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Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of General Studies in African and African-American Studies

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First- and Second-Year Preparation

Students in the African studies concentration should enroll in AAAS 103 and AAAS 105 in the first year and AAAS 305 in the sophomore year. Students in the African-American studies concentration should enroll in AAAS 104 and AAAS 106 in the first year and AAAS 306 in the sophomore year. Students in the Arabic and Islamic Studies concentration should enroll in AAAS 102 in the first year and AAAS 349 in the sophomore year.   For the B.A. degree in all concentrations, enrollment in a second language should begin no later than the sophomore year.

For further advising, contact the main office, 9 Bailey Hall, 785-864-3054, afs@ku.edu, or Professor Beverly Mack, bmack@ku.edu, 785-864-4260.

Requirements for the B.A. or B.G.S. Major


African Studies Concentration

Majors choosing this concentration must complete a course in each of the following areas:

African Language Proficiency. Satisfied by Amharic (AMHR 220), Arabic (ARAB 220), Haitian (HAIT 240), Hausa (HAUS 220), KiSwahili (KISW 220), Wolof (WOLO 220) or an approved African-related language. Required for BA only.

African Studies Core Knowledge & Skills. Majors choosing this option must complete each of the following categories:

Introduction to Africa. Satisfied by AAAS 103.

Introduction to African History. Satisfied by AAAS 105.

African Traditional Religion & Thought. Satisfied by AAAS 300.

Modern African History. Satisfied by AAAS 305. 

African Studies Required Electives. Majors must complete 5 elective courses (15 hours) at the 300+ level:

Capstone Experience. Major’s capstone experience must relate to the student’s elective emphasis and be so certified by the adviser. Majors must complete AAAS 550 and AAAS 496 or AAAS 690. 

African and African-American Major – African Studies Concentration Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours

Satisfied by 33 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence

Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major.

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Hours

Satisfied by a minimum of 27 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Graduation GPA

Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.


African-American Concentration

African-American Studies Core Knowledge & Skills.  

  • AAAS 104 Introduction to African-American Studies (3)
  • AAAS 106 The Black Experience in the Americas (3)
  • AAAS 300 African Traditional Religion and Thought (3)
    • AAAS 306 The Black Experience in the U.S. Since Emancipation (3)
    • AAAS 550 Senior Seminar in: _____ (3)
    • AAAS 496 Field Experience (3) or AAAS 690 Investigation and Conference (3)

African-American Required Electives. Majors must complete 5 elective courses (15 hours) at the 300+ level:

  • AAAS 306 Black Experience in the U.S. Since Emancipation (3)
  • AAAS 307 Modern African History (3)
  • AAAS 317 African American Women:  Colonial Era to Present (3)
  • AAAS 323 African American Studies In: (3)
  • AAAS 330 Black Leadership (3)
  • AAAS 388 The Black Woman (3)
  • AAAS 400 Readings In: (3)
  • AAAS 415 Women and Islam (3)
  • AAAS 420 Intercultural Connection:  The Afro-American (3)
  • AAAS 440 The Afro-American Family:  A Psychological Approach (3)
  • AAAS 445 Arab Through and Identity (3)
  • AAAS 460 Topics and Problems in African and African-American Studies (1-3)
  • AAAS 501 Regional History: (3)
  • AAAS 502 Directed Language Study (5)
  • AAAS 503 Directed Language Study (3)
  • AAAS 504 Directed Language Study I (3)
  • AAAS 505 Directed Language Study II: (3)
  • AAAS 510: Comparative Racial and Ethnic Relations (3)
  • AAAS 511: The Civil Rights Movement (3)
  • AAAS 512: African and Western Cosmologies (3)
  • AAAS 522: African and African-American Religion:_____ (3)
  • AAAS 523: African-American Studies in: _____ (3)
  • AAAS 525: Social History of Black Aging in America (3)
  • AAAS 534: The Rhetoric of Black Americans (3)
  • AAAS 584: Black American Literature (3)
  • AAAS 585: Race and the American Theatre (3)
  • AAAS 611: History of the Black Power Movement (3)
  • AAAS 630: The Life and Intellectual Thought of W.E.B. Du Bois (3)
  • AAAS 650: Sufism (3)

B.A. majors with a Haitian emphasis also must take 16 hours of an African language.

Note: AAAS 496, AAAS 550, and AAAS 690 may not be taken until AAAS 300, AAAS 305, and AAAS 306 (as appropriate) have been passed, subject to other stipulations in the catalog.

African and African-American Major – African-American Concentration Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours

Satisfied by 33 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence

Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major.

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Hours

Satisfied by a minimum of 27 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Graduation GPA

Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.


African and African-American Concentration

African and African-American Studies Core Knowledge & Skills.  

  • AAAS 103 Introduction to Africa (3) OR AAAS 105 Introduction to African History (3)
  • AAAS 106 The Black Experience in the Americas (3)
  • AAAS 300 African Traditional Religion and Thought (3)
  • AAAS 305 Modern African History (3)
  • AAAS 306 The Black Experience in the U.S. Since Emancipation (3)
  • AAAS 550 Senior Seminar in: _____ (3)
  • AAAS 496 Field Experience (3) or AAAS 690 Investigation and Conference (3)

African and African-American Required Electives. Majors must complete 5 elective courses (15 hours) at the 300+ level:

  • AAAS 302: Contemporary Haiti (3)
  • AAAS 303: Peoples and Cultures of North Africa and the Middle East (3)
  • AAAS 305: Modern African History (3)
  • AAAS 307 Modern African History, Honors (3)
  • AAAS 310 Women of Africa Today (3)
  • AAAS 320: African Studies In: _____ (3)
  • AAAS 332: Introduction to African Literature (3)
  • AAAS 333: Introduction to Caribbean Literature (3)
  • AAAS 334: Introduction to African Dance Theatre (2)
  • AAAS 335: Introduction to Southern African Literature (3)
  • AAAS 336: Introduction to African Literature, Honors (3)
  • AAAS 340: Women in Contemporary African Literature (3)
  • AAAS 345: Popular Culture in Africa: Spiritual Thrills, Romance and Sexualities (3)
  • AAAS 349: Islam (3)
  • AAAS 350: Physical Geography of Africa (3)
  • AAAS 351: Africa's Human Geographies (3)
  • AAAS 355: African Theatre and Drama (3)
  • AAAS 370: Introduction to the Languages of Africa (3)
  • AAAS 372: Religion, Power, and Sexuality in Arab Societies (3
  • AAAS 376: West African Art (3)
  • AAAS 400: Readings in: _____ (3)
  • AAAS 415: Women and Islam (3)
  • AAAS 429: Postcolonial Theatre and Drama (3)
  • AAAS 432: Francophone African Literature (3)
  • AAAS 433: Islamic Literature (3)
  • AAAS 434: African Women Writers (3)
  • AAAS 435: Muslim Women's Autobiography (3)
  • AAAS 445: Arab Thought and Identity (3)
  • AAAS 450: Popular Culture in the Muslim World (3)
  • AAAS 460: Topics and Problems in African and African-American Studies (1-3)
  • AAAS 470: Language and Society in Africa (3)
  • AAAS 501: Regional History: _____ (3)
  • AAAS 502: Directed Language Study: _____ (5)
  • AAAS 503: Directed Language Study: _____ (3)
  • AAAS 504: Directed Language Study I: _____ (3)
  • AAAS 505: Directed Language Study II: _____ (3)
  • AAAS 512: African and Western Cosmologies (3) 
  • AAAS 520: African Studies in: _____ (3 )
  • AAAS 522: African and African-American Religion:_____ (3)
  • AAAS 523: African-American Studies in: _____ (3)
  • AAAS 527: Popular Culture in Africa (3) 
  • AAAS 532: Studies in Islam (3)
  • AAAS 542: The History of Islam in Africa (3)
  • AAAS 543: Language and Culture in Arabic-Speaking Communities (3)
  • AAAS 545: Unveiling the Veil (3)
  • AAAS 551: Environmental Issues in Africa (3)
  • AAAS 552: Classical Islamic Literature (3)
  • AAAS 553: Geography of African Development (3)
  • AAAS 554: Contemporary Health Issues in Africa (3)
  • AAAS 555: African Film (3)
  • AAAS 560: Race, Gender, and Post-Colonial Discourses (3)
  • AAAS 561: Liberation in Southern Africa (3)
  • AAAS 565: Gender, Culture, and Migration (3)
  • AAAS 568: Kongo Trans-Atlantic (3)
  • AAAS 574: Slavery in the New World (3)
  • AAAS 578: Central African Art (3)
  • AAAS 590: The Rise and Fall of Apartheid (3)
  • AAAS 598: Sexuality and Gender in African History (3)
  • AAAS 600: Politics in Africa (3)
  • AAAS 650: Sufism (3)
  • AAAS 657: Gender in Islam and Society (3)
  • AAAS 662: Gender and Politics in Africa (3)
  • AAAS 663: The Anthropology of Islam (3)
  • AAAS 676: West African Art (3)
  • AAAS 677: African Design (3)
  • AAAS 679: African Expressive Culture: _____ (3)
  • AAAS 680: Introduction to Modern Africa (3)

African and African-American Major – African and African-American Concentration Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours

Satisfied by 39 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence

Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major.

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Hours

Satisfied by a minimum of 30 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Graduation GPA

Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.


Arabic and Islamic Studies Concentration

A total of 33 credit hours is required, distributed as follows:

5 relevant elective courses numbered above 300 (15)
Courses available as electives include but are not limited to the following:

B.A. majors in this concentration also must take 16 hours of an African language (Arabic, Hausa, Kiswahili, or Wolof).

Fields of Emphasis

In each concentration, at least 3 elective courses and AAAS 496 and AAAS 690 must relate to the student’s emphasis and be so certified by the adviser. Examples are arts and culture; language and linguistics; social, political and economic development; women; Africa and the Diaspora, Caribbean and Haitian studies. The department keeps a list of fields and courses appropriate to them.

Note: Consult the major adviser during pre-enrollment advising each semester. Prospective majors should consult the department as early as possible. The department may require a student to take and pass a preparatory course not already taken before enrolling for a given elective. The department has guidelines for substitutions at all levels, pre-major and major. Each substitution must be approved.

African and African-American Major – Arabic and Islamic Concentration Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours

Satisfied by 33 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence

Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major.

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Hours

Satisfied by a minimum of 30 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Graduation GPA

Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.


Note: Consult the major adviser during pre-enrollment advising each semester. Prospective majors should consult the department as early as possible. The department may require a student to take and pass a preparatory course not already taken before enrolling for a given elective. The department has guidelines for substitutions at all levels, premajor and major. Each substitution must be approved.

Fieldwork

Field experience is a junior/senior option for majors. Fieldwork may be done anywhere in the U.S. or abroad. Careful arrangements must be made long in advance. Consult the department a full semester before enrollment.

Graduation Plan

With careful planning and commitment to a full-time course load, you can graduate in 4 years. Download a sample 4-year plan for African and African-American studies.

Double Majors

African and African-American studies majors are encouraged to take a second major in a related or compatible field. Because the major is interdisciplinary, a second major is relatively easy to achieve in the usual period of undergraduate study.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.