Course sequence

General Requirements: 12 credit hours are required. This includes the core introductory seminar course, Introduction to African Studies (Africa) (AAAS 802). Students are then required to take an additional 9 hours or three courses. All courses, including language course work, must be at the 500-level or above. At least one of these courses (three credit hours) must be taken at the 700-level or above. Only courses with an Africa focus may count toward the required hours. No more than three hours of directed readings or independent study may be counted. Any students who utilize directed readings or independent studies courses are required to submit a paragraph summary of the course of study signed by the professor directing the project, so that AAAS can know how the course counts toward fulfillment of the cluster requirements. All approvals of course sequences are at the discretion of AAAS. Make sure to have your adviser fill out the Graduate Certificate Checklist [PDF].

Core introductory seminar

Introduction to African Studies (Africa) (AAAS 802) – 3 credit hours. An interdisciplinary approach to cross-cultural understanding of Africa 's place in the modern world. Specific emphasis will be given to the role of Africa in world history, African cultures, modern African history, and problems of development and nation-building in Africa. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Other courses

In close consultation with her or his graduate adviser, a student designs a coherent sequence of three courses. To gain approval, this sequence should not be a random selection of Africa-related classes; the student and adviser must provide AAAS with an explanation of how the sequence meets the objectives of the Graduate Certificate in African Studies to recognize expertise in the field of African Studies at the graduate level.

Recognition ceremony

AAAS sponsors a small commencement program, connected with the larger Department’s program, each spring to award students their certificates.

Course options (students choose from among the following):

AAAS 501 Regional History

AAAS 520 African Studies in

NOTE: these courses vary in content, for recent examples:

  • Language and Culture in KiSwahili-speaking Communities
  • Peoples and Cultures of North Africa
  • Islam, Colonialism and Nationalism in North Africa

AAAS 527 Popular Culture in Africa

AAAS 542 The History of Islam in Africa

AAAS 543 Language and Culture in Arabic-Speaking Communities

AAAS 545 Unveiling the Veil

AAAS 551 Environmental Issues in Africa

AAAS 552 Classical Islamic Literature

AAAS 553 Geography of African Development

AAAS 554 Contemporary Health Issues in Africa

AAAS 555 African Film

AAAS 557 Cities and Development

AAAS 578 Central African Art

AAAS 590 The Rise and Fall of Apartheid

AAAS 598 Sexuality and Gender in African History

AAAS 600 Politics in Africa

AAAS 676 West African Art

AAAS 679 African Expressive Culture

AAAS 690 Investigation and Conference

AAAS 700 Africa in World Politics

AAAS 715 Seminar in African Art

ANTH 785 Topics in Ethnology

FREN 732 Francophone Studies

HIST 600 West African History

HIST 801 Colloquium in

LING 575 The Structure of

LING 791 Topics in Linguistics

POLS 669 Topics in Comparative Politics

In addition, students may be permitted to take "Topics" classes with an Africa focus that are offered almost every semester in other departments. The various directed readings, independent study, or 700-, 800-, or 900-level graduate seminars of nearly a dozen disciplines will count if these are taught by AAAS faculty and AAAS & KASC-affiliated faculty. AAAS has designated advisers according to clusters of faculty expertise that exist across disciplines and schools, in the areas of

Politics and Development Studies, Histories and Societies, Literature and Orature, Visual and Performing Arts, and African Languages and Cultures, and certificate students should take courses that cluster along the lines of these areas of expertise.





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KU announces first Diversity Leadership Awards
Thursday, October 13, 2016


The Langston Hughes Center received a $180,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct a June 2017 summer institute for high school teachers, entitled "Teaching the 'Long Hot Summer' of 1967 and Beyond."  The project will be led by Shawn Alexander, Clarence Lang, and John Rury.


Teresa Leslie-Canty, AAAS Lecturer and a Topeka High School teacher, nominated by her students in February, won a free Nissan Versa Tuesday night as the KSNT News and Capital City Nissan of Topeka “Teacher of the Year”. Teresa Leslie-Canty was previously the February “Teacher of the Month” after being nominated by 13 of her students.


Professor Jessica Gerschultz has been awarded the prestigious American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship for the 2015-16 academic year. The Fellowship is for her book project, Decorative Arts of the Tunisian Ecole: Fabrications of Modernism, Gender, and Class in Tunisia (1948-1972).


African and African-American studies professor Professor Beverly Mack wins inaugural engaged scholarship award

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Professor Dorthy Pennington was inducted into the Central States Communication Association Hall of Fame (April 2015)

Student Spotlight

Second year AAAS MA student, Caroline Kastor is also a professional athlete.  This summer Caroline, former KU soccer standout, signed with FC Kansas City and topped off her rookie season by helping lead the organization to their second straight National Women’s Soccer League championship on October 1, 2015.


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