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African Studies

Emeriti: David B. Abernethy, John Baugh, Joan Bresnan, Susan Cashion, Sandra E. Drake, Peter Egbert, James. L. Gibbs, Jr., William B. Gould, Bruce F. Johnston, William R. Leben, Bruce Lusignan, Hans N. Weiler, Sylvia Wynter

Director: Jeremy Weinstein

Professors: Jean-Marie Apostolidès (French, Drama), Ellen Jo Baron (Pathology), Michele Barry (Medicine), Joel Beinin (History), John Boothroyd (Microbiology and Immunology), Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi (French and Italian, Comparative Literature), James T. Campbell (History), Martin Carnoy (Education), Harry Elam (Drama), James Fearon (Political Science), James Ferguson (Anthropology), Terry Lynn Karl (Political Science), Richard Klein (Anthropology), David Laitin (Political Science), Michael McFaul (Political Science), Yvonne Maldonado (Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases), Lynn Meskell (Anthropology), Julie Parsonnet (Infectious Diseases), Mary L. Polan (Obstetrics and Gynecology), John Rickford (Linguistics), Richard Roberts (History)

Associate Professors: Prudence L. Carter (Education), Paulla A. Ebron (Anthropology), Liisa Malkki (Anthropology), Hugh Brent Solvason (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences)

Assistant Professors: Jenna Davis (Civil and Environmental Engineering), David DeGusta (Anthropology), Oliver Fringer (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Sean A. Hanretta (History), Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz (Art History), Kathryn Miller (History), Grant Parker (Classics), Jeremy Weinstein (Political Science)

Professor (Research): David Katzenstein (School of Medicine)

Associate Professor (Teaching): Robert Siegel (Microbiology and Immunology)

Assistant Professor (Clinical): Brian Blackburn (Infectious Diseases)

Senior Lecturers: Khalil Barhoum (African and Middle Eastern Languages), Helen Stacy (Law)

Lecturers: Byron Bland (Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation), Jonathan Greenberg (Law), Ramzi Salti (African and Middle Eastern Languages), Galen Sibanda (African and Middle Eastern Languages), Timothy Stanton (Bing Overseas Studies)

Consulting Professors: Anne Firth-Murray (Human Biology), Joel Samoff (Center for African Studies)

Curators: Karen Fung (African Collection Curator, Green Library), Thomas Seligman (Director, Cantor Arts Center, and Lecturer, Art and Art History), Barbara Thompson (Phyllis Wattis Curator of the Arts of Africa and the Americas, Cantor Arts Center)

Senior Research Fellows: Coit Blacker (Freeman Spogli Institute), Larry Diamond (Hoover Institution), Stephen Stedman (Freeman Spogli Institute, Center for International Security and Cooperation)

Center Office: Encina Hall West, Room 216

Mail Code: 94305-6045

Phone: (650) 723-0295


Web Site:

Courses offered by the Center for African Studies are listed under the subject code AFRICAST on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

The Center for African Studies coordinates an interdisciplinary program in African Studies for undergraduates and graduate students. The program seeks to enrich understanding of the interactions among the social, economic, cultural, historical, linguistic, genetic, geopolitical, ecological, and biomedical factors that shape and have shaped African societies. By arrangement with the Stanford/Berkeley Joint Center for African Studies, graduate students may incorporate courses from both institutions into their programs. Contact the center for information regarding courses offered at the University of California, Berkeley.

Courses in African Studies are offered by departments and programs throughout the University. Each year the center sponsors a seminar to demonstrate to advanced undergraduates and graduate students how topics of current interest in African Studies are approached from different disciplinary perspectives.

Course offerings in African languages are also coordinated by the Center for African Studies. Along with regular courses in several levels of Arabic, Swahili, Xhosa, and Zulu, the center arranges with the African and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures Program in the Stanford Language Center to offer instruction in other African languages; in recent years, it has offered courses in Amharic, Bambara, Chichewa, Ewe, Fulani, Hausa, Igbo, Shona, Twi, Wolof, and Yoruba.

The Center for African Studies offers a master of arts degree for graduate students. Undergraduates and graduate students not pursuing the master's degree can specialize in African Studies under the arrangements listed below.

Undergraduate Programs in African Studies

Undergraduates may choose an African Studies focus from:

  1. A minor in African Studies offers students the ability to combine a focus on Africa with their major in any other discipline. This offers the students a strong regional specialization. For requirements see the "Minor in African Studies" section of this bulletin.
  2. A major in a traditionally defined academic department such as Anthropology, History, or Political Science. These departments afford ample opportunity to enroll in courses outside the major, leaving the student free to pursue the interdisciplinary study of Africa.
  3. Interdepartmental majors, such as African and African American Studies or International Relations, which offer coordinated and comprehensive interdisciplinary course sequences, permitting a concentration in African Studies.
  4. An individually designed major. Under the supervision of a faculty adviser and two other faculty members, the student can plan a program of study focused on Africa that draws courses from any department or school in the University. If approved by the dean's advisory committee on individually designed majors, the program becomes the curriculum for the B.A. degree.


Students may apply for a certificate in African Studies. Requirements for the certificate are the same as for the minor; however, students may double-count courses applied toward their major or graduate studies. The principal difference between the minor and the certificate is that the certificate does not appear on the transcript. For more information and an application, contact the center.

Graduate Study in African Studies

For those who wish to specialize in Africa at the graduate level, African Studies can be designated a field of concentration within the master's and doctoral programs of some academic departments. Students in such departments as Anthropology, History, Political Science, and Sociology, and in the School of Education, may declare African Studies as the area of specialization for their master's and Ph.D. thesis work. Some other departments, programs, and institutes such as the International Comparative Education Program also permit students to specialize in African Studies. Stanford graduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents may request an academic year application for a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. Students need not be enrolled at Stanford to apply for the summer fellowship. The deadline for both is January 8. For more information or an application, contact the Center.


The Center for African Studies offers a limited number of Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who undertake full-time study of an African language as part of their graduate training.

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