Our Mission

The Department of Pan-African Studies (PAS) fosters the multidisciplinary study of the societies and cultures of Africa and persons of African ancestry past and present, throughout the world. To this end, PAS offers an extensive program of study, including undergraduate major and minor and, ultimately, graduate programs focusing on Africa and the Diaspora. This program of study seeks to:

  1. Give students a broad understanding of the history, societies and cultures of the African world;
  2. Equip students to apply Pan-Africanist scholarship to the analysis of and engagement with contemporary social and cultural issues;
  3. Engage in the interrogation of prior research and build new scholarship that reflects the perspectives and experiences of people from the African Diaspora;
  4. Prepare students for the workforce or for graduate work in Pan-African Studies and/or related fields;
  5. Add an inter-cultural dimension to other academic programs.

Fifteen faculty members hold full or joint appointments in the Department of Pan-African Studies with areas of specialization that include art, religion, music, communications, literature, popular culture, history, anthropology, education, sociology and political science of the African world.

As scholars, the faculty of the Department contributes to the creation of new knowledge and the development of new methodologies emerging from Pan-African experiences and formulations of meaning. The Department is committed to sharing this knowledge through teaching and research, and applying it through service in the local, state, regional, national and international communities. PAS aspires, as its ultimate goal, to become a Department of national and international distinction.