Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, has announced that it is now offering an interdisciplinary major in Africana studies. Bucknell enrolls about 3,600 students and African Americans make up 3 percent of the student body.
The new major has nine requirements including core courses in Africana studies and classes in history, social sciences, humanities, and the arts. Seniors will be required to write a thesis under the mentorship of a faculty member.
Carmen Gillespie, professor of English and chair of the new Africana program, stated that the new major “provides a rich basis for students to learn about the interactions between African people and their descendants and those in the West. The themes and approaches are directly relevant to understanding critical issues facing the U.S. and our global society.”
Professor Gillespie said the eventual plan is to form an Africana Studies Residential College, a themed living-and learning community in which first-year students take a related Foundation Seminar, live in clusters within residence halls and engage with each other and faculty through weekly common hours, special projects and trips.