African and African Diaspora Studies Department Mission Statement
Posted: April 21, 2010
African Diaspora Studies Department
The African and African Diaspora Studies Department is dedicated to the study of the intellectual, political, artistic, and social experiences of people of African descent throughout Africa and the African Diaspora, including the United States. In this endeavor, it works in concert with The John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies and the Institute for Critical Urban Policy.
We are committed to interdisciplinary scholarship and creative production that explores questions of social justice for Black people around the globe. Our scholarship, cultural creativity, and pedagogical practices reflect our investment in comparative and transnational approaches, intersectional analyses, and critical theoretical frameworks. They also reflect our collective commitment as scholars, artists, teachers, and students to bridging the perceived gap between scholarship and artistic work and political engagement. We promote the activist academic careers of our faculty members, we coordinate with Black staff on University issues of relevance to our communities, and we collaborate with local, national, and international organizations in the investigation and enhancement of the lives of Black people.
Our pedagogical strategy rests on the premise that classrooms are powerful sites for social change. We encourage our students to be critical thinkers, skillful writers, thorough researchers, politically conscious participants in popular culture, and active community members. We adopt a de-centered, feminist pedagogy that prepares our students to be politically engaged citizens, our undergraduates to pursue graduate study, and our graduate students to become responsible members of the professoriate, public policy makers, and activist researchers.
Professionally, we publish regularly in the leading journals in our respective fields; we hold leadership positions in professional organizations; and we conduct research that reflects the intersectionality, cross-disciplinarity, and activist perspectives that characterizes the Department.