The Africana studies program is the examination of and critical reflection about the experiences, history and civilizations, intellectual and economic development, social organization and cultures of the peoples of Africa on the continent and in the Diaspora. Multidisciplinary and global in nature, Africana studies provides access to Afrocentric and other cultural studies perspectives that inform research and teaching about African and Diasporan peoples. Students explore a wide range of African and African-American texts and gain an appreciation for the development and awakening of peoples throughout the Diaspora.
A Distinctive Program
Africana studies students and faculty actively engage with local community organizations or residents. Students gain practical experience in helping communities solve problems by applying knowledge gained in the classroom.
Academics and Research
Many Africana studies students do independent research study projects with Stetson University faculty that are tailored to their area of interest within the minor and their major. Students frequently present their work at academic conferences.
Preparation for Graduate Study
Senior Africana studies students have the opportunity to incorporate an Africana focus into the senior thesis paper for their major. Senior capstone courses emphasize using research and methodology that produces publication-quality thesis papers, thus ensuring they are well prepared for graduate and professional work.
Awards and Recognition
The Africana studies program has three members who are Fulbright Scholar Grant recipients, one member of the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) Board of Trustees, one former executive committee member of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium and one member who received the Stetson University Hand Award for Scholarly Achievement and the Stetson University Hand Award for Community Impact.
- Ranjini Thaver, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame; department chair
- William Nylen, Ph.D., Columbia University, comparative politics
- Patrick Coggins, Ed.S., University of Connecticut
- Shawnrece Campbell, Ph.D., Kent State University
- Peter Smucker, Ph.D., University of Chicago, music theory
- Shahram Amiri, Ed.D., College of William and Mary, higher education administration
Shawnrece Campbell and Anita Choice were awarded the NCBS National Black United Fund (NBUF) Grant for the Afrocentric summer enrichment program at Free to Be Me, Inc. and the Central Florida Freedom School.
Students are encouraged to participate in the Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE), which provides funding for equipment, room and board and travel.
Undergraduate Awards and Honors
The department gives the Outstanding Senior in Africana Studies Award to one student each year.
Courses and Curriculum
» View the Stetson University Course Catalog for more information on the curriculum and courses for this academic program.
Beyond the Classroom
Students have interned for DeLand-based African American Museum of the Arts, Free to Be Me, Inc. and the Central Florida Freedom School.
Recent alumni of the department have gone on to law school; recent choices include Columbia University and Stetson University. Others have continued on to Ph.D. and M.B.A. programs.