Name Field of Study
Bakanic, Von Sociology
Battle, Mary Public Historian, Avery
Bynum, Tara Enghlish
Chaffin, LaTasha Political Science
Crabtree, Mari* History
Cressler, Matthew Religion
Duvall, J. Michael English
Eichelberger, Julia English
France, Hollis Political Science
Frazier, Valerie English
Greene, Anthony* Sociology
Hale, Jon Education
Heeney, Tom Communication
Hopkins, George History
Jackson, Gary English
Lacroix, Celeste Communication
Lewis, Simon Interim Director*
Ofunniyin, Ade* Sociology
Peeples, Scott English
Powers, Bernard History
Profit, Steven
Spicer, C. Vincent Psychology
Vandervort-Cobb, Joy Theater
White, John History
Williams-Lessane, Patricia Anthropology


The African American Studies Program offers a wide range of courses from a variety of disciplines, as well as special topics, independent study, and internship courses.  Below is a list of current course offerings.

For a list of upcoming course offerings:

Fall 2018

Spring 2018

Fall 2017 

Spring 2017

Fall 2016

Spring 2016

Fall 2015

Summer 2015

Spring 2015

Students can also enroll in AAST 400 (independent study) and AAST 381 (internship), to do so, please contact Interim Program Director, Dr. Simon Lewis (LewisS@cofc.edu).  There are a number of archives (including the Avey Research Center here at the College), libraries, museums, and historic homes eager for students to work with them for academic credit. In addition, you can receive AAST credit for interning at law offices, hospitals, businesses, etc.



The African American Studies Major consists of 33 credit hours of interdisciplinary coursework in which students explore African American history and culture, and race in American identities, communities, and institutions.  Courses examine U.S. race relations, early African diasporic history, African Americans expressive culture, the social, historical, political, and economic status of African Americans, and the theoretical concerns about the relationship between race and the production of knowledge.  Many courses in African American Studies may also be used to satisfy the College’s General Education requirements in the humanities and social sciences.   Students can declare the major or minor through POSM on MyCharleston.  Majors will be assigned a faculty advisor.  All minors are advised by the African American Studies Program director.

Required Courses (21 credit hours)

AAST 200 Introduction to African American Studies

AAST 250 Readings in African American Social Science Research

AAST 381 African American Studies Internship

AAST 401 Capstone in African American Studies

ENGL 216 Introduction to African American Literature or

ENGL 313 African American Literature

HIST 216 African American History to 1877

HIST 217 African American History, 1877 to present

Elective (Select 12 credit hours from the following, including at least 9 credit hours at the 300-level or above)

AAST 280 Introduction to African American Music

AAST 290 Special Topics

AAST 300 Special Topics

AAST 305 Visiting Artist Practicum

AAST 315 Black Women Writers

AAST 319 Contemporary Constructions of Black womanhood (cross-listed with ENGL 315)

AAST 330 Black Images in the Media

AAST 350 Comparative Black Identity

AAST 366 Race-Ethnic Relations

AAST 400 Independent Study

AFST 101 Introduction to African Civilization

ANTH 322 Peoples and Cultures of Africa

ANTH 323 African American Society and Culture

ANTH 327 Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean

ENGL 313 African American Literature

HIST 211 American Urban History

HIST 304 History of the United States: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1845-1877

HIST 366 Comparative Slavery in the Americas

MGMT 351 Minority Entrepreneurship

POLI 330 Southern Politics

RELS 270 African American Religions

SOCY 337 Prejudice

THTR 316 African American Theatre

NOTE: The following special topics courses may also be taken for elective credit when they have sufficient content relevant to the major, as certified by the instructor and the Director of the African American Studies program:

AFST 202 Special Topics in African Studies

HIST 210 Special Topics in U.S. History

HIST 310 Special Topics in U.S. History

HIST 320 Special Topics in Lowcountry History

MUSC 222 Special Topics for Non-Majors

PHIL 298 Special Topics in Philosophy

RELS 298 Special Topics in Religious Studies

SOCY 349 Special Topics in Social Problems

Other departmental special topics, tutorials and independent study courses may also be counted.


The African American Studies Minor consists of 18 hours of interdisciplinary coursework in African American Studies. At least nine hours in the minor at the 200 level or above must be earned at the College of Charleston.

Required Courses (9 credit hours)

AAST 200 Introduction to African American Studies

ENGL 216 Introduction to African American Literature or

ENGL 313 African American Literature

HIST 216 African American History to 1877 or

HIST 217 African American History, 1877 to present

Elective (9 credit hours from the courses listed above in the Major)




The African American Studies Program hosts and co-sponsors various events each semester for students, faculty and staff, and the larger community.  A current list of programs offered this semester is included below. For more information on all events hosted by the African American Studies program please check out the African American Studies website

Other Upcoming Events

About the Program

What is African American Studies?

African American Studies began as a discipline formally with a student strike at San Francisco State in 1968.  Students demanded that the history and culture of black Americans be included as part of the curriculum and intellectual life on their campus. The African American Studies Program at the College of Charleston carries on that legacy.

Offering both an interdisciplinary major and minor which focus on the study of African American history, culture, and experiences, African American Studies prepares students for academic excellence and social responsibility.  The African American Studies program utilizes an engaged, interdisciplinary faculty, drawing from courses in nine different academic disciplines: African American Studies, as well as anthropology, sociology, English, political science, education, theater, history, religious studies, and psychology.  The program in African American Studies asks students and faculty to think seriously about African American history and culture, and about the challenges and opportunities of living and working in a multi-ethnic world.

Through partnerships with the Avery Research Center, the Charleston County Public Library system, the International African American Museum, MUSC, the Gullah-Geechee Heritage Corridor Commission, the Slave Mart Museum, and others, students have a remarkable opportunity to do African American Studies.

Our students know why the Civil War was in fact a conflict over slavery, and not state’s rights.  They know what to say when someone asks whether it’s okay to use the n-word.  They understand what it means to talk about Barack Obama as a post-racial president.  They are comfortable talking about the racial implications of the latest public health policy or urban renewal plan.  In short, they have valuable knowledge and skills that others don’t, knowledge and skills that employers and graduate schools are looking for.

First Lady Michelle Obama, Oscar-nominated actress Angela Bassett, astronaut Mae Jemison, and Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder all have degrees in African American Studies.  Shouldn’t you?

Contact Information
Director: Kameelah Martin
25 St. Philip St., room 206C

Website: http://african-american-studies.cofc.edu/

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