Black Studies is a liberation project for Black people in the United States and across the Diaspora. As an academic discipline, we will strengthen opportunities at our University for faculty, students, and staff committed to bringing to light the hidden histories, submerged thought, and radical visions of a future without racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, poverty and food insecurity, militarism, and settler colonialism.
We do so by centering Black thought, by honoring centuries of Black people’s interrogations of Western thought and history, and by committing this program to the struggle for America to finally live up to its founding ideals, or, the radical dreaming of new ideals so people can have a different relationship to one another and to the planet.
The only required course is a gateway course. Students have two choices (ES 250 Intro to African American Studies or ANTH 244 Intro to the African Diaspora) and in each course, students will gain a breadth of knowledge including the formal history of the discipline and an overall intellectual history of ’Black Studies’ beyond the disciplinary formation in the US. A BLST advisor will meet with students prior to and following successful completion of the course to help them map out their course of study.
The courses for the Minor are divided between ’roots’ (foundational overviews and lower division courses) and ’routes’ (specific lines of inquiry in particular places, focused on particular authors, etc., and upper division courses). Following the successful completion of their gateway course and meeting with an advisor, students can decide if they want “roots” work in a combination of Anthropology, English, History, IRES, and WGSS lower-division courses. From there, students can take that breadth and focus their studies in some depth, moving further into Anthropology, English, History, IRES, Philosophy, SPAN and WGSS (and future BLST upper-division courses which will be multi-disciplinary in nature with contributions from philosophy, economics, history, literature and visual art).