University of North Carolina Is Preparing to Launch Graduate Programs in Black Studies

In 2021, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill approved the establishment of graduate programs in its African American and diaspora studies department. The department is now developing the curriculum and searching for graduate faculty. The first students will enroll in these new graduate programs in the fall of 2025.

Students will be admitted into one of three major geographic fields upon entry to the graduate program: African America, Africa, or African Diaspora. By the end of a student’s third semester of enrollment, they will declare two major thematic concentrations within the major geographic field: Literary Studies and Cultural Production; Gender, Sexuality, and Feminism; Development, Public Policy and Social Change; and Histories and Africana Critical Theory.

The African American and diaspora studies department at the university is chaired by Claude Clegg, the Lyle V. Jones Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies. He joined the faculty in 2015 after teaching at Indiana University and North Carolina A&T State University. Professor Clegg is the author of four books including Troubled Ground: A Tale of Murder, Lynching, and Reckoning in the New South (University of Illinois Press, 2010), and The Black President: Hope and Fury in the Age of Obama (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2021).

Dr. Clegg is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he majored in Afr0-American studies and political science. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan.

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