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Mission and Vision

The Department of African American Studies is a meeting ground for scholars, students and thinkers committed to the study of African American and African-descended peoples in the Americas. With faculty trained in anthropology, English, history, philosophy, and other disciplines, our collective work fosters critical understanding of the diaspora's many cultures and expressions. As we foster meaningful engagement with the economic, social and political conditions of black life on campus and beyond, we seek to build a vibrant community of inquiry and innovation at Penn State.


Featured Student of the Month:

Alphonso Grant



Alphonso Walter Grant is a Ph.D. Student and Instructor in Art Education and African American and Diaspora Studies at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). He is a member of the Penn State Honor Society and is serving as the project manager for the Organization of the Black Aesthetic Curious (OBAC) at Penn State. This complements his interests in Black visual culture and African American and Diaspora Studies, and his desire to use W.E.B. Du Bois’ ideological concepts on race, Du Boisian Pragmatism, as a lens to interpret visual images of the Black male in the United States.

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