The Africana and Latin American Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program that studies the histories and cultures of the peoples of Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America, and of African Americans in the United States. It draws heavily from several disciplines in the humanities (art, language, literature, music) and the social sciences (anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, political science, and sociology), as well as educational studies, philosophy, psychology, religion, and writing and rhetoric. This provides students with critical methodological cross-disciplinary skills that are increasingly demanded by employers and graduate schools. The program offers a major and a minor in four different concentrations: African, African American, Caribbean, and Latin American studies. It examines the indigenous civilizations of these regions and studies the impact of migration, imperialism and colonialism, racism, nationalism, and globalization in shaping the lives, ideas, and cultural identities of their inhabitants. The focus on the cultural roots of several ethnic minority groups now living in the United States is vital for preparing students to function effectively in an increasingly multicultural society of the future.
Students pursuing a major or a minor in one of the concentrations of Africana and Latin American studies are encouraged to take advantage of the multiple program-sponsored study-abroad opportunities in Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America which give them first-hand lived experiences in those societies that considerably enhance their classroom knowledge.