Welcome to the webpage for the Department of Pan African Studies at Kent State. We know you will enjoy browsing our website, which has lots of news about the department and life at Kent State, as well as a photo gallery with pictures of our students, faculty, and friends.
The Pan African Studies Department was created about forty years ago. From our humble and courageous beginnings, we have grown into a strong and vibrant department, always striving to meet the challenge of the dynamic learning environment created by our first Chair, Dr. Edward Crosby. From that time, subsequent chairs have each added something special and critical to our department. The past chairs of Pan African Studies have been, after Dr. Crosby, Dr. George Garrison, Dr. Diedre Badejo, and Dr. Fran Dorsey. With our strong sense of community, we remember each of them for the efforts and expertise that they have brought to the development of the Department, or "DPAS" as it is known.
This year, I will step down from my position as Chair of Pan African Studies. It has been a wonderful experience. I have learned much from my colleagues and from my students. I sincerely hope that I have made a positive contribution to the ongoing growth and development of our department. In August, I will begin a new journey as Director and Chair of Africana Studies at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. The great news that I have to share with you is that Dr. Amoaba Gooden, Associate Professor in Pan African Studies, will be serving as Interim Chair over the academic year 2012-2013. Dr. Gooden, who has degrees in History and Sociology, has been a positive force in our department since her arrival six years ago.
Dr. Gooden was the major organizer of our recent national conference on the diaspora that was held in April of this year. Dr. Gooden is well liked by students, and the faculty have great confidence in her. During her tenure as an Interim Chair over the coming year, the faculty of PAS will reflect together and establish the plan of action for selection of a new chair. The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences has been a strong support to our department and we are confident that as we work out the details of our Strategic Plan for the next five years, we have the support of our colleagues in the college. One of our goals is to work towards the establishment of a graduate program in Pan African Studies. I am sure that Dr. Gooden will be instrumental in moving this agenda forward.
As you know, Pan African Studies is located in Oscar Ritchie Hall, named for the first black university professor at Kent State and throughout the state of Ohio. It has a rich legacy of student support and participation. It's affectionately known as "the House that BUS built," meaning the institution that was created by the campus organization Black United Students, back in the early 1970s. Today the department boasts a diverse community of students and continues to benefit from the presence of students who are bright, curious, and committed to learning and to become active agents for positive change in their communities. In addition to plans for a graduate program, PAS is busy developing its Ghana Study Abroad program, and is poised to collaborate in work for the newly created Institute for Cuban Studies at the Provostâ€™s Office.
On September 13th we will welcome Dr. Hilary Jones of the University of Maryland, College Park, who will be the final speaker in our 2010 -12 grant program funded by the Ohio Council for the Humanities. See our events calendar for more information on the speakers' series devoted to exploring issues of cosmopolitanism and diversity among African and African-descended communities. Last year we also partnered with the West African Research the Council for American Overseas Research Centers, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York to bring speakers and visiting scholars to the Kent campus, and brought three other speakers through the Ohio Council for the Humanities program. Other invited guests included Dr. Aomar Boum of the University of Arizona, and Dr. Sylviane Diouf of the Schomber Center (NYPL). Make sure to visit this website regularly to see what other events are coming up on our calendar. Visit our facebook page at Kent State Pan African Studies and â€˜likeâ€™ us!! We are proud and grateful to enjoy partnership with these two organizations.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Gooden to her new post, and join us at Pan African Studies as we move forward in the 21st century!