Africana Studies–English Literature Joint Major

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.

The 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.


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.


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 subset 3 cr.
Four AFRCNA courses from subset 12 cr.
Three ENGLIT courses from subset 9 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.

Careers in Education

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.


A list of minor course options for the African American Culture, African Culture, and Multidisciplinary tracks are available hereDownload a PDF checlist of the Africana Studies-English Literature joint major courses.


Africana Studies–English Literature Joint Major contact:

Mark Kemp
501C Cathedral of Learning
Tel: 412-624-6656

Jeff Aziz
501C Cathedral of Learning
Tel: 412-624-2228