The Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS) at The Ohio State University is celebrating its 41st anniversary this year. The year-long celebration will be kicked off on Friday, October 22, 2010, with an opening reception from 5-7 pm and a symposium on Saturday, October 23, from 9-5pm at the at the AAAS Community Extension Center, located at 905 Mt. Vernon Ave. The symposium will host a series of distinguished speakers, including Carol Boyce Davies, Professor of Africana Studies and English at Cornell University. The closing reception for the weekend of events will be held Saturday from 6-8 pm at the Frank Hale Cultural Center, located at 153 W12th Ave, along with an art show opening of "Medicine" the neoancestral works by Horace Newsum, currently chairperson of the Department.
A proud product of the 1960s Black freedom movement and originally established as an academic division in October 1969 as Black Studies, the department achieved formal department status in 1972 and today enjoys the reputation of being one of the strongest African American and African Studies programs in the nation. Its comprehensive multidisciplinary curriculum includes courses in literature, music, history, psychology, sociology, political science, community development and the most extensive offering of African languages (Swahili, Zulu, Twi, Somali and Yoruba) found at any university in the U.S.
Program students have an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the black experience from a range of perspectives, which include opportunities to participate in Study Abroad programs to South Africa, Tanzania and Ghana.
The Department of African American and African Studies has a Community Extension Center which serves as both an outreach arm into the large Black community in the city of Columbus as well as a significant resource for faculty and student research and community engagement. For more than twenty years, the Department has been the home of Research in African Literatures, one of the most prestigious journals in African Studies.
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