University of Pittsburgh

Department of Africana Studies


Program Spotlight

African Dance and Drum Classes

The Shona Sharif African Dance and Drum Ensemble. See schedule

Jump to: About Africana Studies | Major | Minor| Joint Major

News and Events


Faculty Member Publishes Book Chapter and Review

Dr. Michele Reid-Vazquez published both a book chapter and a book review in 2012. Her book chapter, "Tensions of Race, Gender and Midwifery in Colonial Cuba," was published in Africans to Colonial Spanish America: Expanding the Diaspora, Rachel O'Toole, Sherwin Bryant, Ben Vinson III, editors. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2012, 186-205. She also published a book review of Frank T. Proctor, III, Damned Notions of Liberty: Slavery, Culture, and Power in Colonial Mexico. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2010), in Hispanic American Historical Review, 92, no. 4 (November 2012): 755-757.

Faculty Member Awarded Arts and Sciences Research Grant

Dr. Yolanda Covington-Ward received a 2013 Arts and Sciences Research Expense Grant for her project "Connecting Diaspora and Homeland: Liberian Immigrants and the Creation of Community though On-Line Radio." She recently published a book chapter in 2013 entitled "Fighting Phantoms: Mammy, Matriarch, and other Ghosts Haunting Black Mothers in the Academy," In Laboring Positions: Black Women, Mothering, and the Academy, Sekile Johnson, Editor, Demeter Press, Pp. 236 256. She also has a forthcoming article (September 2013) in the journal Africa Today, entitled "Transforming Communities, Recreating Selves: Interconnected Diasporas, Performance, and the Shaping of Liberian Immigrant Identity."

Faculty Member Gives Commencement Address

Dr. Michael Tillotson gave the commencement address on May 18th 2013 for the State University of New York at Albany's Department of Africana Studies graduation. In addition, the editorial board of the Journal of Pan African Studies published an interview on his latest book "Invisible Jim Crow: Contemporary Ideological Threats to the Internal Security of African Americans" in their spring/ summer issue 2013.

Faculty Member Appointed as Working Group Chair

Dr. Michael Tillotson has been appointed to serve as the chair for the 2013-2014 Interracial Group Relations RAP group for the Center on Race and Social Problems in the School of Social Work. He also co-authored an article entitled "Applied Africana Studies" in the Journal of Black Studies in 2013.

Faculty Member Elected to Undergraduate Council

Dr. Christel Temple has been elected as a Faculty Representative to the Undergraduate Arts and Sciences Council in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.

Faculty Member Publishes Book Chapter

Dr. Brenda Berrian published a book chapter in 2012. The chapter is entitled "Jocelyne Beroard et Edith Lefel: leurs cris de l'interieur," in Chanson et performance: Mise en scene du corps dans la chanson francaise et francophone, edited by Barbara Lebrun. Paris: L'Harmattan, 175-185.

Meet our newest faculty member

Michele Reid-Vazquez

Dr. Michele Reid-Vazquez (B.A., Emory University, M.A., Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin) is an advanced Assistant Professor in the Department of Africana Studies (starting Spring 2013). Read more >


Dr. Yolanda Covington-Ward wins Prestigious and Competitive Fellowship!

Award Letter read:

We are pleased to inform you that you have been selected as an awardee in the Ford Foundation Fellowship 2012 postdoctoral competition. This fellowship is sponsored by the Ford Foundation and administered by the National Research Council of the National Academies. CONGRATULATIONS!

Educational Justice Project

Closing Racial Achievement Gaps
Led by Dr. Jerome Taylor. Learn more about this project.

African American Alumni From Pitt

The Africana Studies department (formerly Black Studies) is searching for African American Alumni from Pitt who majored in Black Studies (Africana Studies), were involved in the Kuntu Repertory Theatre and/or who were involved or had a part in the computer room takeover in January of 1969. Read more,

Harriet Tubman (far left), with her family at her home in Auburn, New York circa 1887.


Our Mission is The study, research, interpretation, and dissemination of knowledge concerning African American, African, and Caribbean affairs and culture.