African and African Diaspora Studies

Explore themes from the formation of non-state societies, empires and kingdoms prior to the 15th century, to the diverse cultures and societies that make up the African Diaspora and the role of race in politics today.

Emmanuel's interdisciplinary and cross-cultural minor in African and African Diaspora Studies combines courses in history, literature, political science and modern languages to move students beyond the traditional narratives and provide a global perspective that delves into questions of race, economic and social injustice as well as a diversity of world views including aspects of African, Latin American, Caribbean and North American histories and cultures. Among a range of topics, students will explore how new communities and societies in the Black Atlantic were formed through imperial rivalries, economic exchange, and various acts of accommodation, resistance, and rebellion and how Black culture and consciousness have been shaped by their engagements with issues of race, class, nationality, and gender in the successive historical contexts of colonialism, anti-­colonial resistance, and the post-colonial, "globalized" world.

Minor Requirements

View the 2019-2020 Academic Catalog to find course titles, numbers and descriptions.

Requirements for Minor in African and African Diaspora Studies 

  • HIST1107 African History
  • ENGL2417 Literature of the Black Atlantic

Elective Courses: 
Three courses chosen from (one of which must be a 3000-level course):

  • ENGL2410 African American Literary Giants
    ENGL2413 African American Literature
  • HIST1114 Creating the Atlantic World
  • HIST2130 African America History: 1865 to the present
  • POLSC2301 Politics of Race and Ethnicity in Latin America
  • ENGL3605 World Literature and Film
  • LANG3421 Spanish Caribbean Literature

Learning Goals + Outcomes

The English Department prepares students to contribute to scholarly and popular discourses through mastery of the following five goals:

  • Expertise in "close reading" of texts. Students will be able to analyze the form, content, and cultural meanings of works of literature and a wide array of other forms of communication and cultural expressions.
  • Ability to analyze texts in context. Students will be able to understand texts in relation to a variety of contexts, including historical moments, as well as literary, cultural, and theoretical traditions.
  • Ability to conduct in-depth research on complex subjects.
  • Ability to write clear, polished, and persuasive prose.
  • Ability to present ideas effectively through persuasive oral communication.

Explore Emmanuel

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Featured Faculty: Petros Vamvakas

Petros Vamvakas is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Latin American Studies, Middle East Studies and Peace Studies Programs. His work focuses on security and democratization, as well as issues related to identity and race in politics throughout the Americas. As part of his teaching, he has escorted groups of students to Crete, Greece, and will be bringing a group of students to Cuba.

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Saints Spotlight: Ashlee Jeannot '17

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Saints Spotlight: Shennah Derstine '17

Shennah didn't have to go far to find the right internship opportunity--the graphic design minor reported to Emmanuel's on-campus Marketing & Communications department, where she worked on a range of graphic design projects to promote College events and programs. 

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A Commitment to Service: Justin Prairie '05

Although half a world away in Pakistan, Justin Prairie '05 is never far from Emmanuel and Boston. A foreign service officer with the U.S. State Department, Justin currently works on political and military affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.

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Martin '17 Launches "Her Campus" at Emmanuel

Key ingredients to Samantha's success included courses that enhanced her knowledge of the field of communications; relationships with classmates, faculty and staff that influenced her personal and professional life; and leadership roles in a broad range of extracurricular activities.

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Saints Spotlight: Christina Ascolillo '17

While at Emmanuel, Christina took advantage of every networking opportunity that came her way, which led to an internship and then a full-time position at the Massachusetts State House.

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Emmanuel is a place where students broaden their sense of what’s possible and prepare for inspiring careers in an ever-changing world. Be here.