Welcome from the Chair of Pan-African Studies

Dr. Ricky L. JonesWelcome to the Department of Pan-African Studies (PAS) at the University of Louisville – the “Mothership of the Midwest (and parts of the South)!” By visiting this site, you are displaying interest, for one reason or another, in a department that has been repeatedly evaluated as one of the strongest of it’s kind. PAS recently celebrated it’s 40th Anniversary, making it one of the oldest Black/Africana Studies departments in the country.

Not only does PAS have a model undergraduate program with an impressive catalog of course offerings, we are also a leader in graduate education. PAS has offered the M.A. for well over a decade and admitted our first class of Ph.D. students in 2012. We are one of seventeen Black Studies masters programs in the country, one of only twelve offering the Ph.D., and have the distinction of being the first Black Studies doctoral program in the South. PAS is an also innovator in on-line education. Our long-standing and thriving distance learning initiative has the capacity to reach students from Kentucky to Kenya and all points between and beyond. Launched in 2004, PAS Cyber is another example of how we remain on the cutting-edge of education and technology.

We have a compliment of 16 full-time faculty members and a number of associated faculty who comprise the PAS Family. We are one of the most multidisciplinary departments in the country and house scholars specializing in: African American History, Anthropology, Art History, Caribbean Studies, Continental African History, Education, Ethnomusicology, Gender and Sexuality, Geography, Law, Linguistics, Literature, Political Science, Religion, Social Work, and Sociology. Various media platforms have featured current PAS faculty members, including: the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, Reuters, Christian Science Monitor, HBO, NPR, E! Entertainment, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, and many others. So, it should be clear that we not only have quantity, but incredible quality in our ranks.

Our department has served as the home for a number of important scholars and professionals. PAS was the home department of the late Dr. James Blaine Hudson, the first African American Dean of the University of Louisville’s College of Arts & Sciences. The Honorable Brian Edwards was a PAS faculty member when he was appointed to the bench by Governor Steve Beshear, making him one of only three black circuit court judges in the state. PAS was also the last academic stop for the legendary scholar, poet, and administrator Professor Jan Carew.

PAS features a number of outreach programs that maintain a real-world campus-community connection. Our Future Scholars Program gives local African American high school students an enriching summer research experience with University faculty. The ESSENCE Program targets middle school girls and provides invaluable academic and life-skills training. We also have one of the most successful study abroad opportunities at UofL with our annual excursion to Trinidad and Tobago. PAS also houses the University of Louisville’s award-winning Malcolm X Debate Society.

In conclusion, the Department of Pan-African Studies has sat at the heart of progressive ideology, academic excellence and social responsibility throughout the state, country, and abroad for over 40 years. PAS graduates have gone on to become professors, lawyers, researchers, administrators, and even collegiate basketball coaches. We have delivered stellar tribunes in many fields of human endeavor for almost a half-century and will groom many more in the years to come. So, whether you are interested in our bachelor’s degree or seeking to join the elite ranks of doctoral students from PAS, welcome to one of the best places to get the job done!

Dr. Ricky L. Jones

Professor & Chair, Department of Pan-African Studies
Chair, Black Faculty and Staff Association
University of Louisville

Direct Phone: (502) 852-6455
Email Dr. Ricky Jones