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Black Diaspora Studies (Certificate)

Black Diaspora Studies is by its very nature an interdisciplinary field. It acquaints students with myriad ways of thinking (historical, social-scientific, literary, theoretical, and quantitative), researching, and writing about the diverse experiences of Black people in the United States and of African-descended people throughout the African Diaspora (from dispersion, colonialism, the slave trade and slavery, through emancipation, decolonization, independence, and postcolonialism).

Black Diaspora Studies brings together the voluminous scholarship generated by historians; political scientists; sociologists; cultural, literary, and performance studies critics; and scholars working on diverse topics and constructions of class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. By considering the different manifestations of blackness and racialization as well as other forms of racialized identity across the globe from historical, empirical, and theoretical perspectives, students will learn to analyze how identity, race, and racism change over time and according to the specifics of geopolitical location. In addition, the certificate program in Black Diaspora Studies emphasizes how blackness intersects with other ethnic identities (Latino, Native, and Asian American, etc.) and how it is shaped by gender, sexuality, and economic inequity.

How to apply

Enrolled PhD students in The Graduate School may pursue this certificate with the permission of their program. In order to petition to have a Graduate Certificate awarded and appear on the transcript, students must submit the Application for a Graduate Certificate  once all Graduate Certificate requirements have been completed, but no later than the time that the student files for graduation (in the final quarter of study). 

Who to contact

Please contact the program with questions about this certificate.

Department of Black Studies

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.

To participate in the Black Diaspora Studies certificate program, students must declare their affiliation to the current Director of Graduate Studies in the department of Black Studies. To obtain the Black Diaspora Studies certificate, students must complete five graduate courses in the department of Black Studies, at least two of which must be chosen from the following list of courses:

Course names and numbers that may be counted toward the certificate.
BLK_ST 401-0 Research Seminar in Black Studies
BLK_ST 402-0 Theorizing Black Genders and Sexualities
BLK_ST 403-0 Theorizing Blackness and Diaspora
BLK_ST 440-0 Black Historiography
BLK_ST 420-0 Expressive Arts and Cultural Studies
BLK_ST 460-0 Race, Politics, Society, and Culture
The remaining three electives are courses that will be taught by the core faculty in Black Studies.

Graduate courses typically offered as electives include:

Course names and numbers that may be counted toward the certificate.
BLK_ST 442-0 Africans in Colonial Latin America
BLK_ST 444-0 Civil Rights/Black Liberation
BLK_ST 445-0 Historicizing Race in Latin America
BLK_ST 475-0 Genealogy of Racism as a Concept: Deconstruction & Governmentality
BLK_ST 480-0 Graduate Topics in African American Studies
BLK_ST 490-0 Independent Study

Students may petition the current Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) in the department of Black Studies to substitute one of the five required courses with a course offered by a Faculty Affiliate of Black Studies or an instructor whose course has been approved by the DGS.