Introduction to Africana Studies

This course introduces us to the discipline of Africana Studies. Africana Studies is an area and discipline of study devoted to African people.
Dr. Greg Carr, INstructor
Two-time Male HBCU Professor of the Year, Howard University Africana Studies and Howard University School of Law. 

About this Course

Live Schedule 
Using the Africana Studies Conceptual Categories as an anchoring framework for listening and discussion, this one-hour weekly course of collective study explores ideas from and experiences of African people and communities over and across time and space in order to adapt, critique, and apply discoveries and insights to specific collective local, regional, and/or global needs.  
Organized by the Africana Studies Conceptual Categories disciplinary framework, we will:

  • Share reflections on each week’s assigned readings, building both collective understanding and individual perspective and capacity to apply thinking work to our particular community circumstances.

  • Contribute to the ongoing work of building archives of best practices, family and community narratives, and communal (“national” and transnational) narratives; and

  • Develop forms and examples for identifying, adapting, and/or creating content and discussion-informed curriculum and teaching and learning practices in various learning spaces (e.g., school, after-school, community-based organizations, rites of passage, and similar programs, etc.).  

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Dr. Greg Carr
Greg Carr is Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Chair of the Department of Afro-American Studies at Howard University and Adjunct Faculty at the Howard School of Law. He holds a Ph.D. in African American Studies from Temple University and a JD from the Ohio State University College of Law. The School District of Philadelphia’s First Resident Scholar on Race and Culture (1999-2000), Dr. Carr led a team of academics and educators in the design of the curriculum framework for Philadelphia’s mandatory high school African American History course. These materials are the first to approach African American History using an Africana Studies methodology. He is a co-founder of the Philadelphia Freedom Schools Movement, a community-based academic initiative that has involved over 13,000 elementary, high school and college students. 

Dr. Carr has presented his curriculum work for the Board of Public Education in Salvador, Bahia, and has lectured across the U.S. and in Ghana, Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, France, and England, among other places. His publications have appeared in, among other places, The African American Studies Reader, Socialism and Democracy, Africana Studies, Publications of the Modern Language Association of America,The National Urban League’s 2012 State of Black America and Malcolm X: A Historical Reader. 

Dr. Carr is the first Vice President of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations and a former member of the board of the National Council for Black Studies. He is a grantee of Howard’s Fund for Academic Excellence, invited lecturer on pedagogy from Howard’s Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Assessment, and has been named Professor of the Year three times by the Howard University Student Association, the College of Arts and Sciences Student Council and the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Association. As one of the faculty participants in the College of Arts and Sciences Summer Study Abroad Initiative, he has led or co-led student study courses in South Africa and/or Egypt six times. Dr. Carr is a member of the COAS Freshman Seminar Leadership Team and served as coordinator of the COAS Mellon Interdisciplinary Research Course Initiative.

He is the co-editor of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations’ multi-volume African World History Project and has represented Howard University as a spokesman in a wide range of print and electronic media, including Ebony Magazine, The New York Times, Washington Post, Le Monde, USA Today, MSNBC, National Public Radio, BBC America, C-SPAN, MTVu, Voice of America, the Tavis Smiley Show, the Dianne Rheim Show, Diverse Magazine and CNN, as well as a range of local radio, television and internet media outlets.

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Mondays at 8 p.m. ET in Knubia.

  • Intro to Africana Studies, 8-9 p.m. ET 
  • Office Hours, 9-10 p.m. ET
This course introduces us to the discipline of Africana Studies. Africana Studies is an area and discipline of study devoted to African people. In includes the formations we have created over time to govern and interact with ourselves; the social structures we have both developed and become parts of; our ways of knowing and transmitting knowledge across time and space; our creation and adaptive uses of science and technology; and how we create culture to both mark specific moments in time and space as well as to preserve and highlight significant moments in our collective memory as we move through time and space.

The course we are undertaking is and cannot by definition be an “Introduction to African-American History” or “African Studies” or “African Diaspora” course, although it periodically follows parallel and sometimes similar narrative progressions to examine Africana experiences over time and space. Each of the other formations anchor their study of Africana life and ideas in one of the “traditional” (read Western-generated) academic disciplines. This distinction poses a challenge to those of us who frequently find it difficult to imagine that self-sustaining, critical, reflective, and, ultimately, disciplinary spaces exist for the examination of African life across the broadest arcs of time and space. As a result, the frequent conflation of Africana Studies with “African-American History,” “Diaspora Studies,” “Black Diaspora,” or other traditionally inter or multi-disciplinary academic projects is not unusual.

Additionally, our course of study will be guided in part by collectively engaged texts (e.g., books, articles, films, recordings, etc.) but not anchored in these texts in the way we have been socialized to think of them in a course of study. The generative source of our collective work will be each of us as we contribute our memories, insights, and perspectives to a living syllabus (course of study). This work models the process of “jailbreaking” the “Black University” concept, in the spirit and intellectual thrust of its original meaning. The resulting work will be a steady work-in-progress, changing in scope and growing in authority as we add to it. 

See the Course Syllabus tab for more information about this course.
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