African & African Diaspora Studies Program (AADS)

Mission Statement

The mission of the FIU African & African Diaspora Studies Program (AADS) is to develop its recognition as a leading Program in the interdisciplinary field of African & African diaspora studies, and related fields of inquiry. Our goal is to be internationally renowned, nationally competitive, and locally meaningful in order to contribute to the University’s objective of serving the people of South Florida, the state, the nation, and the international communities. The undergraduate and graduate instruction and services of the Program are designed to:

  1. Provide an excellent university education while challenging and stimulating students and participants to engage in, and develop skills for, critical thinking so that they can contribute to the development of the field and to the betterment of their communities' cultural, aesthetic, social, political, and economic environments;
  2. Generate new knowledge and research opportunities in African and African diaspora studies through the support of faculty research and exemplary teaching, and through the organization of stimulating conferences and colloquia of interest and relevance to the diverse populations of South Florida;
  3. Be dedicated to expose the university’s student body and external communities to the rich and diverse theoretical, political, and aesthetic bodies of work of scholars, artists, and political figures throughout the history of our fields;
  4. Develop original research projects focused on, and of great significance for, the local populations.

The African & African Diaspora Studies Program seeks to foster greater understanding of the experiences of peoples of African descent, internationally.

The Program should attract those who are interested in subjects as diverse as national and transnational policy analysis, cultural studies, international relations with and within continental Africa, African and African diaspora literatures, the history and contemporary experiences of descendants of Africans in the United States, pre-national, national, transnational, and post-national processes such as pre-colonial African history, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, the movement of “returnees” to what is today’s Liberia, Ghana and Ethiopia, European colonization of Africa, the Caribbean contributions to the “black movement” in the United States, Panafricanism, the Caribbean presence in colonial Africa, the Caribbean migration to the U.K. in the mid-20th century, Caribbean popular culture and cultural politics, the processes of creolization in the Caribbean and beyond, the struggle of Afro-Latinos for the recognition of their collective rights in different national contexts, the migration of Eastern Africans to Australia, the current migration of Central Africans to South Africa, the migration of Western Africans to France, Spain, Italy, and Germany, and the escape of Sudanese “ethnic Africans” from Darfur to Chad.

We offer two undergraduate certificates, each one is taught either face-to-face or fully online the certificates are The Certificate in African Studies and The Certificate in Global Black Studies. We also offer a graduate certificate in African & African Diaspora Studies (see the Academic Programs link on this site). These certificates provide students with an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the global, economic, cultural, and historical experiences of people of African descent. They complement students’ work in their major fields of study on both the undergraduate and graduate levels while fostering greater understanding of traditionally marginalized topics.

The M.A. in African & African Diaspora Studies provides interdisciplinary, graduate level training and develops scholars with specific skills, research methodologies, principles, and knowledge which will lead to professional positions in a range of fields as it simultaneously prepares them for further study at the Ph.D. level. The M.A. in African & African Diaspora Studies is international in orientation, and its geographic reach is Africa, the Caribbean, North and South America, Europe and Asia. It provides one of the few truly international, multi-disciplinary M.A. models among Africana Studies programs, departments and centers nationally. As such it is organized to develop research interests and models, advance knowledge, and develop interactive and comparative relationships with similar programs which interrogate the lives, cultural and social formations, economics, education systems, languages, expressive and performing arts, governmental and other institutional systems, of peoples of African descent wherever they exist.

We offer three combined MA/PhD programs, which relate the multidisciplinary fields of inquiry of African studies and African diaspora studies with the disciplines of history, anthropology, geography, sociology and the multi-disciplinary field of international relations (see the Academics page on this website).