About | Kent State University

The Department of Pan-African Studies, offers a comprehensively radical African centered approach to learning. The DPAS curriculum reflects our pedagogic approach that is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach and offers a major with a choice of four concentrations and three minors. DPAS offers a major with a choice of three concentrations and two minors. These courses also expose students to theoretical, practical, and domestic and national issues facing African-Americans, as well as peoples of the Caribbean and elsewhere.

An undergraduate major leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Pan African Studies, including four concentrations, from which students may choose:

Three minors:

  • Pan-African Studies, which covers the study of peoples of the Caribbean, the United States and Canada, with selected studies of Africa and other diasporic communities,
  • African Studies, which focuses on the study the African continent, with selected studies of diasporic communities of the past and in contemporary times, and a
  • Globalization, Identity and Space, which offers students a broad understanding of our global world. In each case, the curriculum addresses the topic of Pan-African frameworks of reading history and culture.

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

What is it?

The Department of Pan-African Studies at Kent State University serves a vital need in the university community. Pan African 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.A., 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 Pan-African Studies offers a rich and diverse program for undergraduate students. 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 learn basic practices of provide them with basic information and questions which 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

The faculty of the department 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.