When you envision Africa, what comes to mind? Exotic wildlife? Diverse cultures? Lush resources? What about Egyptian politics, Moroccan architecture, Nigerian literature or the South African economy?
With 54 separate nations, the African continent is one of the most diverse regions of the world. It’s amazingly complex and regularly misperceived. Rich in culture, history and language, as well as geographic diversity, Africa offers an enormously broad spectrum of opportunities for study.
At the College of Charleston, Africa is firmly on our radar, which is why our approach to understanding this remarkable continent is decidedly interdisciplinary. The courses in our African studies minor stem not only from the departments of history and anthropology, but also from political science, English and French. Students in this program take classes that survey the diverse cultures and politics of this continent, as well as its geography, literature and economics. They develop in-depth knowledge of various African countries, both historically and within the modern age. Some deepen their understanding through hands-on research or service, such as Project Harambee in which students from the College are building a school for a rural village in Kenya.
Of course, every student in the program is strongly encouraged to travel and study in Africa. This experience can lead to an expanded understanding of and appreciation for Africa and its place in the world. The rewards for our students are tremendous. Our graduates have gone on to careers in government and the public sector. They’ve also taken on a variety of roles in:
- higher education
- the foreign service
- health sciences
- human rights
So what comes to mind when you envision Africa? How about your future? African studies at the College of Charleston – check it out.
– Haley Thomas ’13