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Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora

Graduate Study in Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora

About the Program

The department’s program in the History of Atlantic Cultures and the African Diaspora is designed to allow students to pursue the study of black Atlantic histories and cultures from transnational perspectives. Though the major field will be transnational and even global in scope, all students will be expected to develop teaching competency in one of three geographic regions—Latin America, North America (including African-American History), or Europe. Thus, students who major in this program will take at least two courses on the history of a specific region for the purposes of defining a minor field.

Major Field

The major field requires a total of six courses—four core requirement courses, a geographically specific elective course, and at least one seminar. All students will take “Colloquium in Atlantic History and the African Diaspora” with Marisa Fuentes, Bayo Holsey, or Walter C. Rucker as a common core requirement. For the second core course, students will select either “Colloquium in African History,” “Africa in World History,” or another graduate-level seminar in African History. The final two core courses can be selected from “Colloquium in Comparative History,” “Colloquium in World History,” “Readings in African-American History,” or “Colloquium in African-American History.” In addition to the four core courses, students will take one elective course on a specific geographic region outside of their minor field and a one-semester seminar—“Seminar in African-American and American History” or “Seminar in Global and Comparative History.” Finally, students must demonstrate mastery of at least one foreign language relevant to their future research. 

Minor Field

A minor field requires two courses—"Colloquium in Atlantic History and the African Diaspora" and a graduate-level seminar in African History. 

Graduate Faculty

Carolyn A. Brown
Associate Professor

Ph.D., Columbia
Africa; labor

Kim D. Butler (Africana Studies)
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins
Brazil; African diaspora; Afro-Latin and Afro-Caribbean studies

Paul G. E. Clemens
Ph.D., Wisconsin-Madison
Early American, Southern, Agricultural History; interest in economic and cultural development and modern legal history

Barbara Cooper

Ph.D., Boston
Africa; gender and culture

Marisa Fuentes
Associate Professor

Ph.D., UC Berkeley
Early modern Caribbean; Black Atlantic; Gender and Archival Theory/Methods

Bayo Holsey
Associate Professor

Ph.D., Columbia
West Africa; African diaspora; Atlantic slave trade

Samantha Kelly

Ph.D., Northwestern
Political and cultural history of Medieval and Renaissance Europe, especially Italy; European-African relations in the Renaissance

Donna Murch
Associate Professor

Ph.D., UC Berkeley
African American; Civil Rights, Black Power and postwar social movements

Walter C. Rucker

Ph.D., UC Riverside
African American; African diaspora; Black Atlantic

Camilla Townsend
Ph.D., Rutgers
Latin America; Native America; women's and gender

Deborah G. White
Board of Governors Professor

Ph.D., Illinois-Chicago
African American; women's and gender; Black Atlantic 

Affiliated Lecture Series & Centers

Black Atlantic Lecture Series

Center for African Studies

Critical Caribbean Studies

British Studies Center

Center for Race and Ethnicity

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