Africana Studies joins Utica College's ever-growing list of innovative program offerings

Portion of a globe focused on Africa.

The program, directed by Clemmie Harris, Ph.D., has been developed to provide many perspectives and address four pillars of education.

Utica College has added Africana Studies to its extensive list of programs in order to provide a more diverse and developed curriculum for all students. The program will cover a wide variety of topics, creating an interdisciplinary structure. It will be available as a minor starting in the spring of 2021. The goal is to prepare students for the more diversified world ahead of them. 

The program, directed by Clemmie Harris, Ph.D., has been developed to provide many perspectives and address four pillars of education. These include: Africa and sub-Saharan Africa; African diaspora in the United States; North Africa and Islamic histories in Africa; Afro-Latinx experiences. These four pillars will collectively touch on African effects on the continent as a whole, specifically the history, politics, culture, social structures, gender, religion, and economic structures. 

Some of the courses offered under this new program are: Introduction to Africana Studies; Methods and Key Themes in African American History; Urban Politics, Policy, and Economy; Race, Crime, and Punishment in Historical Perspective; African International Relations; North Africa, Islam and the Middle East; Black Leadership, Organization, and Movements; Women, Gender and Black Transnationalism.

This program of study will provide students with the knowledge and understanding of cultural differences that make up society today. It develops critical thinking and writing skills, and provides answers to societal structural problems.  It can provide the foundation for work in law, medicine, economics, international affairs and more. 

“The Africana studies interdisciplinary program seeks to study history and address the marginalization of Africa and African diasporas placed in history,” Harris said, “while simultaneously seeking to provide diverse intellectual experience in American higher education.” 

Harris is also an Assistant Professor of History at UC. He earned his Ph.D. in American History, Africana Studies, Metropolitan Studies, and Public Affairs from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He earned his M.A. in American History from both the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and SUNY Albany. He earned his bachelor’s from SUNY Albany as well. Prior to his Ph.D., Harris worked as a high-level aide to the former Governor of New York, David Patterson, helping shape several social and economic reforms. 

For more information, contact Professor Harris at clharris@utica.edu.

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