Deanda, Director

Lisa Daniels

Rachel Durso

Ryan Kelty

Alisha Knight

Kenneth Schweitzer

Tahir Shad

Ruth Shoge

Christine Wade

Carol Wilson


Black Studies is the interdisciplinary study of the multifaceted history, culture, and lives of people of African descent. Unlike African American and African Studies, Black Studies is not limited to a single nation or continent; rather, it encompasses all locales where black people have voluntarily or involuntarily been dispersed throughout history. The Black Studies minor offers students of all backgrounds the opportunity to explore and research various aspects of black culture from a local, national, and global perspective. Students who earn a minor in Black Studies will increase their knowledge of the impact people of African descent have had and continue to have on world cultures and human history.


This interdisciplinary minor consists of six courses (24 credits). Two Humanities courses, three Social Sciences courses and one additional course in any discipline are required. At least two of these six courses must pertain to black culture outside of the United States, and students are encouraged to take three of these courses.


Pre-approved Study Abroad courses may also count toward the minor (e.g., ECN 238 South African Economy offered at Rhodes University, South Africa). One-credit music ensembles may count toward the minor only if the student takes four semesters of the same ensemble.


Students may request that a special topics course or a course not cross-listed with Black Studies be applied toward the minor. Credit for such courses may be granted only with the program director’s approval and upon the completion of specific course requirements. Students planning to complete the Black Studies minor should notify the director of their intentions and consult with the director when selecting courses for the minor.


Senior Capstone Experience

Students who complete a Senior Capstone Experience project that focuses on a Black Studies topic may request to have their SCE credits applied toward the Black Studies minor. A student must first receive approval for the SCE according to the requirements stipulated by the major department. A copy of the approved SCE proposal must be submitted to the Black Studies program director in order to be considered for Black Studies course credit. If approved by the program director, the student would receive credit for one four-credit course within the Black Studies minor upon successful completion of the SCE.


Social Sciences Courses That Count Toward the Black Studies Minor

ANT 320. Race and Ethnicity

ECN 218. Economic Development

HIS 319. African American History

HIS 371. History of South Africa

POL 341. Politics of Development

POL 356. Civil War and Violence In Africa

POL 348. Latin American Politics

SOC 221. Social Inequalities

SOC 240. Criminology


Humanities Courses That Count Toward the Black Studies Minor

ENG 213, 214. Introduction to African American Literature

ENG 345. The African American Novel

ENG 370. The Harlem Renaissance

ENG 377. 2PACalypse Now!

ENG 470. Toni Morrison

FRS 312. The Contemporary Francophone World

FRS 419. Studies in Francophone Literature and Culture

GRS 315. Minorities in Germany: Reading at the Margins

MUS 206. Jazz History

MUS 303. American Music

MUS 313. Music of Latin America

One credit music ensembles:

            Jazz Ensemble

            Jazz Combo

            Afro-Cuban Ensemble

Steel Pan Ensemble