Welcome to the IU African Studies Program!
We think you made a wonderful choice in deciding to pursue your degree with us.
This manual presents the basic requirements for graduate studies in the African Studies Program (ASP) at Indiana University and discusses the forms and procedures necessary to document progress. But we hope it offers more: the ASP is a program, not a department, which serves as a “home” for all students and faculty across IU with an interest in Africa and its dynamic global diaspora. Thus here, we also highlight how to become involved with ASP and how we can support your graduate journey at IU and beyond.
Because each student follows a unique progression through the program based on their area of interest(s), it is the student’s responsibility to be proactive in understanding the requirements and procedures in this handbook, as well as the more general policies and procedures outlined in the University Graduate School Bulletin. Please do not hesitate to consult with the ASP’s Director of Graduate Studies, Beth Buggenhagen, or the ASP’s Associate Director, Tavy Aherne, or Administrative Coordinator Marilyn Estep about any questions concerning the African Studies Program.
Current African Studies students are enrolled in a range of departments and professional schools at Indiana University. Graduate student alumni are employed in institutions of higher education, in health professions, in international business, in for- government and non-profit organizations, and in government across the United States, Europe and in Africa.
Committed to your success
Ours is a close-knit and rigorous program with graduate students and faculty dedicated to their roles both as researchers and teachers. You’ll find professional courtesy, academic support, and a commitment to your achievement. The university experience is enhanced by an exceptional range of resources on campus, where it is possible to combine African Studies with many other interests and avocations.
We believe you will be most successful in your graduate studies if you attend to not only academic matters, but to yourself as an individual – making sure you are healthy physically, socially, and mentally. You will thus find tips for success from a current fellow graduate student who has come through the MA in African Studies to then pursue a PhD Minor in ASP, as well as one who arrived at IU first as a Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) and has gone on to complete and MA and pursue a PhD at IU. Please feel free to reach out to us anytime, stop by our offices to chat, and join in the many opportunities we offer for you to engage with Africanist and African colleagues, fellow students, and Visiting Scholars. We want to get to know you. The more we know about who you are as an individual, the better we will be able to support you and your goals.
Additionally, the 2021-22 academic year marks our 60th anniversary. We are glad to welcome you and hope you can share in the year’s festivities!
A leading center for the interdisciplinary study of Africa
Founded in 1961, the African Studies Program at IU is a vital, multidisciplinary knowledge center that has been recognized as a Title VI National Resource Center for more than 50 years. Today, our program is comprised of faculty in the humanities, arts, sciences, and professional schools who teach and engage with research throughout the continent and its diaspora.
IU is host to extensive Africana collections, including the Somali Collection, the Liberian Collections, the private papers of Ngugi wa Thiongo, the Ousmane Sembene archive, the Paulin S. Vierya Collection, and the H.K. Banda Archive, among others. The Eskenazi Art Museum houses one of the finest African art collections found on any college campus in the world. The international journal Africa Today is edited by faculty members in the program and published by Indiana University Press. Intellectual life is vibrant and public in African Studies and includes weekly Colloquiums that address current issues and research, the African Languages Festival, symposiums, workshops, and conferences that our faculty, graduate students, and international scholars make possible. There are also five Working Groups within African Studies: Muslim Africa; Displaced Africans/Migration and Immigration; IU Congo Working Group, the Patrick O’Meara Southern Africa Working Group, and the new campus-wide Global Visual Cultures Working Group (an outgrowth of NEMLIA - New Media and Literature in Africa).
An international community of scholars
Our faculty have remarkably diverse research interests. Supported by cutting-edge resources and technology in the Global and International Studies Building, our students engage in collaborative learning with some of the nation’s leading African Studies scholars. Please feel free to reach out to the faculty.
Our ASP Administration is here for you. We offer specialized degree advising, support for campus working groups and student-focused/-run organizations, practical/logistical assistance for enrollments, degree requirements, and more. We can also assist you in meeting others at IU with similar research interests, assist you in seeking funding, or connect you with various professional development opportunities. Please do not hesitate to reach out.
Broad expertise & individualized specialization
A graduate degree in African Studies can aid you in pursuing numerous fields and careers. Our students are prepared for the changing job markets of the 21st century and know how to turn their passions into a career. Our degrees teach skills that are needed in many professions, from government and business to education and journalism, as well as prepare you for an academic career with the option of a PhD Minor in African Studies.