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African Studies

Bachelor of Arts (BA) - Honours

Be a part of the longest-running African studies program in Canada. 

The African Studies (AFST) program provides students with the opportunity to pursue their interests in Africa and its diasporas. The program brings together members of the York community with an interest in Africa/African Diasporas to re-imagine Africa and its diasporas in terms of their evolution and the advancement of humanity, centrality to world history, and as sites of knowledge production.

The program has a commitment to both the intrinsic benefits of academic inquiry and to the well-being of Africans and Diasporian Africans, making it a platform/site for elevating theoretical and empirical interdisciplinary research as well as for understanding the cultural, socioeconomic, and political development of African peoples. Our students benefit from academic and pedagogical interdisciplinarity, from faculty members across the University, which allows for innovative program delivery and learning that will equip them with the agility required to apply their knowledge to real-life circumstances.

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What you’ll learn

  • Draw on informed understandings of Africa and its diasporas’ richly diverse histories, economies, politics, and cultures to effectively communicate and represent Africa
  • Recognize, appreciate, and highlight/learn/examine Africans’ and their diasporas’ roles in addressing socioeconomic and political challenges, from both historical and contemporary perspectives
  • Examine and appreciate Africa’s contributions to contemporary arts (including music, film, fashion, literature, dance, theatre, painting, etc.)
  • Learn the importance of re-imagining the futures of Africa and its diasporas through the exciting, global Pan African creative phenomenon of Afrofuturism (which is inclusive of cultural production at the intersections between race and technology, including religion, architecture, communications, visual arts, philosophy, etc.)

Hands-on experiences

The program is committed to collective and practical learning through placement courses and other experiential opportunities to make meaningful connections locally and international to multifaceted research and practical initiatives in Africa and its diasporas.

Examples of practical learning opportunities include:

  • The Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas.
  • International talks and seminars organized by the African Studies Program and aligned programs
  • Events organized by student associations such as the York University Black Students Alliance (e.g. the All-Africa Students Conference), and numerous African student organizations/clubs

We provide the opportunity for you to combine African Studies with another discipline of your choice. In our teaching and learning activities, we stress an interdisciplinary approach. We have professors and scholars trained in different disciplines and our courses are designed to draw from a variety of perspectives within the social sciences.

— Mohamed Sesay
Assistant Professor & Program Coordinator, African Studies

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