The Department of African & African American Studies (AAAS) is Duke’s center for interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship on Africa and people of African descent around the world, in particular the Black Atlantic. It hosts anthropologists, humanists, political scientists, historians, sociologists, geneticists, scholars of the performing arts and literature whose work engages questions of race, class, gender, sexuality, politics and the law to study the conditions and experiences of Africans and communities of the African diaspora.

Our Department offers a comprehensive and intertwined study program where undergraduates choose between an African and an African American concentration. We train students to become original thinkers, rigorous scholars, independent researchers and collaborative problem solvers; as life-long learners they apply, and renew, the knowledge and methodological tools they have acquired to the constantly changing conditions for Africans and people of African descent.

AAAS at Duke provides a broad liberal arts education and prepares for the increasingly rigorous expectations of prospective employers. Our program appeals to students considering admission to graduate or professional schools, and careers in education, business, law, politics, the media and publishing, international relations, arts and performance, development or humanitarian aid, and global health, or social work.

Our Affiliates

AAAS is affiliated with the John Hope Franklin Collection for African and African-American Documentation , which was established in 1995 at the University. The Center's mission is to make available to all researchers a growing body of primary sources and publications in the field.  It counts several notable collections among its holdings, including the papers of Professor John Hope Franklin and the documentation generated by Behind the Veil, an oral history project on African-American life in the Jim Crow South. Current holdings in Perkins Library span several disciplines and include books, manuscripts, archives, periodicals, microfilms, videotapes, and sound recordings.

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