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African and African American Studies (AAAS) courses are for students interested in a multi- and interdisciplinary approach to the study of the contributions of African and African Diaspora peoples to the history, cultures and societies of the world: Africa, the Caribbean, the United States, Europe, Asia and the Americas.
The program critically examines African and Diaspora experiences, institutions and perspectives with particular focus on the ways in which gender/sex, class, racial capitalism and ideological theories have shaped the lives of Black peoples. AAAS draws on faculty and courses primarily from the departments of History, English, Languages and Literatures, Philosophy, Politics, Religion and Sociology/Anthropology.
The scholarly interests of the faculty include 19th and 20th century African American history; comparative slavery; Caribbean cultures and societies; Civil Rights history; the Black Power Movement; philosophy of race; postcolonial literature; critical race theory; W.E.B. DuBois; criminal justice and race; religions of the Diaspora; African, Afro-Caribbean, and African American literatures and aesthetics; African American women's history and literature; the sociology of race and education; African American philosophy; South, East and West African history; and African politics.
The program also allows for independent and off-campus study. While the program's main strengths are history, literature, politics, religion and languages, students are encouraged to combine AAAS with such disciplines as psychology, economics and the arts, and with programs such as Women's Studies and Peace and Global Studies.
From Earlham, AAAS graduates have gone on to law school, medical school and graduate school at such institutions as the University of Rochester, Columbia, Tufts, Northwestern, Ohio State, Northeastern and Boston universities.