Minor Requirements | St. Lawrence University African American Studies

Minor Requirements

Advisory Board:  Professors Bailey (English), Regosin (history); Associate Professors Denaci (fine arts), Smith (coordinator, history); Associate Chaplain Whitehead

African American Studies programs were born out of struggle, resistance, and demands for social justice.  In the late 1960s students of color and whiter white supporters, many of whom had been involved in the civil rights and black power movements, confronted university administrators, occupied university buildings, and went on strike to demand greater access to higher education, recruitment of more minority students and faculty, and curricular changes that would better reflect the ethnic diversity of the United States.  African-American studies courses embody these core values of struggle against inequality, resistance to oppression, and demands for social justice.  Specifically designed to engage students in critical analysis and intellectual exploration of the African-American presence in and contributions to the United States, the program considers the diversity among Black Americans and examines the complexities of and interrelations among multiple “minority” identities as we consider gender, sex and sexuality, spirituality, class, and political and cultural ideologies in various African-American and Black immigrant communities.

Why African American Studies?:  The United States Census Bureau predicts that by 2050 the United States will be a “majority minority” nation – that is whites of European descent will constitute a minority of the population.  African American Studies and other ethnic studies programs contextualize the often underrepresented and underappreciated historical, literary/artistic, and ideological contributions of minority groups in the United States as well as chart the contemporary landscape of United States racial, ethnic, and class  relations.  All college students today will have to make their way in an increasingly multi-ethnic U.S. society.  To operate successfully in the future geographies of U.S. work, residential, and creational spaces will demand of all an ability to negotiate and cross multiple racial and ethnic perspectives.  Recognizing this necessity, the top tier private liberal arts colleges in the United States (as ranked by U.S. News and World Reports) have included the need to incorporate diversity of different perspectives as a critical component of their core mission statements.  African American studies provides a critical diversity of perspective on U.S. history, culture, and society.


Minor Requirements

The minor consists of five courses from at two different disciplines.  Students may also count 200- and 300-level special topics and First Year Seminar courses on African-American studies.


230.  Introduction to African-American Literature.
304.  Language, Culture and Society. 

Art and Art History

211.  African-American Art and Visual Culture.


203.  Contemporary Issues in American Education.


230.  Introduction to African-American Literature.
272.  Coming Out Stories:  African-American:  Lesbians Speak.

Gender and Sexuality Studies

272.  Coming Out Stories:  African-American:  Lesbians Speak.
301.  Studies in Masculinities.

Global Studies

102.  Introduction to Global Studies II:  Race, Culture, Identity.


351.  African-American Political and Social Thought.


256.  Slavery and Freedom in the Americas.
263.  African-American History to 1865.
264.  African-American History, 1865 – present.
272.  The New South.
273.  Civil Rights Movement.
280.  History of Women in America.
221.  Imagining the South.

Performance and Communication Arts

221.  Intercultural Communication.


232.  African Philosophy.


112.  Inequality.
228.  Race and Ethnicity.
310.  Slavery, Race and Culture.


Minors are also encouraged to participate in St. Lawrence’s off-campus programs at Fisk University, a historically Black college in Nashville, Tennessee. Semester and short-term programs are available at Fisk.