Engaged Africana Studies

Engaged Africana Studies takes what you’re learning in your courses and puts it into practice through internships, research, study away, winter term, career exploration, and beyond.

Here’s a sampling of recent projects, field experiences, and post-graduate destinations for Africana studies majors.

RISE at Oberlin
Research. Internships. Study Away. Experiential Learning.

Ways Africana Studies Majors Rise


  • Black and Still Gold: Africana Cultural Approaches to Knowledge and Formal Education
  • Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: How the Demolition of the Chicago Housing Projects Affected Gun Violence
  • Conceptualizing a Developmental State in Post-genocide Rwanda
  • Negotiating Respectability: Black Women’s Struggle for Self-Representation
  • Contextualizing Jewell Gomez’s The Gilda Stories within a Black (Queer) Literary and Cultural Tradition
  • “It Takes a Village”: How Investment in Self, Community, and Environment Can Influence Low-Income Black Children to Succeed


  • BBDO, N.Y.: creating ads for major business accounts
  • The Mad Factory, Oberlin, Ohio: mentoring youth and performing in summer production
  • Northfield Mount Hermon Upward Bound, Northfield, Mass.: tutoring and mentoring underrepresented high school students
  • Policy Matters Ohio, Cleveland: researching economic, transportation, and environmental issues in Ohio public policy

Study Away

  • Nation Building, Globalization, and Decolonizing the Mind: Southern African Perspectives, South Africa, Namibia
  • Arts and Sciences University of Ghana, Legon
  • Dannenberg Oberlin-in-London Program, England
  • Dakar Institute of African Studies, Senegal

Experiential Learning

  • Faculty and staff offer programs and services in cooperation with Afrikan Heritage House, a residence hall and the college’s Black collective and cultural center. Afrikan Heritage House welcomes students who want to heighten their understanding of African, Africana, and African-Caribbean traditions and issues. Students partake in Soul Sessions, art shows, poetry readings, the Kuumba festival, and other events.
  • Graduates often pursue advanced work in professional and graduate schools, or begin careers in law, performing arts, education, public policy, or health care. The degree offers students opportunities for a life of service and meaning, to not only work in society but to help transform it.

First Destinations of Recent Africana Studies Majors

  • Graduate Schools:
    • PhD in philosophy, University of Pennsylvania
    • MFA, Howard University
    • JD, University of Michigan Law School
    • MA in international and comparative education, Columbia University
    • PhD in African & African diaspora studies; University of Texas, Austin
    • MA in broadcast journalism, New York University
    • MA in journalism, UC Berkeley
    • MA in African American and African Studies, Ohio State University
    • Biological sciences, University of Chicago
  • Positions:
    • Program coordinator, George Pullman Foundation, Ill.
    • Assistant director of admissions, Northeastern University, Mass.
    • Teacher, Urban Prep Charter Academy, Ill.
    • Youth development director, Bridgeport, Conn.
    • Court advocate, Fortune Society, N.Y.
    • Program coordinator, Cancer Support, N.Y.
    • AmeriCorps, Miss.
    • Senior associate, Urban Land Institute, Washington, DC