The African Studies Program

The African Studies Program
College of Liberal Arts
133 Willard Building
University Park
PA 16802-2800
Phone: 814 865 5406
Fax: 814 863 3578

The African Studies Program at Penn State is home to a diverse and very active Faculty who teach, conduct research, and publish in the areas of African history, politics, culture, economics, geography, linguistics, and health


 Clemente Abrokwaa (University of Alberta)):  Senior Lecturer of African Studies.

 Gabeba Baderoon (University of Cape Town): Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies and African Studies.

Sibusiwe Dube ( University of Edinburgh): Lecturer in African Studies)

 B. Ikubolajeh Logan (University of California, Los Angeles): Professor of African Studies and Geography.

 Sinfree Makoni (University of Edinburgh): Associate Professor of African Studies and Applied Linguistics.

Kidane Mengisteab (University of Denver):  Professor of African.

Kevin Thomas (University of Pennsylvania): Assistant Professor of African Studies, Sociology and Demography.



 Undergraduate BA (Major and Minor) in African Studies

The undergraduate BA in African Studies provides students with the opportunity to examine the geographical, cultural, historical, social, political, demographic and economic aspects of African development.  In addition to all other university course requirements, the BA Major in African Studies requires a minimum of 45 credits.  The undergraduate major has 4 required courses (12 credits): AFR110 (Introduction to Contemporary Africa); AFR/EARTH 105 (Environment of Africa); AFR 191 (Early African History), and AFR 192 (Modern African History).  Additional requirements are 33 credits from a list of electives (see Undergraduate Bulletin).  The Minor in African Studies requires XX credits from a list of electives (see Undergraduate Bulletin).


Dual-Title Doctoral Degree in African Studies

In addition to its undergraduate degrees, the African Studies Program is developing a new graduate program, titled, the Dual-Title Doctoral Degree in African Studies.  This degree is designed to accomplish a number of goals, including the following: provide a framework within which doctoral students can pursue an integrated suite of regional/thematic courses to complement their specialization in their major discipline; use African Studies graduate faculty to enrich the multidisciplinary training and research activities of Penn State doctoral students who have an interest in Africa; and, enhance the marketability of Penn State doctoral students by making it possible for them to acquire a unique qualification, which can attract a wide range of employers in academia, the US government, bilateral and multilateral international organizations and international non-governmental organizations.

The Dual-Title Doctoral Degree in African Studies will be awarded to students who are admitted to a primary doctoral program and admitted  subsequently into the dual-title degree in African Studies. At present, the African Studies Program has three partnering departments for the dual-title degree:  Political Science, Geography, and Comparative Literature.   The minimum course requirements for the Dual-Title Doctoral Degree in African Studies is 18 credits (see Graduate Bulletin).


Courses offered by the core African Studies faculty on a regular basis:

Clemente Abrokwaa AFR/WMST 202: Gender Dynamics in Africa
AFR 191: Early African History
AFR 192: Modern African History
AFR 400: Model African Union
AFR 110 WEB: Introduction to Contemporary Africa
WMNST 364: Black and White Sexuality
*AFR/WMNST 537: Islam and Gender in Africa
AFR 110: Introduction to Contemporary Africa
AFR 110 WEB:  Introduction to contemporary Africa
AFR 150: African in Cinema
AFR 403: South Africa Today
*AFR 403 WEB: South Africa Today
AFR 105: Environment of Africa
AFR 110: Introduction to Contemporary Africa
AFR 405: African Studies Methodology
GEOG 444: African Resources and Development
GEOG 436: Ecology, Economy and Society
*AFR 532: Environment and Poverty in Africa
*AFR/APLING XXX:  Multilingualism, National Security and African Development
*AFR XXX: Culture, Mental Health, and Human Development in Africa
*AFR 536:  Kinship and Social Practices in Africa
Kidane Mengisteab AFR/PLSC 440: Globalization and African Development
AFR/PLSC 443: Ethnic Conflicts in Africa
AFR/PLSC 454Government and Politics in Africa
AFR/PLSC 464: Extractive Industries and Conflicts in Africa
*AFR 530: Globalization in Africa
*AFR/PLSC 534: Political Economy of Extractive Industries in Africa
AFR 110: Introduction to contemporary Africa
*AFR 297C: Poverty in Africa
*SOC/AFR 527: Migration, Urbanization and Policy

*Denotes a new undergraduate course or graduate seminar

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