As an Africana studies major you will explore the field’s central questions and debates in a transdisciplinary, cross-cultural department.

About the Major

As an Africana studies student you may get a chance to spend a summer doing research with a professor or earn a fellowship to pursue your own academic work abroad for a year after graduation.

Being at Hamilton for four years has provided me with the tools to do well in anything I do. Whether I decide to pursue a career that intersects with the work I did at Hamilton or not, I know that I am equipped with powerful knowledge. I know that majoring in Africana studies best prepared me for life outside of Hamilton and I also know that every opportunity and experience Hamilton awarded me has contributed to my success now and will continue to contribute to my success in the future.

Kiana Sosa ’15 — Africana studies major

Students focus on five geographic areas – Africa, the Caribbean, the U.S., Latin America and Europe – and the links between them, taking cross-listed courses in anthropology, classics, English, government, history and other disciplines. Africana studies faculty and students come from a wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds, bringing to the classroom a diversity of experiences, perspectives and disciplinary strengths.

The department began in the mid-1980s in response to students who pressed for a space within the academy to explore issues of race and the lives of people of Africa and the African diaspora.

Careers After Hamilton

  • Volunteer, U.S. Peace Corps
  • Financial Analyst, Lazard Capital Markets
  • Architectural Designer, Coyle & Associates
  • Foreign Services Officer, U.S. Department of State
  • Program Coordinator, Posse Foundation
  • Editorial Assistant, EPIX
  • Teacher, Bronx Academy of Letters

Contact Information

Africana Studies Program

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4282 315-859-4253 africanastudies@hamilton.edu

Meet Our Faculty

A Sampling of Courses

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Introduction to Africana Studies 101FS

Examines the nature, methods and development of black/Africana studies. A comparative and interdisciplinary introduction to the study of African and diaspora cultures and history. Emphasis will be on an exploration of some of the key texts and issues.

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Principles of Geoscience: Geology and Human Events in North Africa and the Middle East 103

An interdisciplinary study exploring the influence of environment, water resources, climate change and bedrock geology of North Africa and the Middle East on prehistory, history, international relations and prospects for the future. Special emphasis on developing GIS skills.

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Understanding Caribbean Carnival 140S

Introduces the Carnival tradition in the Caribbean, examining the rise of Carnival from its slavery and post-emancipation roots; the political and historical dynamic associated with Carnival customs; the complex cultural expressions forged by Carnival’s unique mix of folklore and religion including vodun, dance and dress styles, satire and musical forms like reggae and calypso; the interrelations between the economic and cultural products created by Caribbean peoples, and the spread, content and impact of modern Carnival to large North American cities.

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History of Jazz to the 1950s 160

A study of jazz from its origins (its African heritage, blues and ragtime) to 1950. A survey of jazz styles, including New Orleans and Chicago styles, boogie-woogie, swing, bebop and cool jazz.

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Diversity Reconsidered 201S

An examination of the emergence of Africana Studies as a transdisciplinary field of social and cultural critique and politics. Explores the work of foundational (e.g., W.E.B Dubois and Anna Julia Cooper) and contemporary figures. Topics include but are not limited to the history of Africana thought, race and global racial formation, resistance and politics, intersectionality, gender and sexuality, representation, white privilege, belonging, Blackness, and diaspora. Writing-intensive.

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Black Popular Culture 303S

Examines black popular culture of the African diaspora through an exploration of a series of representations, cultural practices and folk traditions. Participants will interrogate the "black experience" and its legacy in aspects of consumer culture, film, music (jazz, hip hop, blues), television, social class and gender. Considers the methodological and theoretical implications of these approaches for both anthropological inquiry and Africana studies. Writing-intensive.

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