The University of Chicago draws together a dynamic interdisciplinary group of scholars working on Africa. We offer a variety of different opportunities for students at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Undergraduate and graduate applicants to the University are invited to peruse this website, read up on course offerings and faculty research interests, and contact students and professors alike about Africa related classes and programs
Undergraduates who enroll at the University of Chicago are able to take courses with, and receive individualized advising from, some of the leading scholars teaching and writing about Africa in the United States today. Students wishing to learn more about Africa are encouraged to take the African Civilization sequence as part of their common core; they can also enroll in a variety of other classes that focus on Africa through different departments and programs. It is not uncommon for undergraduates to enroll, with permission, in specialized graduate-level classes.
The University of Chicago also presents other avenues for learning about the continent: students can connect with local African communities through the Chicago Studies program, spend a quarter taking African Civilization in Paris, or study in Botswana or Tanzania in the affiliated Associated College (ACM) programs. Many students work closely with faculty members to write BA essays on Africa, and some of them use summer internships and resarch grants to conduct research for those essays in Africa, in the summer before their senior year. Undergraduates are also always welcome to attend the African Studies Workshop and the quarterly Distinguished African Studies Lecture Series to learn more about the research of established and rising scholars.
For more information on applying to the College, see here.
Prospective graduate students with an interest in African studies can apply for doctoral degrees through departments with Africanist faculty in the Division of the Social Sciences or the Division of the Humanities, including Anthropology, Art History, Comparative Human Development, and History. Students seeking an MA degree may pursue their interest in Africa through the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences, the Committee on International Relations, or the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities.
Current faculty interests include colonialism and postcoloniality; gender, kinship and sexuality; historical memory and processes of intergenerational transformation; population movements to and within Africa and language contact dynamics; precolonial states and societies; slavery and the slave trade; transnational migration and diasporic African communities; and visual and material culture.
The geographic areas of faculty expertise include diverse areas of the African continent and its diaspora, from Guinea to Gabon, Senegal to Madagascar, the Congo and beyond. Together we provide a particular strength in Francophone Africa, as well as on West, Central and Southern Africa.
Faculty and graduate students work together to create an intense and productive environment where students and teachers learn from each other. We offer a variety of graduate classes that focus solely on Africa, and there are a number of other classes that treat Africa centrally, or address topical and thematic issues that are highly relevent to Africanist scholarship. Equally important to formal coursework, however, are other venues for learning abour Africa. Key among these are the bi-weekly African Studies workshop where students and faculty come together to present work in progress. There is also a quarterly lecture series which provides an important forum to hear from leading scholars in the field. Our students run an African Studies Workshop Conference, which provides another forum for meeting and engaging with students and scholars from other institutions who work on similar issues.
For more information on graduate school applications, see the general website.