The African and African Diaspora Studies Program (AADS) considers the history, culture, and politics of Africans on the subcontinent and African-descended peoples in the U.S., the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Covering a vast historical period and geographical expanse, AADS acquaints students with the multiplicity and diversity of the African diaspora and the world in which we all live. 

AADS Course Core Themes


Globalization is as old as the trade in African slaves. Patterns of travel, labor, trade, commerce and resource extraction have shaped the experiences of African-descended peoples and the peoples they have encountered. Selected courses explore the connections between various geographic regions, cultural traditions, and historical developments that have defined globalization.


Race is defined by various identity categories and social locations: gender, class, color, ethnicity, region, nation, age, sexuality, political ideals, and spiritual beliefs. Intersectionality reminds us that race is not a monolithic or homogeneous category of human experiences.

Social Justice

The history of African and African-descended peoples has been defined by the struggle for social justice: the fight for racial equality, the fight against discrimination, sexism, homophobia, and class exploitation. In resisting enslavement, segregation, patriarchy, imperialism, and colonialism, by striving to overturn discrimination in housing, healthcare, employment, religious institutions and families, African and African diasporic peoples have undertaken drives for social emancipation that have expanded the meaning of democratic ideals.