Requirements

Curricular Tracks

The track is one of the three areas of research training in the Department of African American Studies:

  1. Expressive Arts and Cultural Studies
  2. Histories
  3. Politics, Society, and Culture

Our intention is to offer a graduate curriculum that provides a range of graduate students with a firm grounding in a variety of essential texts, materials, methodologies, and traditions. At the same time, we have built in a degree of flexibility that would enable our own students to achieve a higher degree of proficiency within a specific sub-field. Consequently, we will require all our students to take eighteen (18) courses total over two years (all things being equal, an average of three courses per quarter).

Program Breakdown

The specific breakdown of the 18 required courses goes as follows:

  • 6 core courses
  • 4 track courses
  • 4 courses within one's chosen discipline of specialization
  • 3 elective courses
  • 1 research methods course

Six Core Courses

All students will be required to take six core courses. Three of the core courses correspond to our tracks. We will also require our students to take three introductory, interdisciplinary courses: one covering the diaspora, a second dealing with the concept of memory, and a third focused on conceptual methodologies.

The first three core courses will be taught by core African American Studies faculty; the second three will be taught (either independently or in teams) by African-American Studies faculty and faculty from related fields.

The six core required courses are:

  1. 401 Research Seminar in Black Studies
  2. 402 Theorizing Black Genders and Sexualities
  3. 403 Theorizing Blackness and Diaspora
  4. 420 Black Expressive Arts
  5. 440 Black Historiography
  6. 460 Black Social and Political Thought

The descriptions of the six core courses can be found on this website. We have required four courses not necessarily containing African American Studies content in another discipline in order to allow students to establish their competence in the discipline in question (e.g., Anthropology, History, English, Theatre, Political Science, Sociology, Philosophy, etc.) and to enhance their subsequent marketability. The participation of African American Studies-affiliated faculty in other disciplines on student dissertation committees; and the course instruction within the tracks by core African American Studies faculty trained in the traditional disciplines will also assist the students in establishing competence in one of these disciplines. Finally, we will require all students to take at least one research methods course. In consultation with their advisors, and depending upon the nature of their research interests, students will choose an appropriate course in quantitative and/or qualitative methods.