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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Department of African American Studies

faculty member and student having a discussion

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.

Multiple viewpoints
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
  • Research
  • Synthesizing new ideas
  • Problem-solving

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.

Study Abroad
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.

Books by AAS Faculty

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