B.A. in African American Studies
Study how the African American story helped weave the important fabric of our nation.
African American Studies majors at the University of Mississippi select the following areas of specialization: culture, history, or political & social institutions. Choose from among 60 courses from art history and music, to English and history, and political science and sociology to tailor your exploration of the African and African American experience.
As the only African American Studies program in Mississippi, students gain a broad understanding of the African American experience as well as skills in social science methodology, research, analysis, writing, and public speaking.
A liberal arts education prepares graduates to deal with complexity and change through a broad knowledge of the world. They gain key skills in communication, problem-solving, and working with a diverse group of people. Careers related to African American Studies include education, business, urban planning, law, journalism, and many more.
Students may choose to be involved in the UM Slavery Research Group, an interdisciplinary group whose goal is to create new research technologies and provide training for future historians, curators, archaeologists, geneaologists, scholars and interpreters.
B.A. in African American Studies Faculty
There are both affiliated faculty and core faculty with joint appointments in African American Studies and another department in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Mississippi. The core faculty are listed below. They have research interests in mass incarceration, poetry and creative writing, race and media, minority politics, sports economy, African American history and literature, among others.
The African American studies interdisciplinary major consists of 30 semester hours, including 6 hours of basic core courses (AAS 201 and 202), 21 hours from the areas of specialization listed below (6 minimum from each of the specializations and one elective), and the 3-hour senior seminar course (AAS 480). At least 6 hours from each area of specialization must be taken. Areas of specialization include African and African American history, African and African American political institutions, and African and African American culture. |I. Basic Core (6 credit hours)| |-------------| |AAS 201 African American Experience I| |AAS 202 African American Experience II| |II. Areas of Specialization (6 credit hours minimum each)| |-------------| |A. African and African American History| |AAS 170/Hst 170. Intro to African History| |AAS 310. Experiences of Black Mississippians| |AAS 325/Hst 414. African American History to 1865| |AAS 326/Hst 415. African American History since 1865| |AAS 350. Topics in AAS History| |AAS 362/G St 418/Hst 418. African American Women's History| |AAS 385/Hst 423. History of Mass Incarceration in the US| |AAS 392/Hst 350. Modern Africa| |AAS 393/Hst 371. History of Southern Africa| |AAS 394/Hst 375. History of Islam| |AAS 423/G St 423/Hst 419. Black Women's Enterprise & Activism| |AAS 438/Hst 422. The Rise and Fall of American Slavery| |AAS 440/Hst 420. History of African Americans in Sports| |AAS 442. The New Negro Era| |AAS 443/Hst 424. The Civil Rights Era| |AAS 498. African American Studies Directed Study| |AAS 501. African American Studies Seminar| |AAS 509/Hst 509. Historiography: African American History| | | |B. African and African American Political and Social Institutions| |AAS 302. Judicial System and the African American Experience| |AAS 308/Pol 307. Politics of Civil Liberties and Civil Rights| |AAS 315/Pol 323. Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa| |AAS 316/Anth 315. The African Diaspora| |AAS 320/Pol 320. African American Politics| |AAS 328/G St 328/Soc 328. African American Feminist Thought| |AAS 330/Rel 330/Soc 330. Racism and Religion| |AAS 337/Anth 337. Anthropology of Blues Culture| |AAS 351. Topics in AAS Pol & Social Institutions| |AAS 413/Soc 413. Race and Ethnicity| |AAS 414/Soc 414/S St 314. Race, Place & Space| |AAS 504. Research in African American Studies| | | |C. African and African American Culture| |AAS 334/S St 334. Introduction to Field Work Techniques| |AAS 341/Eng 361. African American Literary Tradition I| |AAS 342/Eng 362. African American Literary Tradition II| |AAS 352. Topics in AAS Culture| |AAS 360. Topics in African American Studies Abroad| |AAS 363/Eng 363. African American Genres| |AAS 364/Eng 364. Studies in African American Lit| |AAS 366/Eng 366. African American Science Fiction Lit| |AAS 367/Eng 367. Blues Tradition in American Lit| |AAS 373/Eng 373. Studies in Comparative Black Lit| |AAS 374/Eng 374. Survey of Caribbean Literature| |AAS 375/Eng 375. Survey of African Literature| |AAS 386/AH 386. African and African American Arts| |AAS 395/AH 369. Survey of Black American Art| |AAS 412. Studies in Black Popular Culture| |AAS 421/G St 421. Readings in U.S. Black Feminism| |AAS 468/Eng 468. Major African American Writers| |AAS 469/Eng 469. Special Topics in African American Lit| |AAS 473/Eng 473. Prison and the Literary Imagination| |AAS 479/Eng 479. Special Topics Comparative Black Lit| |AAS 481/Eng 481. Special Topics in Caribbean Literature| |AAS 483/Eng 483. Special Topics in African Literature| |AAS 493/Eng 493. Special Topics in Race and Ethnicity| |AAS 517/Mus 517. African American Musical Tradition| |AAS 518/Mus 518. History of Jazz| |AAS 593. African American Literature| |III. Senior Seminar (3 credit hours)| |-------------------| |AAS 480. African American Studies Senior Seminar|
Admission requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies program are the same as the general undergraduate admission requirements.
Brian Foster (2011) wrote his honor's thesis on black male hip hop aspirations in rural Mississippi to examine how young people develop and pursue "non-conventional" aspirations like those centered on rap music production. He earned the Ph.D. in sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and returned to UM as Assistant Professor of Sociology and Southern Studies. His current book, I Don't Like the Blues, focuses on race and community life in the Mississippi Delta. Why study African American Studies at UM? "The faculty helped me navigate the obstacles of a first-generation, black college student. The curriculum introduced me to books and ideas. I learned to talk, in a meaningful and theoretically sound way, about racism and racial inequality, about gender and sexism. I discovered what what my own scholarship could look like. I found I could study and write about black folks in the rural South, about my own experiences, and do so in a way that was academically meaningful and stylistically engaging."