African and African Diaspora Studies

African and African Diaspora Studies offers an interdisciplinary examination of the history, culture and politics of Africa and the African Diaspora.

Through the study of Africa today, you'll see how the continent and its many nations and cultures have evolved beyond the stereotypes that still persist in western media. You'll learn about African success stories, the future Africans are forging for themselves and the challenges they face achieving their dreams.

The concentration combines political, sociological, literary and historical issues while encouraging you to pursue your own interests with an independent study, internship or special topics course outside the core requirements.                                                

We offer a concentration in African & African Diaspora Studies.

A new look at African history

Tsotsi movie posterA course, African Cultural History through Film, is an example of the innovative ways Roanoke professors engage students in the study of Africa and the African diaspora.

By critically reading novels and films, the course asks you to consider the following questions: How do novels and films permit new types of historical analysis? In what ways do these sources of history deliver larger historical insights into issues, including colonialism, economic underdevelopment and globalization? 

In addition to reading a secondary text on African history, you will interpret novels and films about Africa, developing your own unique perspective on African cultural history.

South Africa from a student perspective

Kaitlyn Brightwell shared these photos from her time in South Africa while studying abroad.

Sample Course Offerings:

  • POLI 224: Comparative Political Systems: AfricaStudents posing with community members in Africa
  • ANTH 240: Race and Human Evolution 
  • HIST 350: Issues in African History

Africa gave them career insight and inspiration

Katherine Larrive Graduates

After Roanoke, Katherine Larrivee '15 is completing work studying the effectiveness of humanitarian efforts on the African continent, and plans to go on to a master's program.

Katherine Frisch Poses

Katherine Frisch '14 completed a summer scholars project in 2013 on South African legal history that inspired her to pursue a career in international law. She's now attending University of Richmond Law School.