Africana Studies–English Literature Joint Major

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The joint major offers an especially coherent experience in interdisciplinary learning by bringing together Africana studies and English literature in two interrelated ways. Students get a rich and rigorous exposure to African and African Diaspora literature written in English through literature produced in the United States, Africa, Canada, Great Britain, and the Caribbean. Additionally, students examine some of the significant relationships between African and African Diaspora works and a range of English language literary traditions.

The major is designed to expose students to important questions and traditions in literary interpretation and to offer them political, social, and cultural contexts for the literature they will be reading. Like most liberal arts majors, it helps students learn to think analytically and to make and assess arguments, skills that are important in many jobs and courses of graduate study.

Careers in Education

The joint major is also useful for prospective teachers who would be interested in developing and teaching curricula that include African Diaspora literature within other English language traditions. Students who complete the joint major will have fulfilled most of the School of Education’s undergraduate requirements for secondary education certification in English.

Note: Students interested in careers in education should pay particular attention to courses required by various School of Education certification programs. In light of the interdisciplinary and international character of the joint major, it would also be appropriate for students to petition to have a closely related course taught in a foreign language (for example, a course on Francophone Caribbean literature in the French and Italian Department) count as one of the electives toward the joint major.

General Requirements


The joint major in Africana studies and English literature requires 45 credits. Distribution of credits is outlined below.

Grade Requirements

A minimum QPA of 2.0 is required in those courses that count toward the joint major.

Satisfactory/Audit Option

There is no limit on the number of courses in the joint major that can be taken on an S/NC basis.

Writing Requirement

Joint majors automatically fulfill both A&S writing course requirements. Students pursuing a second major would be required to complete an additional writing course for that major.

Related Area

A related area is not required due to the interdisciplinary nature of the major.

Joint Major Requirements

45 credits, distributed as follows:
Core course: 
AFRCNA 0031: Introduction to Africana Studies
3 cr.
Core course: 
ENGLIT 0500 Introduction to Critical Reading
3 cr.
Core course: 
ENGLIT 1900 Junior Seminar
3 cr.
One senior seminar from subset3 cr.
Four AFRCNA courses from subset12 cr.
Three ENGLIT courses from subset9 cr.
Four elective courses from AFRCNA and/or ENGLIT
One of these electives must be a history course offered by the Africana studies department.
12 cr.


Africana Studies–English Literature Joint Major Course Options

Senior seminar courses: One required

AFRCNA 1068 Africana Senior Research Seminar

ENGLIT 1910 Senior Seminar

Africana studies courses: Four required

AFRCNA 0016 Introduction to African American Theater

AFRCNA 0022 Introduction to African Literature

AFRCNA 0050 Introduction to African American Literature

AFRCNA 1004 Africana World Literature

AFRCNA 1006 World Literature in English

AFRCNA 1020 African American Literary Criticism

AFRCNA 1044 The African Novel

AFRCNA 1049 Contemporary Caribbean Literature

English literature courses: Three required

ENGLIT 1125 Renaissance in England

ENGLIT 1135 Early Modern Literatures in English

ENGLIT 1150 Enlightenment to Revolution

ENGLIT 1175 Nineteenth Century British Literature

ENGLIT 1200 American Literature to 1860

ENGLIT 1220 Emergence of Modern America 1860-1914

ENGLIT 1325 The Modernist Tradition

ENGLIT 1380 World Literature in English

Elective courses: Four required*
*One of these electives must be a history course offered by the Africana Studies department.

(see for descriptions and availability)

Visit the Africana Studies Web site.