Africana Studies


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Degree Overview

African religion, language, and folklore—much of it preserved through centuries of slavery—affect everything from global economics to Christian theology. With a minor in Africa and African Diaspora studies, you'll bring a deep and nuanced understanding of these influences to any discipline.

You'll study the important stories of peoples who were torn from their societies and scattered across the globe by the slave trade. In small classes taught by expert professors, you'll explore the ways that Africans maintained their traditions and identities in Europe and the New World. You'll draw insight from disciplines as varied as geology, philosophy, and world languages. You'll earn a versatile minor that enhances any degree.

Program Distinctives

Study abroad - You'll study abroad in a place that has important ties to African history and culture. Calvin students have studied in Ghana, Kenya, Peru, Jamaica, and many other countries.
Two paths - Choose between two different areas of focus: Africa, or the African diaspora.
Academically diverse - Eight different academic departments teach courses in this program--which means you'll get to draw insight from many different fields and subjects.

Degree Information

  • Overview

    An interdisciplinary minor, AADS is an integrative program that encompasses study both of Africa and its peoples and of the dispersal of Africans to Europe and the Americas through forced migration and voluntary immigration. Thus, students may choose between two tracks, one that focuses on Africa and the other on the African Diaspora, primarily in the new world.


    An interdisciplinary minor, African and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) is an integrative program intended to deepen students' understanding of a region of the world, and of widely dispersed cultural traditions, that are of increasing significance to global economics, health policy, international development, and Christian theology. The AADS program will prepare Calvin students, its wider constituency, and community to understand Africa's role in the formation of the Americas and the continent's role in geo-politics and culture.


    A broad choice of courses is offered, making it possible to adapt the minor to a variety of major programs in the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. The minor program encompasses study both of Africa and its peoples and of the dispersal of Africans to Europe and the Americas through forced migration and voluntary immigration.


    History professor Eric Washington serves as director of the AADS minor and advises students in the program. Philosophy professor David Hoekema also serves as an advisor.

  • Courses


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