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University of Pittsburgh    
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jun 20, 2024
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Africana Studies - English, BA

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The joint major offers an especially coherent experience in interdisciplinary learning by bringing together Africana Studies and English 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 Africana Studies-English joint major requires 45 credits distributed as follows: four core courses, four literature courses from the Department of Africana Studies, three literature courses from the Department of English, and four electives, one of which must be a history course in the Department of Africana Studies. No more than two upper-division courses can count toward the major before a student has completed the introductory courses, and three of the required courses in each department excluding the core courses must be taken before a student enrolls in the senior seminar.

Joint Major Requirements

Elective courses

Students must choose four elective courses from offerings in the departments of Africana Studies and English. One of these electives must be a history course offered by the Department of Africana Studies. Students might also use electives to pursue more extensive work in particular areas of study, such as African, African-American, British, Caribbean, or U.S. literature.

In light of the interdisciplinary and international character of the joint major, it would 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 Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures) count as one of the electives toward the joint major.

Students interested in careers in education should pay particular attention to courses required by various School of Education certification programs.

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