The Department of African American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers students an opportunity to study black history, culture, and society in ideal interdisciplinary models. It challenges students to critically examine facts and issues that are historically and contemporaneously relevant to the African American experience.


The major in African American studies requires a minimum of 30 credits. 15 credits must be numbered 300 and above. Students must take 2 courses from each of the four areas listed below: 1) Literature; 2) History and Society; 3) Arts and Culture; 4) Seminars and Advanced Courses; and Electives to achieve a total of 30 credits.

1. Literature

    1) Two (2) courses selected from the following:

 Introduction to Black Women Writers
 Introduction to African American Dramatic Literature
 Masterpieces of African American Literature
 African-American Autobiography
 The Harlem Renaissance
 The Black Arts Movement
 19th Century Afro-American Literature
 Major Authors

2. History And Society

     2) Two (2) courses selected from the following:

 Introduction to Contemporary Afro-American Society
 Introduction to Afro-American History
 Race and American Politics from the New Deal to the New Right
 Afro-American History Since 1900
 Afro-American History to 1900
 Black Women in America: Reconstruction to the Present
 Race and Gender in Post-World War II U.S. Society
 Slavery, Civil War, and Reconstruction, 1848-1877

3. Arts And Culture

      3) Two (2) courses selected from the following:

 Hip-Hop and Contemporary American Society
 Black Music and American Cultural History
Introduction to African Art and Architecture
 Introduction to Afro-American Art
 Artistic/Cultural Images of Black Women
 Blacks, Film, and Society
 Art and Visual Culture: Women of the African Diaspora and Africa

4.) Seminars And Advanced Courses

      4) Two (2) courses selected from the following:

 Critical and Theoretical Issues in Afro-American Literature
African American Women’s Activism (19th & 20th Centuries)
Gender, Race and the Civil Rights Movement
 History of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States
 Colloquium in Afro-American History
Interdisciplinary Studies in the Arts
 Selected Topics in Afro-American History
 Selected Topics in Afro-American Literature
 Selected Topics in Afro-American Society
 Selected Topics on Afro-American Artists
 Selected Topics in Afro-American Culture
 Critical and Theoretical Perspectives in Black Women’s Writings
Modern/Contemporary Art of Nigeria and the African Diaspora
 Visual Culture, Gender and Critical Race Theory

5. Electives

     5) Two (2) courses selected from the following:

 Introduction to Comparative US Ethnic and American Indian Studies
 They: Race in American Literature
 Introduction to Black Women’s Studies
 Selected Topics in African American Culture
 African and African-American Linkages: An Introduction
Undergraduate Studies in Afro-American History
 Gender, Race and Class: Women in U.S. History
 Black Feminisms
 The Caribbean and its Diasporas
 Mutual Perceptions of Racial Minorities
 Soul Music and the African American Freedom Movement
Interdisciplinary Studies in the Arts
African American Political Theory
African American Families
 Race, American Medicine and Public Health
 History of African American Education



Residence & Quality of Work in the Major

2.000 GPA in all AFROAMER and major courses

2.000 GPA on at least 15 credits of upper-level work in the major, in residence2

15 credits in AFROAMER, taken on the UW–Madison campus

Please contact Undergraduate Advisor Anthony Black with any questions on the African American Studies major.