2017-2018 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 25, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Pan African Studies, MA

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Herbert G. Ruffin II
200 Sims Hall


Joan Bryant, Horace Campbell, Linda Carty, David Kwame Dixon, Kishi Animashaun Ducre, Casarae Gibson, Janis A. Mayes, Herbert Ruffin II, S.N. Sangmpam, James G. Williams

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate knowledge of cultural text, and expression in the Pan-African World

2. Demonstrate knowledge of Pan African ideas and movements.

3. Learn how gender functions within the contours of the Black/Pan African experience.

4. Demonstrate effective written and oral communication

5. Demonstrate the ability to develop and convey complex ideas into accessible information within the field of Black/Pan African Studies

6. Develop and tests their skills in technology, methodologies and research methods in applied settings or humanist inquiries

M.A. in Pan African Studies

The M.A. degree in Pan African Studies is a 30-credit program offering students a comprehensive understanding of the global African experience. This interdisciplinary program is structured around:

Courses explore the Pan African experience as reflected in multiple historical, social, and political contexts, most notably in Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. With the approval of the Graduate Committee, students may participate in the Scholar Exchange Program, a cooperative relationship with the University of Rochester and Cornell University.

This innovative program is distinct from any other of its kind. It has a unique experiential component that requires a residency at an external site at which the department either runs a Syracuse University Abroad (SU Abroad) program, or has established an institutional affiliation. This experience offers students alternative academic exposure while confronting them with the challenge of merging theory and practice as they learn to operationalize Pan African Studies in the larger world.

The targeted sites are located in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Canada, and the United States. At the site, students complete a pre-approved project involving research, practical education, independent study, an internship, or a related activity. Two of the graduate courses that contribute to the core offerings in the program, AAS 611 - Arts, Cultures and Literatures of the Pan African World  and AAS 612 - Histories, Societies and Political Economies of the Pan African World , are unlike any courses offered in similar graduate programs around the country. The courses create a comprehensive framework that brings together concentrations from specific disciplinary foci, as well as the transformations in those foci that have occurred through the Black encounter.

Students learn to appreciate intellectual nuances, dynamism, and diversification as these pertain to Pan African Studies, a layered and complex field of academic engagement. Of equal importance, they are taught to engage the silences inherent in many disciplines and paradigms, including those associated with traditional Africana studies approaches. The M.A. in Pan African Studies degree exposes students to the arts, the humanities, and the social sciences, and incorporates a wider global framework against which the spectrum of the entire Black world is critically, comparatively, and contrastively examined and theorized.

The program aims to produce well-groomed, master’s-level scholars ready either to proceed to doctoral studies in the humanities or the social sciences, or to enter the world of work. Potential areas of employment include the local non-governmental sector, international organizations, social services, criminal justice, education, and health care, among others.

Program of Study

Additional Information

(The thesis serves as the required “exit” experience of students.)

Two Additional Courses

Students must take two additional courses: advance research methods & advance theory, for a total 6 credits. Before registering for a course from list A, B, or any non-listed course, students must obtain the approval of their advisors and/or the chairperson of the Graduate Studies Committee in the Department of African American Studies.

List A:

Roster of additional courses offered by or cross-listed with the Department of African American Studies (Includes courses formally cross-listed with the Department of African American Studies. Where relevant, the sponsoring department is emphasized.


*Cross-listing requested

**Political Science will cross list as a special topic course on a semester by semester basis.

List B:

Roster of courses offered by other departments

The following are examples of courses, in which students may elect to enroll, subject to the approval of their advisors and the chairperson of the Graduate Committee of the Department of African American Studies. Enrollment is also conditional upon consultation with the instructor of the course regarding any prerequisites and the suitability of the course to a particular student’s academic interests and previous academic preparation. List B will vary from semester to semester depending on what is offered by other departments. As a general rule, list B courses give attention to the Pan African experience in a more limited fashion than those in list A, perhaps by devoting a unit of study over several sessions or weeks to topics which relate directly or indirectly to the Pan African experience. These include:

Additional Information

Other options will be identified and added as the program progresses and as needs arise. The AAS Graduate Studies Committee will continue to foster networking with relevant departments targeted for cross listing. As this process continues, courses identified will be added to the standing list.

Graduate Awards

Teaching Assistants in the Department of African American Studies carry a substantial stipend and tuition scholarship of 24 credits (6 of which can be used during the summer). Preference is given to graduate students in Pan African Studies. Teaching Assistants work within the Department of African American Studies for 20 hours per week. Appointments to assistantships are made by the Department of African Studies with the concurrence of the Graduate School. Students are responsible for directly notifying the Department of African American Studies of their interest.

Graduate Fellowships are awards to support graduate training for African American studies students (United States citizens and permanent residents) with outstanding qualifications. Awards are made by the Dean of the Graduate School, upon recommendations of the African American Fellowship Committee.

They are intended for individuals whose graduate study involves the integration of African American/Pan African studies into their respective fields of study. Each fellowship includes a substantial stipend, plus a tuition scholarship for 30 credits per academic year.

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