African Studies Center

University of Pennsylvania

About the Center

The African Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania is recognized as a vital and forward-looking center where researchers, students and cultural and business entities come to gain knowledge of contemporary and historical Africa. The Center coordinates a wide range of course offerings in anthropology, demography, economics, history, language, literature, politics, religion, and sociology. Specialized issues are addressed through the University’s research programs, professional schools, and interdisciplinary centers. The geographic interests of Penn Africanists span the continent -- including Francophone and Islamic countries -- and extend to the African diaspora throughout the world. Faculty and staff share a commitment to a broad, integrated approach to the study of African people, their institutions, and the wider world where they now reside.

Outreach is central to the Center’s mission. Ongoing collaborations with other educational institutions, government agencies, private businesses, and nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad keep the Center in the forefront of academic and cultural developments. African language training and the coordination of country- and region-specific seminars on contemporary topics are also key components of the Center’s efforts to meet the demands of individuals and institutions seeking to expand their engagement with the continent.

The federal government recognized the quality and richness of the Penn resources on Africa and designated African Studies as a federally funded Title VI National Resource Center in 1993. With its consortium partners Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore Colleges, the African Studies Center at Penn is a leader in teaching, research, and outreach in African area studies.

For the next three years, consortium activities will be guided by the following six priorities:

  • development of multi-level instructional materials for African languages
  • expansion of advanced language, research, and internship opportunities for undergraduates
  • activation of new consortial clusters in Language and Popular Culture, and African Film Studies
  • addition of a new concentration in North and Islamic African studies
  • extension of current outreach initiatives to two- and four-year colleges in our region
  • organization of lectures, conferences, and career days with the other area studies centers on the Penn campus.

Contact the Center

647 Williams Hall
255 S. 36th St. Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
Phone: +1 215.898.6971
Fax: +1 215.573.7379

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© 2010 African Studies Center | 647 Williams Hall | 255 S 36th Street

Philadelphia, PA | 19104-6305, USA | Ph: 215.898.6971 | Fax: 215.573.7379