Africana Studies

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