Department of African American Studies
Learn about the interplay between political, economic and cultural forces unique to the global African experience and central to American culture. Shape your understanding through interdisciplinary study and draw insights from the arts, religion, sociology and more.
African American Studies (AAS) investigates the cultural, literary, historical, socioeconomic and other issues affecting the African, African American, and African Caribbean experiences, and ultimately the Black experience in the United States.
Gain historical understanding and insight through the lens of the humanities by examining art, literature, religion and music of the Pan African world. Discover social and scientific influences through the interdisciplinary study of sociology, political science, economics and anthropology.
Teaching and research emphasizes critical and analytical skills to prepare you to think, write and speak critically, and to make your own sense of the world.
Supplement your studies of the African diaspora and the life and culture of Black people at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library. Access special collections and a wide variety of media, personal papers, artifacts and photographs.
The Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company and the Community Folk Art Center broaden your understanding and link your studies to the local community.
The Africa Initiative is a campus-wide project focused on Africa highlighting teaching, research and publications by Syracuse University scholars representing a variety of disciplines including the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, mathematics, engineering and others.
What can I do with my degree?
As a graduate of the AAS program, your future is unlimited. Studying African American Studies will give you many skills desired by future employers, such as:
- Analytical and creative thinking
- Writing and speaking
- Multi-cultural awareness
- Synthesizing new ideas
Whatever your interests, your liberal arts degree can take you far—from journalism, politics or education to film, public policy or law. To learn more about all your options, talk to your advisor.
Students of African American Studies are encouraged to explore credit-bearing study options through Syracuse University Abroad in locations including Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana and Egypt. Two summer programs, Cultural Politics: Contemporary Brazil and Paris Noir/Black Paris: Literature, Art, and Contemporary Life in Diaspora, are also available.
There are no events in this category right now, but please check the University calendar for many other options.
Books by AAS Faculty
Crossing Bar Lines: The Politics and Practices of Black Musical Space, by James Gordon Williams, University Press of Mississippi (March 1, 2021), 204pp., ISBN-13: 978-1496832108
Freedom's Racial Frontier: African Americans in the Twentieth-Century West, edited Herbert G. Ruffin II, Mack, and Taylor, University of Oklahoma Press (March 15, 2018), 424pp., ISBN-13: 978-0806159775
ILLUMINATIONS ON CHINUA ACHEBE: The Art of Resistance, by M cere G thae M go and Herbert G. Ruffin II, Africa World Press, Inc.; First edition (June 9, 2017), 214pp., ISBN-13: 978-1569025437
Ethnicities and Tribes in Sub-Saharan Africa: Opening Old Wounds, by S.N. Sangmpam, Palgrave Macmillan; 1st ed. 2017 edition (March 15, 2017), 112pp., ISBN-13: 978-3319501994
Addressing Environmental and Food Justice toward Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Poisoning and Imprisoning Youth, edited by K. A., Ducre, Nocella, and Lupinacci, Palgrave Macmillan; 1st ed. 2017 edition (November 11, 2016), 199pp., ISBN-13: 978-1137508249
Toni Morrison, au-delà du visible ordinaire, by Janis Mayes and others, Presses Universitaires Vincennes (January 15, 2015), ISBN-13: 978-2842924133
Uninvited Neighbors: African Americans in Silicon Valley, 1769–1990, by Herbert G. Ruffin II, University of Oklahoma Press; First edition (March 28, 2014), 352pp., ISBN-13: 978-0806144368
Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya, by Horace Campbell, Monthly Review Press (March 1, 2013), 208pp., ISBN-13: 978-1583674130
Grammy-Award Winning Musician Terri Lyne Carrington Headlines Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Public Affairs Lecture
Carrington will discuss her distinguished musical career and social justice work.
The film series will release five episodes throughout the year and is funded by the Black Equity and Excellence grant from the Central New York Community Foundation.
Grant will fund online exhibitions, artist talks and expand educational programming.
Digital African American history, #hashtag activism, and social justice. Featuring guest speaker, Charlton Mcilwain