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Graduate Specialization

The African Studies Graduate Specialization may be earned by students from any University of Oregon M.A. or Ph.D. program. The specialization is designed to be flexible, and will solidify opportunities for you to engage African Studies more formally in your studies. It will both enhance your background preparation of Africanist-related education and research, and has the potential to positively impact future job opportunities.

To declare the specialization, please contact the OCIAS Graduate Coordinator ( or Director of African Studies Melissa Graboyes (, and complete the specialization declaration form, (including obtaining a department representative signature), and be sure to file it with the Graduate School no later than week 5 of the term in which you want to make a change.

The UO Graduate School has general information about graduate specializations campus-wide.

Specialization Requirements
Students are required to take one class from each of 4 thematic areas, for a total of 4 classes and 16 units. These areas are:

  • Core Course
  • The African Past
  • Contemporary Africa
  • Culture, Ethnicity and Identity

The program offers students a great degree of flexibility and choice.

1) Core Class
ANTH 650M Seminar in African Studies (Spring 2017, Prof. Stephen Dueppen and/or Prof. Daphne Gallagher)
This class forms the foundation for the specialization and will introduce students to the interdisciplinary field of African Studies, focusing on approaches taken in the social sciences and humanities. It will also introduce students to the many disciplinary, thematic, practical and ethical issues involved in researching Africa. The class will meet once weekly for a three hour session where time will be spent discussing key texts in African Studies.

2) Core Area: The African Past
This core area is meant to introduce students to major debates in the contemporary study of Africa while setting these issues within their appropriate historical, social and cultural contexts. These courses will help students identify historical continuities and critical junctures in African history.

ANTH 553 African Archeology Stephen Dueppen
HIST 507 Seminar: The South African War Lindsay Braun
HIST 507 Seminar: Colonialism & Environment Lindsay Braun
HIST 507 Seminar: South African War 1899-1902 (Winter 2017) Lindsay Braun
HIST 517 Apartheid South Africa (Spring 2017) Lindsay Braun
HIST 519 History of South Africa (Fall 2016) Lindsay Braun
HIST 519 History of East Africa Melissa Graboyes
Other Pending Instructor Offerings

3) Core Area: Contemporary Africa
This core area will introduce students to a range of important issues relevant to contemporary Africa. These courses explore topics such as disease in Africa, conflict, media, and the politics of social, cultural, political, and economic development.

EC 590 Economic Growth and Development (Fall 2016) Alfredo Burlando
ENVS 550 Political Ecology Peter Walker
ENVS 607 Seminar in Political Ecology Peter Walker
GEOG 575 Africa: Development and Environment (Fall 2016) Peter Walker
INTL 507 Sustainable Tourism
INTL 521 Gender & International Development (Spring 2017) Yvonne Braun
INTL 545 Development and Social Change in Sub-Saharan Africa Yvonne Braun and Stephen Wooten
INTL 688 Society, Culture and Politics of West Africa, Study Abroad in Senegal Dennis Galvan, Lisa Gilman
J 510 Media in Ghana, Summer Study Abroad Leslie Steeves
J 555 Third World Development Communication Leslie Steeves
WGS 532 Gender, Environment, Development Yvonne Braun
WGS 551 Gender, Justice and Globalization Yvonne Braun
Other Pending Instructor Offerings

4) Core Area: Culture, Ethnicity, Identity in Africa
This core area will introduce students to the concepts of ethnicity and other forms of identity in Africa, and allow students to understand its modern rather than primordial nature. These courses will complicate notions of ethnic or singular identity through humanities courses that explore the rich literature and music from the continent.

ARB 510 Arabic Texts David Hollenberg
Dan 510 DEMA (Fall 2016) Habib Iddrisu
FLR 516 American Folklore Lisa Gilman
FR 507 Contemporary Africa Andre Djiffack
FR 510 African Cinema Andre Djiffack
FR 590 Migration et Traumatismes Postcoloniaux Andre Djiffack
FR 590 French and Francophone African Literature Andre Djiffack
FR 590 Identites Africaines Andre Djiffack
FR 590 Mongo Beti (literature) (Fall 2016) Andre Djiffack
FR 590 Post Colonial Africa Andre Djiffack
FR 590 Afro-Pessimism vs African Renaissance Andre Djiffack
FR 607 African Migrations and Identities Andre Djiffack
LING 507 African Linguistics Seminar (Winter 2017) Doris Payne
MUS 507 Seminar African Music Habbib Iddrisu
MUS 59 African Music Habbib Iddrisu
MUS 562 Music of the African Diaspora (Fall 2016) Habbib Iddrisu
RL 507 Theorizing the Plantation Lanie Millar
RL 507 Ibero-African Literature (Winter 2017) Lanie Millar
RL 623 Colonial/Postcolonial Transitions Lanie Millar
SPAN 590 Runaways, Rebellions and Revolutions in the Atlantic World Lanie Millar
SWAH Intensive Swahili in Zanzibar Study Abroad Mokaya Bosire
Other Pending Instructor Offerings