Department: Africana, Puerto Rican and Latino Studies
Africana Studies as a “discipline” seeks to study, interpret, explain, and articulate the cultural, historical, political, economic, and spiritual experience of people of African descent throughout the world. Africana Studies is “Pan-Africanist” in approach and focus, seeking to emphasize the connections between African peoples and their cultures throughout the world, while acknowledging the differences that have evolved because of historical realities, geographical location, specific forms of colonial oppression, and cultural interaction. The African-centered perspective of the sequence implies an approach to reality which begins with the African and African-Diasporic experience. Its presupposition is that the meaning of that experience cannot be determined without reference to Africa as the source, its point of origin. As such, our sequence is lodged firmly within the African-Centered Movement; a liberatory and intellectual movement born out of the struggle, conflict, and victory of the decolonization process.
The Puerto Rican/Latino Sequence is geared towards a multidisciplinary pedagogical and philosophical approach which encompasses the study of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba specifically, and the rest of the Caribbean in a comparative perspective. We also engage in the study and analysis of the Puerto Rican Diaspora and other Latino groups in the U.S. The study of the Puerto Rican experience is framed within the racial, historical, linguistic, religious, social and cultural syncretism that evolved from the interaction of the native Taíno population, Africans, the Spanish colonizers and the U.S. presence.
What can I do with my degree in Africana & Puerto Rican/Latino Studies?
The Department of Africana & Puerto Rican/Latino Studies prepares students for a broad range of careers in the public and private sector; for entrance to professional schools such as law, social work, urban planning and medicine, and for graduate study and research in the social sciences and humanities. The department has a long history of nurturing students’ intellectual discipline, creativity, and social and political awareness. Graduates of the department have pursued careers in journalism, counseling, teaching, public policy, community development, media, politics, psychology and international affairs. The department’s interdisciplinary structure offers students an opportunity to satisfy the increasing expectations of admissions committees and prospective employers for a broad liberal arts perspective that complements the specialized knowledge of a field.
The honors research course, AFPRL 499, is open to AFPRL upper seniors who have a 3.5 GPA in the major with a 3.0 GPA overall and have completed at least 24 credits including three AFPRL 300/400 level courses. In order to receive an honors endorsement, a student must receive a final grade of at least B+. Students who do not meet the requirement for an honors endorsement but have passed the course, will receive three credits without honors. The research theme changes every academic year. The project is supervised by one full-time AFPRL faculty member but is read and graded by the supervisor and two additional AFPRL full-time faculty members.
Office: 1709B HW