Frequently asked questions
- What is “Triple A-D-S?”
There is a great deal packed into our field of study, and into our name. From time to time you will hear mention on campus of exciting research or events taking place in a department known as “Triple A-D-S.” This refers to us: African American and African Diaspora Studies (AAADS), a multidisciplinary department of the College of Arts and Sciences. We offer B.A. and M.A. degrees, as well as a doctoral degree and a Ph.D. minor.
- What is African Diaspora Studies?
African diaspora studies is the cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and comparative study of the lived experiences of people dispersed throughout the world from the continent of Africa. This dispersion is known as the African diaspora.
African diaspora communities have descended from this historic movement of groups of people from Africa, dispersing predominantly to the Americas, but also to other places on the globe. Our program looks at the causes and consequences of the African diaspora, examining distinctions among various cultures and histories in their specificity.
- What is the difference between African Americans and more recent immigrants from Africa?
In the United States, the census defines as black someone who can trace their ancestry back to any of the sub-Saharan racial groups of Africa. African Americans—Black Americans—are an ethnic group within the U.S. with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa.
More recent African immigrants may view themselves as distinct in their ethnicity and culture from native-born Americans who have descended from West African slaves.
- Can I study in the department in combination with other academic pursuits?
Yes! Any degree in AAADS, from undergraduate to an advanced degree combines well with study in another subject area. In fact, we have many formal interdepartmental options. If you are an undergraduate, the interdisciplinary nature of our program makes it a good fit with sociology, English, religious studies, and history—so much so that you can major in both subjects at the same time. You can also add AAADS as a minor with another subject area.
Prospective graduate students should examine our master’s degree options—you can obtain a combined masters degree in English (Creative Writing), Library and Information Science, or in concert with the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. We also offer a Ph.D. and our graduates are recognized for expanding awareness of the field.