What is an Africana studies degree?

An Africana studies degree draws on the social sciences and humanities to provide a complex, nuanced, culturally situated and shifting understanding of the meanings of “Black” and “African” identities and experiences; it pushes us to reexamine geographical boundaries and paradigms surrounding the production of knowledge about Africa and the African diaspora. Take your first steps by contacting admissions or reading more about how to apply.

Why study Africana studies at Furman?

Intentionally small classrooms give room to ask the hard questions, have honest discussions and, in the process, develop a healthy, and accurate perspective of the lived Black experience. From there, we can get to the causes of inequalities and differences that so often divide humans along racial lines. A multidisciplinary approach to Africana studies unravels the complex tangle of historical, political, cultural and economic factors that inform our understanding of Black, African and other persons of color. Plan a visit to Furman’s beautiful campus or start your application today.

How will you learn?

Sharpen your critical thinking, problem solving, and verbal and written communication skills with an Africana studies major. Global citizens are naturally drawn to the places and people for whom they are passionate. Travel to southern Africa to study the sociology of medicine, public health and global health. Every other year, some students take a full course load and travel throughout South Africa, Namibia and Botswana to add a new dimension to their understanding of health concerns and culture in the region.

Or choose a three-week, immersive May Experience, “Media and Culture in Ghana,” which explores topics such as the transatlantic slave trade, customs, traditions, gender roles, socio-economic development and media practices.

Unique to the major is the integration of the Furman University Gospel Ensemble (FUGE) as a critical element in understanding the cultural development of African descendants through music and other art forms.

Africana studies courses: What will you study?

Sample courses include:

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  • 14
    Average class size
  • 59%
    Furman students who study away
  • 2021
    Year Africana studies became a major
What our students say
"The Africana studies major allows students to learn more about the experiences, culture and history of people of African descent. I can learn more about my history and people who are like me through this major and educate others as well."
– Abijah Leamon ’24

Our faculty

Your academic advisor will help you explore your passions, define your interests and achieve your goals. You’ll tap into a widespread network of community and alumni mentors to help you on your individual educational path – and to the opportunities at the end of it. Furman’s Africana studies faculty represent decades of study and expertise.

Omar Carmenates

Professor of Music, Percussion

Erik Ching

Interim Associate Provost for Engaged Learning; Walter Kenneth Mattison Professor of History; Director of Undergraduate Research

Teresa Nesbitt Cosby

Professor, Politics & International Affairs

David Gandolfo

Associate Professor of Philosophy; Undergraduate Evening Studies Faculty

Glen Halva-Neubauer

Dana Professor, Politics and International Affairs

Cynthia King

Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence; Professor of Communication Studies

Janet Kwami

Associate Professor of Communication Studies

Nicholas Radel

Professor of English

Roger Sneed

Professor of Religion and Department Chair

Claire Whitlinger

Associate Professor of Sociology; Program Founder, Intergroup Dialogue Program; Co-Director, Intergroup Dialogue Program
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Africana Studies Major F.A.Q.
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