African Studies

Will Reno
Professor of Political Science
601 University Place, Room 240
Evanston, IL 60208-2208   
Phone: (847) 467-1574 and (847) 491-5794
Program Description

The Program of African Studies (PAS) is the oldest African Studies program in the United States. Founded in 1948, PAS enjoys a unique legacy of sponsoring research on Africa, training students in African Studies, and facilitating the involvement of Northwestern’s departments and schools in the African continent. It was conceived as an interdisciplinary program, spanning the whole range of academic disciplines. This African Studies Cluster supplements these efforts and supports graduate training among students interested in African Studies by providing: a) a common coursework structure integrated with students’ departmental curricula, b) resources for student research, including travel abroad, c) interdisciplinary venues to present work in progress and to receive feedback from faculty and fellow students, and d) opportunities for collaborative research. The program features a core group of faculty internationally renowned for research in topics related to the African continent.

Students interested in pursuing a PhD in Anthropology, Art History, Comparative Literary Studies, English, French and Italian, History, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, ReligionSociology, Spanish and Portuguese, and Theatre and Drama are encouraged to find a second intellectual “home” in this interdisciplinary cluster.

How to Participate
There are many different ways for faculty and students to participate in the intellectual life of the cluster. Many cluster events, such as visiting lecturers and conferences, are open to all members of the University. Cluster seminars are open to graduate students across the University. We encourage all students, faculty and staff of Northwestern to learn more about our research and activities by participating in our public events.

Matriculating graduate students interested in participating in this cluster should indicate their interest when they apply to their respective graduate programs. This cohort will include incoming and current students who wish to participate in program activities.

Current graduate students interested in participating in this cluster should contact Professor Will Reno at