2023-2024 Edition

Academic Catalog

African Studies Minor

Department website: http://www.wesleyan.edu/africanstudies/

Students interested in studying Africa at Wesleyan choose from an exciting variety of courses from across the Wesleyan curriculum: art history, dance, economics, English, feminist gender & sexuality studies (FGSS), history, government, music, and Romance languages & literatures.

Minor Requirements

The African studies minor allows students to create a coherent course of study by taking at least 5 courses that offer breadth and depth in the study of the continent. It enables them to develop an understanding of African history, contemporary issues facing the continent, and the creative and intellectual contribution of Africans. The minor consists of a minimum of 5 courses.

Although there is no overall GPA requirement to stay in the minor, a grade of B or higher is required to receive minor credit for a course.

At least one African History survey course:1
Modern Africa
Empires, Slavery, and Revolution: Africa to 1800
Four additional African Studies courses from History, the Social Sciences, Humanities, or African Diaspora, with the following conditions:4
-No more than 3 total History courses may count.
-No more than 2 MUSC and/or DANC may count.
-No more than 1 African Diaspora class may count
-No more than 1 100-level course may count.
African History (See WesMaps for a complete list)
Modern Africa
Empires, Slavery, and Revolution: Africa to 1800
Queen Mothers, Unruly Women: Histories of Gender and Sexuality in Africa
Development in Question: Conservation in Africa
Reproductive Politics and the Family in Africa
Social History of Islam in Africa
Body Histories in Africa
Social Studies (See WesMaps for a complete list)
The Economics of Developing Countries
Political Theory and Transitional Justice
Humanities (See WesMaps for a complete list)
West African Dance I (and subsequent sections of West African Dance II and III; Two dance courses must be taken to fulfill the one credit requirement)
Writing About Places: Africa
The African Novel I: Nervous Conditions
The African Novel II: After Achebe
French and Francophone Theater in Performance
Jungle and Desert in Francophone African Literature
Global Hip-Hop
West African Music and Culture--Beginners
Orientalism: Spain and Africa
African Diaspora
African American History, 1444-1877
20th-Century Franco-Caribbean Literature and the Search for Identity
All Ah We: Contemporary Afro-Caribbean Drama & Performance
Literature of the Harlem Renaissance
Black Global Cities
Interpreting the "New World": France and the Early Modern Americas
Students are encouraged, but not required to study Arabic, French, Portuguese, or to pursue study of an African language through the Self-Instructional Program (SILP). Students who complete 1 credit of coursework through SILP may count their language instruction as 1 credit out of the total 5 credits.
Students are encouraged to study abroad in Africa, and they may count 1 course taken abroad to fulfill one of the additional history, social sciences, or humanities course requirements. The study abroad course must focus on the study of Africa, or an African region.

Additional Information

Students may also create their own University Major centered on the study of Africa:

Further Research, Language, and Study Abroad Opportunities


Besides participating in a variety of study abroad programs throughout the year, Wesleyan students often undertake their own original research in Africa as part of completing senior honors theses for their respective departments.

Theses are available here.


Students who wish to study an African language are encouraged to submit a petition through the Language Resource Center and the Self-Instructional Language Program (SILP). 

Study Abroad

Information on current programs may be obtained from the Office of Study Abroad, and should be discussed with a member of the African studies faculty cluster.