Research & Engagement

The Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS) is engaged in a highly diverse and dynamic research agenda, spanning critical perspectives, creative interventions, and engaged modes of community-based civic and political participation.

The principal focus of our research and engagement is to initiate and facilitate critical dialogue on topics of particular relevance to African, African American, and African diasporic lives, experiences, beliefs, and knowledge systems.

Critical Perspectives

Members of our faculty are all highly qualified and recognized scholars, representing a wide range of academic fields and orientations:

  • African, African American, and African Diasporic literary and cultural production 
  • Black feminist theory and practice 
  • Postcolonial theory and criticism 
  • Black radicalism and internationalism 
  • African American history
  • African social history and oral traditions 
  • The study of economic development
  • Critical sociology
  • Comparative politics

Creative Interventions

Accordingly, the scope of our scholarly inquiry is both expansive and multifaceted. In our scholarly endeavors and research, Africa's encounter with the wider world, its implications and consequences for historical and present-day realities, remain topical and important.

The challenges, contributions and legacies of Africans’ dispersals and the emergence of transnational networks across the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific are all given particular attention and consideration. 

Our faculty intensely and purposefully engages with questions of culture, aesthetics, and politics in a bid to project the lives of African-descended peoples with necessary depth and rigor.

Civic & Political Participation 

Our faculty is also comprised of widely recognized award-winning teachers and engaged scholars.

We work with students and community members motivated by the strong conviction that what we do in the classroom, and the knowledge we produce are inseparable from the wider world with its pressing concerns and critical challenges.

Many of us work closely with diverse constituents of K-12 educationteachers, administrators, community-based educators, and educational justice activiststo help infuse the foundational knowledge of African, African American, and African diaspora studies in teaching and learning. Together, we are transforming pedagogy, curricula, and above all the lives of young people in significant ways.

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