Our Mission

The mission of African American and African Studies (AAAS) as an interdisciplinary intellectual collective is centered on the study and production of knowledge of Africa and the African Diaspora, especially in the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America. We feel charged with the task of providing an integrative education aimed at illuminating the experiences, lives and circumstances of peoples in Africa and its Diasporas, along with the many diasporas of Black peoples globally and transnationally. As a unit we are committed to making concrete connections between our scholarship, pedagogy, and the cause of racial and social justice.

We are currently transitioning from a program to a department. During this transition, we are not accepting applications for admission. Thank you for your interest in  African American and African Studies at Michigan State University.

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featured News

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Inaugural Chairperson Appointed for Department of African American and African Studies

Ruth Nicole Brown has been appointed as the Inaugural Chairperson for the Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS) at Michigan State University, effective July 1, 2020. She currently is an Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Announcing the AAAS Transition Team

The African American and African Studies (AAAS) Transition Team is a group composed of faculty and staff who have been charged by Dean Christopher Long with facilitating this phase of development toward a new department of African American and African Studies at Michigan State University.

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The Michigan State University Board of Trustees has approved the establishment of a Department of African American and African Studies, which will support the work of students, faculty, and staff associated with the existing AAAS program and will help re-establish MSU’s position as a national leader in Black and Africana Studies.

Proposed Areas of Study

Feminisms, Genders, Sexualities

Feminisms, genders and sexualities studies are integral to understanding African peoples and African descended peoples on a global stage. This area of study promotes the methodological dexterity necessary to, at once, think locally, nationally, transnationally and globally about forces shaping our everyday lives.

Social & Cultural Studies

This area of study explores and promotes critical approaches that track literary, social, cultural, political, and economic influences that shape narrations of self, community, environments, and geographies.

Historical Studies

History remains an indispensable core discipline of Africana Studies. Moreover, the past experiences of African, African American, and African descended people throughout the world have profoundly shaped their contemporary conditions and will inevitably impact their future lives.