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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

African and African-American Studies

Chair: Ayo Coly

Vice Chair: Robert Baum

Professors M. A. Chaney (English), A. A. Coly (AAAS, Comparative Literature), M. F. Delmont (History), L. Edmondson (Theater), S. E. Freidberg (Geography), J. W. Shipley (AAAS), K. L. Walker (French and Italian); Associate Professors R. M. Baum (AAAS, Religion), J. B. Bennett (English), K. J. Brown (English), T. D. Keaton (AAAS), D. K. King (Sociology), S. A. Moodie (English), M. White Ndounou (Theater), J. Rabig (History), N. Sackeyfio-Lenoch (History); Assistant Professors V. A. Booker (AAAS, Religion), M. Chochotte (AAAS), I. E. Kwayana (Film and Media Studies), A. H. Neely (Geography).

The African and African American Studies (AAAS) Program offers a multidisciplinary program designed to provide students with a critical understanding of the history, art and cultures, economics, politics and social organization of the African diaspora. The focused as well as comparative study of Africa, North America and the Caribbean are central components of the program. Students explore the innovative scholarship within the field of African and African American Studies while integrating theoretical perspectives and methodologies from various disciplines.


To view African and African American Studies courses, click here.


Requirements for the Major

The AAAS major consists of eleven courses:

  1. Two survey courses (must include one of the following: AAAS 9, AAAS 10 or AAAS 11).

    One African survey course: AAAS 11, AAAS 14, AAAS 15, AAAS 18, or AAAS 19.

    One African-American survey course: AAAS 10, AAAS 12, or AAAS 13.

  2. Eight elective courses, including at least two courses from each of the following distributive designations. The program office has a current list of courses satisfying each distributive requirement.

    Two courses with SOC, TMV, or TAS.

    Two courses with ART or LIT.

    One course focused on Africa and one course on African America (including the Caribbean) must be among the eight elective courses. AAAS 10, AAAS 11, AAAS 12, AAAS 13, AAAS 14, AAAS 15, AAAS 18, or AAAS 19 may be used to fulfill this requirement, but more advanced courses are strongly recommended.

  3. One of the following culminating experience options:

    Senior Seminars: AAAS 90-96.

    Senior Independent Research: AAAS 97.

    Honors Thesis: AAAS 98 and AAAS 99.

Majors are encouraged to take at least one diaspora course, which may be used to satisfy either area requirement. Courses with the INT distributive designation may satisfy either of the disciplinary requirements. With approval of the Chair, one associated course may be counted toward the major.

Requirements for the Modified Major

African and African American Studies may be undertaken as the secondary part of a modified major. A modified major should be planned to form a coherent program of study with the major. The requirements are four courses in African and African American Studies in addition to those listed for a modified major in the particular department or program. Early approval of a modified major should be obtained from the student’s major department or program and from the African and African American Studies Program.

Requirements for the Minor

Students desiring a minor in African and African American Studies must complete six courses. Minors are encouraged to take Senior Seminars and Senior Independent Research courses as part of their four electives. In order to officially file the minor, students must meet with the Chair or a program faculty member to discuss minor requirements and to arrange for online approval.

The Minor consists of six courses:

1. Two Introductory course chosen from:

AAAS 9: Introduction to AAAS Diaspora Studies,

AAAS 10: Introduction to African American Studies.

AAAS 11: Introduction to African Studies.

2. Four additional elective AAAS courses.

Off-Campus Study

Accra, Ghana

AAAS offers a biennial Foreign Study Program (FSP) in Accra, Ghana, in the fall term. Classes are taught on the campus of the University of Ghana, Legon, with faculty and lecturers drawn from the University and elsewhere in Ghana, and a Dartmouth faculty member affiliated with AAAS. In this program, classroom learning is integrated with research conducted in the community and local archives as well as visits to important historical and cultural sites in Accra and throughout Ghana. Students will have the opportunity to participate in volunteer and other community engagement activities during the term. There are no prerequisites for this FSP, but preference for admission will be given to students who have completed at least one African Studies course. 

For more information visit the Ghana Foreign Study Program page.

Paris, France

The African and African American Studies Program (AAAS) offers an FSP in Paris, France, entitled Afro/Black Paris, The African Diaspora in the City of Light. The AAAS Paris FSP takes place in one of the most extraordinary destination in the world. It embodies experiential learning, and is intensive, interdisciplinary, and immersive. Comprised of three courses taught in English, this Program offers a unique opportunity to explore "another Paris," the exceptional and lived-experience that we refer to as Afro/Black Paris, described by former students as "life-altering!"


Students enrolled at Dartmouth's exchange partner schools, including Spelman, Morehouse and schools participating in the Twelve College Exchange are eligible and welcome to apply.

Faculty Director: Professor Trica Keaton – Dartmouth College

For more information visit the Paris Foreign Study Program page

Honors Program

Qualified majors may apply for admission to the Honors Program during the second or third terms of their junior year. Completion of the Honors Program is prerequisite to graduation with Honors or High Honors in the major subject. In order to qualify for an Honors Program at Dartmouth College, the student must have at the time of application a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all subjects and a 3.3 grade point average in the major. During two terms of the senior year the honors student will pursue the project under the guidance of a selected staff member by enrolling in AAAS 98/AAAS 99. The student is expected to produce a substantial thesis as the culmination of the project. A grade of A or A- over the two terms earns High Honors; and a Grade of B+ in the first term is satisfactory to continue for Honors.1. 2.