The African and African American Studies Program (AAAS) at Louisiana State University (LSU) is an interdisciplinary program in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. As an interdisciplinary program, Black Studies emerged in the 1960s as an outgrowth of the Civil Rights and Black Liberation Movements and the demand for scholarly recognition and engagement in the life experiences and perspectives of peoples of Africa and African descent. In 1968, San Francisco State University established the nation’s first Black Studies department rooted in students’ activism. At LSU, AAAS was formed in 1994 by a group of African American scholars to address the absence of people of African descent from traditional fields. In addition, they wanted to develop a disciplinary identity and curriculum program to service our students.
AAAS’ mission is to promote critical thinking and challenge students to attain the highest levels of intellectual achievement and personal development through the study of ideas, practices, theories and experiences of Africans, African Americans, and other diasporic communities. To fulfill our mission, AAAS is comprised of a visionary and diverse faculty whose work commands a range of expertise and focuses on history, ethnicity, and gender, social, cultural, political, religious and literary studies. Our faculty’s commitment to excellence supports AAAS’ vision to always foster an intellectually challenging and stimulating environment for our students. In addition, we are committed to addressing social injustices and promoting community engagement.
Towards these ends, our program offers a B.A. with a concentration in African and African American Studies as well as a minor. Since its inception, AAAS has taken innovative steps to ensure that our students’ academic and civic goals and needs are met. This entails organizing and sponsoring events that involve the participation of surrounding communities. Furthermore, we are tirelessly working to recruit the brightest and the best from our communities and to secure more funds for student scholarships and program enhancement.
We encourage you to view the program website for more detailed information. Thanks for your interest in AAAS and LSU.
Dr. Stephen Finley
Director, African & African American Studies Program
Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies
Associate Professor, African & African American Studies Program