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Africana Studies

Africana Studies: Self-Designed Major, Concentration 

Explore the rich, global history and diverse cultures of Africa and the African diaspora. 

What do African diaspora and Africana Studies mean? 

People of African descent living outside of the continent are often referred to as the African diasporaAfricana has come to refer to the study of the past and present experiences of Africans and the African diaspora wherever people of African descent reside; people of African descent are found around the globe. 

At Holy Cross, the Africana Studies concentration is an interdisciplinary academic program that examines the integral role that Africans and people of African descent have played in the histories, politics, cultures, and economies all over the world, particularly in Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe. Using methods from multiple disciplines including history, sociology, literature, political science, religion, and music, students of all backgrounds gain insight into our shared past and present.

Program Highlights

As a complement to our long-standing Introduction to Africana Studies course, we have added a series of foundational courses to offer multiple ways to enter the concentration. These introductory classes generally address most if not all of the following areas:
  • the social construction of race
  • use of comparative case studies or a regional approach
  • methods and theories
We offer upper-level courses in most departments allowing students to enhance their major program of study or develop new avenues of inquiry and research. Coursework can be supplemented with additional research, internships, and study abroad and study away opportunities. 
Course and Research Projects
Coursework and research span the College curriculum in history, literature, art, politics, economics and religion.
Study Abroad or Study Away
Study abroad in Australia, England, Peru and Tanzania. Study away in D.C., New York, or at an HBCU.
Course and Research Projects
Graduating seniors are eligible to submit work for the annual Carter G. Woodson Award in recognition of excellence.

Africana Studies News

A student stands in a dark lab with a professor

At Holy Cross, Professors Become Mentors

Apr 23, 2019

With small class sizes and faculty members committed to their success, Holy Cross students develop close bonds with professors, both in and out of the classroom — a cornerstone of the Holy Cross experience. From guiding students in independent lab work to fueling their passion for a new field, Holy Cross professors inspire students to reach far and support them along their journey.

Lorelle Semley stands in front of the O'Kane doors

Holy Cross History Professor Wins Prestigious National Book Award

Aug 9, 2018

Lorelle Semley, associate professor of history, has been named a co-winner of the World History Association’s prestigious Bentley Book Prize for her recent book, “To be Free and French: Citizenship in France’s Atlantic Empire” (Cambridge University Press, 2017). The prize …