Requirements: African Diaspora Studies


The African Diaspora Studies Concentration has four central goals: (1) to offer students a structured program in the study of Africa and the African diaspora, (2) to help students explore the variety of cultural types and formations in the African diaspora, (3) to expose students to the connections between African studies and African American studies, and (4) to promote curricular and extracurricular interest in and awareness of the cultures of the African diaspora for the campus as a whole.

The Kenyon College faculty voted to change from Kenyon units to semester hours. This change will go into effect for all students who start at the College in the fall of 2024. Both systems will be used throughout the course catalog with the Kenyon units being listed first.


The Curriculum

The concentration consists of at least five courses:

  • Four courses, in two departments:
    • At least one of which is African or non-U.S. diasporic studies
    • At least one of which is in African American studies
    • At least one of which is at the 300 level or above
  • AFDS 310: Exploring the African Diaspora

Each spring, the director of the concentration, in consultation with the African Diaspora Studies Faculty Crossroads, the program's advisory committee, determines the courses offered during the upcoming academic year that fulfill the various program requirements. Courses counted toward a student's major may be counted toward concentration requirements. For a list of courses fulfilling the various requirements, students should consult the program website.

Students who wish to declare a concentration in African diaspora studies should consult with the program director.

For First-year and New Students

Our introductory course, AFDS 108 (The Crossroads Seminar) is designed to orient students to the interdisciplinary nature of African diaspora studies at Kenyon College. This course places a distinct emphasis upon critical thinking, oral presentation and critical writing as integral components of the learning experience. The objective is to introduce students to the wide range of approaches that exist to develop a firm grasp of African diaspora studies as it currently exists, as informed by past events, and as history continues to unfold.

Transfer Credit Policy

Transfer credit may be applied toward fulfilling three of required advanced coursework. Students planning to study abroad should seek approval of transfer credits, in advance, from the director.