Africana Studies program added at Utica College

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Utica College has added Africana Studies to its programs in order to provide a more diverse and developed curriculum for all students, the college announced.

The program will cover a variety of topics, creating an interdisciplinary structure, and will be available as a minor starting in the spring of 2021. The goal is to prepare students for the more diversified world ahead of them, said the college in an announcement. The program, directed by Clemmie Harris, Ph.D., has been developed to provide many perspectives and address four pillars of education, including Africa and sub-Saharan Africa; African diaspora in the United States; North Africa and Islamic histories in Africa; Afro-Latinx experiences. The four pillars will collectively touch on African effects on the continent as a whole, specifically the history, politics, culture, social structures, gender, religion, and economic structures, UC noted.

Among some of the courses offered under the program: Introduction to Africana Studies; Methods and Key Themes in African American History; Urban Politics, Policy, and Economy; Race, Crime, and Punishment in Historical Perspective; African International Relations; North Africa, Islam and the Middle East; Black Leadership, Organization, and Movements; Women, Gender and Black Transnationalism.

The program of study will provide students with knowledge and understanding of cultural differences that make up society today, said college officials, adding it can provide the foundation for work in law, medicine, economics, international affairs and more. “The Africana studies interdisciplinary program seeks to study history and address the marginalization of Africa and African diasporas placed in history,” Harris said, “while simultaneously seeking to provide diverse intellectual experience in American higher education.”

Harris is also an assistant professor of history at UC. He earned his Ph.D. in American History, Africana Studies, Metropolitan Studies, and Public Affairs from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Prior to his Ph.D., Harris worked as a high-level aide to former New York Gov. David Paterson, helping shape several social and economic reforms.

For information, visit utica.edu or contact Harris at clharris@utica.edu.

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