The Department of Africana Studies curriculum reflects our pedagogic approach that is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary.

The Department of Africana Studies (DAFS) has a dual mission:

  • Offer a comprehensively radical African centered approach to learning.
  • Educate and inform Kent State University and the larger community about African & African derived cultural expressions.

Our programs expose students to theoretical, practical, and domestic and national issues facing African Americans, as well as peoples of the Caribbean and elsewhere.

Students are encouraged to use their intellectual talents to bring about improved critical thinking skills, and to imagine what they may contribute toward better organization, healthier institutions and general development within the African American community.

Our Purpose

The Department of Africana Studies at Kent State University serves a vital need in the university community. Africana Studies is the study of communities of people of African descent both on the continent of Africa and in various countries throughout the world.

The department focuses on bringing the local point of view of diverse communities into a global context, where specific national stories (U.S., Haiti, Jamaica, etc.) and specific regional stories (West Africa, North Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Indian Ocean, etc.) can be understood in a world context.

Increasing critical thinking in the 21st century

Instructor Olu Manns (left) performs on stage with students from his Cultural Expressions class.

The Department of Africana Studies offers a rich and diverse program. Its primary purpose is to increase student capabilities in critical thinking and carrying out research. We also aim to provide students with applied knowledge and interest in civic participation and to help them learn basic practices and provide basic information and questions that will lead to further research, study and analysis.

The courses cover the full spectrum of Pan-African affairs (the past, present and future of the global African experience). The curriculum also promotes a healthy appreciation, recognition and understanding of the diversity of cultures and civilizations comprising the human family

Improving cultural competencies

Our faculty represent a broad spectrum of scholarly and applied experience. This diversity allows us to provide a holistic and integrated view of the African experience through time. Faculty have their degrees in anthropology and African studies, history, political science, sociology, literature, communications and media, theatre arts and ethnomusicology.