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Cherise Smith, Ph.D, Director JES A232A, Mailcode D7200, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-1784

African Diaspora Program

The Department of Anthropology at The University of Texas at Austin offers M.A. and Ph.D. specializations in African Diaspora Studies. The African Diaspora Graduate Program in Anthropology, established in 1992 with the collaboration of the Center for African and African American Studies, employs the theories and methods of anthropology in comparative research on African-descended communities. While recognizing the global nature of the African Diaspora, faculty research is primarily concentrated in North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa. Course offerings focus on transnational socioeconomic and cultural patterns, particularly as they relate to the legacies of slavery and the establishment of contemporary social and cultural formations.

Areas of Study

Faculty research is concentrated in three main areas:

  1. social and cultural linkages between Africa and its diaspora and among diasporan communities;
  2. racial, ethnic, and cultural identities in the African Diaspora;
  3. power relations in the African Diaspora, particularly as related to gender, race, and nation.

Current developments in academic theory and intellectual inquiry such as discourse theory, cultural studies, critical race theory, and feminist scholarship, are used to provide insight into the voluntary and involuntary migrations, resettlement, and evolution in new contexts of African-descended populations.

The Center for African and African-American Studies provides institutional support for the Program, serving as a link between affiliated faculty members from a variety of disciplines, as well as organizing conferences, lecture and film/video series, and other activities designed to create a stimulating intellectual environment.

The study of African-descended populations in the Americas is buttressed by the University of Texas' stature as a national and international leader in research on Latin America, the locus of the majority of the African Diaspora. The University's Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) provides the opportunity to pursue graduate research on African-descended populations in the region by offering an M.A. focus on the African Diaspora in Latin America. Information is available through LLILAS or at (512) 471-5551.

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