ChooseWhy Choose This Program?
Why Study Africana Studies at Goucher?
The minor in Africana studies aims to provide students with a broad yet selective exposure to the study of people of African descent on the continent of Africa and in the African diaspora, exploring the topics through history, politics, cultural and social evidence, and expressive discourses.
LearnWhat Will You Learn?
What Will You Learn?
Students work with advisers to construct an individualized program of study that values the following: an anti-essentialist or diverse perspective; a rigorous methodological perspective; an interdisciplinary perspective; and an intercultural perspective.
DoWhat Will You Do?
What Will You Do?
Students work with advisers to construct an individualized program of study that teaches them to interpret specific historical and cultural evidence, to examine the many identities and worldviews of African people, and how different cultures mix in Africa and the African diaspora.
Major & Minor Program Contacts
Africana Studies minor: Seble Dawit
Seble Dawit, Associate Professor, Director, Peace Studies Department: Human rights and humanitarian law, gender and rights, non-profit organizations, futuring
Irline François, Associate Professor: Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Africana Studies minors at Goucher have the opportunity to engage with Africa and its diaspora through the college's extensive study abroad opportunities. Below are just a handful of study abroad programs that Africana Studies students can participate in as a Goucher student:
HIV/AIDS, Inequality, and Social Policy in South Africa
Goucher College offers an intensive three-week January program in South Africa that examines inequality and social policy through the lens of the HIV/AIDS crisis. Two-thirds of the persons living with HIV/AIDS are in sub-Saharan Africa, and South Africa has one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the world. The HIV/AIDS epidemic mirrors the social fault lines of deprivation, disempowerment, and dependency. South Africa offers an interesting context for exploring how differential access to resources influences risk.
Rural and Township Education in South Africa
This intensive course abroad will introduce students to primary and secondary education in the township and rural schools of Grahamstown, South Africa. Participants will design and implement lesson plans focusing on basic reading and English concepts for South African learners in grades 5 through 8. Participants will design and implement lessons that encourage the development of South African learners' reading, thinking, composing, and content-area skills. A course that focuses on the history of South Africa, culture and customs unique to the Eastern Cape region, and rural education in South Africa will be offered every May.
History, Society, and Culture in West Africa
This three-week course is your opportunity to experience firsthand the enduring and changing West African culture through intensive interdisciplinary study of Ghana's and Benin's customs, social institutions, and arts. This course involves extensive travel throughout West Africa, including lectures on West African religion, history, and art. You'll go on field excursions to meet artists, see theatrical and dance performances, visit cultural museums, and take intensive classes in West African drumming, dance, and more.
Social Transformation and Cultural Expression, Accra
This semester or yearlong program examines Ghana's social, economic, and political features. Topics considered range from education and religious traditions unique to Africa to the impact of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade to the role of Queenmothers in Krobo. Thematic seminars in northern Ghana examine topics such as the contrast between Western and traditionally trained midwives to the role of local markets in the global economy.
African Diasporas in Global Perspective
This semester program examines the global dispersions of peoples and cultures of African ancestry, including their growing impact on world economies, politics of ethnicity and belonging, aesthetic and material cultures, and ideologies. The program offers a unique opportunity to learn about numerous distinct cultures as well as an in-depth history of Ghanaian leadership roles in Africa and the world at large. Students will live in the vibrant community of Cape Coast for their stay.
Post-Genocide Restoration and Peace Building
In 1994, Rwanda was the site of one of the most atrocious genocides in contemporary human history. In the span of 100 days, about one million people were killed, resulting in a broken and devastated country. Since 1994, Rwanda's peacebuilding process has been successful in restoring trust in state institutions, engaging Rwandans in the reconstruction of sustainable reconciliation, and overcoming ethnic divisions. During this semester program, students will be based in Kigali, Rwanda's capital city, a medium-sized modern city that reflects signs of both successful recovery from the genocide and enduring poverty. Students will study post-genocide restoration and peacebuilding, the Kinyarwanda language, and conduct an independent study project.
Development Studies in Kampala
Based in Kampala, Uganda's capital city, this semester program offers an in-depth, hands-on practicum with one of the country's many international or grassroots development agencies to provide a deeper understanding of the practice of development work. Students investigate the impact and accompanying issues of Ugandan progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, human rights, grassroots development, microfinance, and community conservation. Through field visits to rural areas of Uganda and a comparative excursion to Rwanda, students explore what lies beyond the rhetoric of the "development industry" as they learn about the diverse strengths and needs of this changing nation and region.
Opportunities & Internships
Internships are a very important facet of the curriculum at Goucher College, and the Africana studies faculty members consider them to be essential to a student's education. The variety of internships that have been completed under the supervision of this program proves the relevance of a degree in Africana studies. Students find internship opportunities through the Career Development Office, through faculty and staff members, or on their own.
A detailed description of the off-campus experience is published by the Career Development Office each year and fully describes the guidelines and timetable for internships. Students interested in arranging an internship in Africana studies should contact their individual academic advisers.