Complex cultures & languages

With courses spanning the histories, contemporary realities, cultures, and languages of Africa and Africans in the diaspora, African Studies courses are interdisciplinary and designed to provide you with the global perspectives you need for your future career – wherever that may take you. You can choose from courses that will provide a regional overview of contemporary issues, choose to delve deep into an issue through one of our “Topics” courses, pursue the study of a language of the continent, or all the above. There are also more than 200 cross-listed courses offered by our African Studies affiliate faculty, providing students across IU, and in almost every discipline, opportunities to gain regional knowledge. Having difficulty choosing? Contact our director of undergraduate studies, Tavy Aherne (

Featured courses

AFRI-A100: Introduction to African Studies

New! Wondering what ‘African Studies’ encompasses? Want a basic understanding of Africa in global perspective? From a variety of disciplinary approaches? Just want to learn something new? This course is for you!

AFRI-R101: Beginning Kinyarwanda

Kinyarwanda is a Bantu language spoken by 20 million people around the world. It is the national language of Rwanda and is also spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in southern Uganda. It’s closely related to a language spoken in Tanzania and Burundi, as well.

AFRI-L100: Topics in African Studies

“Topics” courses explore a variety of issues and subjects through an interdisciplinary lens. Often, these are creative, new courses our faculty are offering to students because of their timeliness, or because they reflect the latest research in the field, or the faculty are passionate about teaching the topic to students.

AFRI-L232: Contemporary Africa

What does contemporary Africa look like? What are major issues that the continent faces today? Why does Africa matter and how is it linked to the United States and elsewhere? What are the daily lives of Africans like? These are some of the questions that are explored in this class.

Want to see more African Studies courses?