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Introduction 

This page is developed to help students who are minoring in AFAM, or those who are interested in a minor in AFAM, learn more about our Program.  You will also find information about the African Summer Institute for Teachers, which occurs each year and provides resources for classroom teachers wishing to incorporate African themes into their curriculum.  If you are an incoming student and are looking for a course to fulfill your First Year Experience (FYE) requirement, check out the information about AFAM 109: Exploring Africa in Chicago.
 
The African and African American Studies Minor (AFAM) is the study, research, interpretation and dissemination of knowledge about Africans both on the continent of Africa and in the Diaspora. Interdisciplinary in both conception and practice, the AFAM program is designed to critically examine the structure, organization, contributions, and perspectives of Africa and its peoples throughout the Diaspora. A major paradigm that informs the program’s curriculum is an African-Centered epistemological framework that proceeds from a position internal to the cultures of African peoples. This approach is used concurrent with an awareness of and openness to the variation and richness of the total human experience. The AFAM minor is currently housed in the Sociology Department.
 

Degree Requirements 

A total of 18 credit hours is required to minor in the AFAM Program.  There are three (3) required courses and three (3) elective courses selected from a menu of cross-listed courses.  Elective courses must come from at least two (2) different disciplines.
 

Courses 

REQUIRED COURSES (9 CREDITS):

AFAM 200
Introduction to African and African American Studies
(3 credits)
AFAM 301
Foundations of African Civilizations
(3 credits)
AFAM 302
Foundations of Africans in the Diaspora
(3 credits)
AFAM 200: INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES (3 CREDITS)

Introduction to African and African American Studies is an interdisciplinary and foundational course that introduces students to the field of African and African American Studies through an overview of the socio-economic, historical, psychological, political and cultural experiences of African peoples on the continent of Africa and throughout the Diaspora. Selected teachings are designed to give students a concise understanding of the heritage of African people in America and a framework to analyze the culture and institutional arrangements which both shaped the African Diaspora and was shaped by people of African descent throughout different parts of the world. Emphasizing an African-Centered philosophy and framework of analysis, the course content and emphasis includes a focus on students' acquisition of both an analytic ability and interdisciplinary skills of investigation and research and their development of a critical and comprehensive approach to challenging traditional Western orthodoxy, intellectual hegemony, and misinformation about Africa and its peoples. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of race, class, and gender in assessing similarities and differences in the African experience throughout the Diaspora.

AFAM 301: FOUNDATIONS OF AFRICAN CIVILIZATIONS (3 CREDITS)

This is an interdisciplinary course examining African civilizations from the prehistoric past to contemporary periods utilizing an African centered perspective. The course uniquely employs a variety of multidisciplinary perspectives and materials from history, geography, anthropology, political science, art, sociology, linguistics and other disciplines. Course content and emphasis is placed on correcting misperceptions and stereotypes of Africa while exploring the rich and varied diversity of Africa, its rich history, the fundamental cultural commonalities shared by African peoples despite the diversity, and the significance and place of African civilizations on the world scene.

AFAM 302: FOUNDATIONS OF AFRICA IN THE DIASPORA (3 CREDITS)
Foundations of Africans in the Diaspora is an interdisciplinary course that focuses on the history, culture and experiences of African descendants in North America, South America and the Caribbean utilizing the research and writings from history, sociology, and anthropology conducted on and by the descendants of African peoples in these geographic areas. The objectives that form the foundation of the content for this course represent several topical areas that are in keeping with the overall goals of the minor in African and African American Studies. The topical areas are aligned into units of study and include: The African Diaspora, Africans in North America, The African American experience, Africans in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Afro-Brazilian, Mexican, Columbian, Jamaican, French, Cuban experiences. Course objectives will be achieved through individual readings and study, and class activities and lectures. The methods used in this course include lectures, open discussions, seminar discussions, structured activities, and media and are designed to accommodate diverse learning styles.
 
AFAM 303: GLOBAL COLLABORATIONS: CROSS CULTURAL RESEARCH IN GHANA (4 CREDITS) (OPTIONAL)
This is an intensive, short term cross-cultural exchange that provides significant experience in research and creative practices. Students will travel to Ghana, West Africa, visit key cultural and historical sites, and engage in collaborative research and/or creative projects. Course sessions at NEIU before and after travel will frame the experience.
 
Electives (Cross-Listed) Courses (9 credits) chosen from any of the following:
African and African American Studies
AFAM 303
Global Collaborations: Cross Cultural Research in Ghana
Anthropology
ANTH 224/AFAM 224
ANTH 225
ANTH 319/AFAM 319
ANTH 320
ANTH 365
Contemporary African Culture
Peoples of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean
Prehistory of Africa
Religion in Africa
Anthropology of Islam
English
ENG 365
ENG 381
West Indian Literature
African American Literature
Geography & Environmental Studies
G&ES 302C
Regional Geography: Africa
History
HIST 111E
HIST 202
HIST 203
HIST 329A
HIST 329B
HIST 370
HIST 371
HIST 372
HIST 373
World History: Africa
History of Afro-Americans to 1877
History of Afro-Americans from 1877
African American History to 1865
African American History from 1865
Pre-Colonial Sub-Saharan Africa
19th and 20th Century Africa
History of Southern Africa
Women and Gender in African History
Inner City Studies
ELAD-ICSE 202
ELAD-ICSE 204
ELAD-ICSE 301
ELAD-ICSE 304
Colonial Systems
Introduction to African Civilizations
Racism in Theory and Fact
Communication in the Inner City
Justice Studies
JUST 202
JUST 331
Justice and Inequality
Law and Racism in America
Music
MUS 342
World Music
Philosophy
PHIL 291
PHIL 364
Philosophical Foundations of Oppression
Critical Race Theory
Political Science
PSCI 330
PSCI 360
PSCI 361
PSCI 397
African American Politics and Social Change
Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa
Political Change in Africa
African Political Thought
Psychology
PSYC 314
Psychology of African American Families
Social Work
SWK 202
SWK 203
SWK 250
SWK 314
Community Analysis
Analysis of Cross Culture Interaction
Issues in Social Service Delivery
Social Work Advocacy
Sociology
SOC 309
SOC 316
SOC 344
Sociology of Racism
Race and Ethnic Relations
African American Women: Feminism, Race and Resistance

Careers & Employment 

Students who minor in African and African American Studies can go on to pursue careers in:
  • Advanced Graduate Studies
  • International Affairs
  • Education
  • Social Work
  • Urban Planning
  • Community Organizing
  • Legal and Professional Careers
  • Training
  • Communications and Media
  • Writing
  • Teaching
  • Theatre
  • Dance

Program Contact Information 

To declare a minor in African and African American studies, students should contact the AFAM Coordinator, Marshall Thompson at M-Thompson4@neiu.edu or at (773) 442-4269 to discuss your interests, needs and program requirements.

Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue
Room LWH 2096
Chicago, IL 60625-4699
 
Monday - Friday
(8:30am - 5:00pm)
Telephone: (773) 442-4553
Fax: (773) 442-4900
TTY-TTD (Typewriter telephone for the hearing impaired): (773) 442-4999 (incoming only)
 
Marshall Thompson, Program Coordinator, x4269
Office Support Specialist, x4553

African and African American Studies