Degree Requirements2016-2017

Black Studies


Director: Associate Professor Toni King (Black Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies)

Associate Professor John Jackson (Black Studies and Religion), Assistant Professor Jerrell K. Beckham (Black Studies and Education), Visiting Assistant Professor Tabitha Chester (Black Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies)

Affiliated faculty: Dosinda Alvite (Spanish), Lauren Araiza (History), Stafford Berry (Dance), Nida Bikmen (Psychology), John Davis (Sociology/Anthropology), Susan Diduk (Sociology/Anthropology), Joanna Grabski (Art History), Fareeda Griffith (Sociology/Anthropology), Linda Krumholz (English), Jeehyun Lim (English), Diana Mafe (English), Omedi Ochieng (Communication), Keun-joo Christine Pae (Religion), Heather Pool (Political Science), Frank “Trey” Proctor (History), Mark Seamon (Theatre), Karen Powell Sears (Sociology/Anthropology), Jack Shuler (English), Joanna Tague (History), Anita Waters (Sociology/Anthropology), Leah Argyle (Academic Administrative Assistant)

Departmental Guidelines and Goals

The Black Studies Program invites students to investigate the Black experience as it manifests in Africa, North America, the Caribbean, and in other parts of the African diaspora. While the program’s primary focus is the study of the Black experience in North America, fundamental to this enterprise is a recognition of the triangular relationship between Africa, the Caribbean and the United States.

The Program seeks to serve the general needs of the college by providing course offerings across the full range of academic divisions. At the same time, it is designed to meet the specialized interests of students through an interdisciplinary major and minor. Therefore, many appropriate courses are found under the rubric of other departments. Black Studies majors and minors are encouraged to complete some portion of their undergraduate education abroad; many off-campus studies opportunities available at Denison are relevant to Black Studies and help majors and minors gain global perspectives and experiences.

The Black Studies curriculum is administered by a faculty committee and the director of the Center for Black Studies. This committee reviews and approves the educational plans developed by majors in consultation with the director of the Center for Black Studies. Students wishing to major or minor in Black Studies should contact the director of the program.

Black Studies Major

A Black Studies major requires a minimum of 32 credit hours in addition to the completion of a senior research project. The senior research project should be designed in consultation with the director of Black Studies. The senior research project may be either a one semester or a full year project. Because Black Studies is an interdisciplinary field, the senior research may be cross-listed with senior research in another discipline. Field research or field experience may comprise a portion of the senior research project. A wide range of field opportunities in local Black communities is available to students through the Center for Black Studies.

There are three core courses in Black Studies, required of a major in the area:

  • Black Studies 235, Introduction to Black Studies;

  • English 255, Ethnic Literature; and

  • History 225, African American History.

In addition to core courses and the senior research project, the Black Studies major requires the completion of at least one course in Women’s and Gender Studies. While any Women’s and Gender Studies course may be used to fulfill this requirement, students ideally should choose a course that includes a discussion of topics about Black women. Appropriate courses may be selected in consultation with the director of Black Studies.

Other requirements include the completion of one course in which the primary subject matter is Africa or the Caribbean and Latin America. This requirement is designed to encourage students to confront, in a substantial manner, the triangular relationship between the Black experience in Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, and North America.

Black Studies Minor

The minor in Black Studies requires a minimum of 24 credit hours. Students who wish to be awarded a minor in Black Studies must complete the three core courses (Black Studies 235, English 255, and History 225). Students also are required to complete at least one Women’s and Gender Studies course. Courses which satisfy this requirement may be selected in consultation with the director of Black Studies.

Additionally, students are required to complete one Black Studies course in which the primary subject matter is Africa or the Caribbean and Latin America, plus a senior research project in the form of a directed study that seeks to correlate Black Studies with some aspect of the student’s major field. Although it is not required, students are encouraged to include a field experience component in the senior research.