Black Studies

On This Page

Program Overview

The Black Studies program at Fairfield University is designed to provide you with a comprehensive study of the origins and experiences of people of African descent. The program uses the methodology and analytical instruments of various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences to shed light on these conditions. The principal aim is to introduce you to the field by exploring the social, political, and economic roots of contemporary problems and by examining them in the context of the wider world.

‌Given its interdisciplinary nature, the program draws from various disciplines especially, in the humanities and social sciences. In addition to exploring new areas of contact among these disciplines, the minor helps prepare you for life in an increasingly multi-ethnic and global society. It also provides you with the opportunity to build on skills needed for graduate study and for professional careers in:

  • Community service
  • Education
  • Government
  • Law
  • Private industry


The Black Studies program explores the African diaspora and its interaction with culture and society in the Americas. Interdisciplinary in nature, the program combines humanities courses from literature, music, and film together with the social sciences and history to provide students with an understanding of the far-reaching impact of race and ethnicity across continents. The program explores the reality of Blacks in the United States, but in a broader historical and comparative perspective that is informed by the experiences of people of African descent throughout the Americas.

In addition, the program uses a cross-cultural approach, incorporating the active participation of faculty, students, and the larger community. The faculty ground their students in history, literature, drama, the arts, and the social sciences, with specific emphasis on the achievement of moral ideals such as equality and democracy, cultural theory, and the social, aesthetic, and political ideas emerging from historical and contemporary societies.


For a 15-credit minor in Black studies, students must complete the following:

  • BL 101: Black Lives Matter
  • Four elective courses drawn from the sciences, social sciences, and humanities; The four courses must represent at least two different disciplines. At least two must be "focus" courses; the other two may be "component" courses.

Course Offerings

See the Black Studies course descriptions from our catalog for more information 

Focus Courses


  • AY 130: Cultures of Africa
  • AY 190: North African Society and Culture

Black Studies

  • BL 101: Black Lives Matter
  • BL 398: Independent Study/Research in Black Studies


  • CO 245: Identities, Discourse, and Social Change


  • EC 130: Haiti: An Economic Perspective


  • EN 105: The African Diaspora: Literature and Culture
  • EN 114: Caribbean Literature: History, Culture, and Identity
  • EN 133: The African American Literary Tradition
  • EN 262: Harlem Renaissance
  • EN 263: African American Women Writers
  • EN 264: African American Fiction, 1940-Present
  • EN 265: Contemporary African/American Fiction
  • EN 336: Seminar on Toni Morrison


  • FR 260: Introduction to Francophone Sub-Saharan African Culture


  • HI 220: Ancient African Civilizations
  • HI 262: African-American History, 1619 to 1865
  • HI 263: Inventing Themselves: African-American Women in U.S. History
  • HI 264: African-American History, 1865 to Present
  • HI 293: West Africa and the Making of the Atlantic World, 1444-1880
  • HI 301/CL 301: Ancient Greece, Rome, & Africa
  • HI 337: Race, Violence and Punishment in the United States 1865-1976
  • HI 338: The Long Black Freedom Struggle


  • PH 360: Critical Race Theory


  • PO 141: African Politics


  • SO 165: Race, Cities, and Poverty

Visual and Performing Arts

  • AH 165: The Black Experience: African American Art and Criticism in the Twentieth Century
  • FTM 204: African American Cinema
  • MU 101: The History of Jazz
  • MU 112: The Music of Black Americans
  • MU 201: Hip-Hop and Its Antecedents


Component Courses


  • BI 71: Identity and the Human Genome


  • EN 131: Contemporary Women Writers of Color
  • EN 375: Caribbean Women Writers


  • HI 238: 19th-Century United States
  • HI 239: 20th-Century United States
  • HI 342: Immigration, Ethnicity, and Race in U.S. History


  • PO 143: Caribbean Politics
  • PO 153: Politics of Race, Class, and Gender

Religious Studies

  • RS 235: Liberation Theology


  • SO 162: Race, Gender, and Ethnic Relations
  • SO 163: Urban/Suburban Sociology
  • SO 185: Introduction to International Migration
  • SO 194: Sociology of Education


Visual and Performing Arts

  • AH 12: Introduction to the Art History of Asia, Africa, and the Americas
  • MU 122: World Music History and Ensemble
  • MU 132: Critical Issues in American Popular Music: Blues to Hip Hop


The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and budding scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Meet the dedicated members of our Black Studies program.


If you've ever wondered if a particular career is a good fit for you, internships are a terrific way to find out. Academic credit and noncredit internships are available to Fairfield students in every field and offer hands-on, professional experience at leading companies throughout the region.

Life After Fairfield

Regarding the prospect of majoring in Black Studies, one of the most commonly asked questions is: What can I do with a major in Black Studies? The answer is: the same thing you can do with any liberal arts or science minor (such as English, History, or Chemistry) and much more.

A concentration in Black Studies provides the foundation through which you can guide your personal and professional ambitions. Furthermore, in a world that is increasingly more conscious about the value of multiculturalism, the Black Studies perspective also makes a graduate with the minor a more attractive candidate to perspective employers.

Last but not least, the Black Studies curriculum assists the student in understanding the compartmentalized and often disconnected areas of focus within Western education.

Learn more about how Fairfield's Career Planning Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

Search Results