Black Studies at Georgia State University Transitions to Africana Studies

The department of African-American studies at Georgia State University has been renamed the department of Africana studies, reflecting a global approach to teaching and research in the department, as well as national trends in academia, according to the university.

As international connections with the African Diaspora have increased in recent years and African descendant students from around the world have arrived on U.S. campuses, the demand to broaden the perspective of the discipline has grown. The name change reflects the field’s intellectual and scholarly interests in the social, cultural, historical, and psychological experiences of the peoples of the Diaspora, including Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

Members of the department at Georgia State believe this growing trend in disciplinary identification is important because it reflects the need to pay attention to the interests and academic needs of an increasingly diverse student population with a strong interest in international, cross-cultural scholarship.

“Since its inception in the 1960s, our academic discipline has been identified in numerous ways, from ‘Black,’ to ‘Afro-American’ to ‘African-American studies,’ said Jonathan Gayles, professor and chair of the department. “These transitions in naming have reflected similar transitions in the self-naming and cultural identification of people of African descent in the United States, as well as philosophical and scholarly perspectives on the discipline.”

“We hope to engage our student body, colleagues in academia, and community partners about this name change and use it as an opportunity to continue and strengthen our legacy of academic excellence and scholar-activism,” Dr. Gayles added.

Dr. Galyles joined the faculty at Georgia State in 2004. He is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he majored in psychology. He earned a master’s degree in school psychology from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and a Ph.D. in applied anthropology from the University of South Florida.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Two Black Scholars Appointed to Faculty Positions

The new faculty are Esther Jones at Brown University and Dagmawi Woubshet at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is Established at Bowie State University

"The new program will help to increase the number of counselor educators within the counseling field and the number of competent Black counselor educators," says Dr. Otis Williams, chair of the Bowie State University department of counseling and psychological studies.

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

Featured Jobs