Africana Studies

About the Program

An Introduction to Africana Studies

Africana studies is an undergraduate program at Hofstra University aimed at introducing students to the study of African societies, languages and cultures. By offering a broad spectrum of courses in the humanities, social sciences, and the natural sciences it aims at accomplishing three major objectives:

1. To show students there are many reasons to study Africa.

Africa is the cradle of mankind, a region whose inhabitants have settled thoughout the world in numerous waves of migration. This is a process that continues today. In virtually every part of the world peoples of African descent play a vital role. In no place is this more evident than in the Americas where the largest Diaspora communities live.
Africa contains a disproportionate quantity of the world's raw materials. It's flora, fauna, and mineral resources have fueled the economies of the developing world. Africa has the largest number of spoken languages in the world reflecting it's rich cultural diversity. The musical and artistic traditions of Africa have shaped the main developments in 20th century art. Given Africa's unique position in world history and culture, Africana Studies to bear on our understanding of the forces shaping international socio-economic change today.

2. To familiarize students with the main transformations that are occurring on the continent today.

3. To develop the Africana studies component of every department, thus contributing to a more in depth approach to traditional academic disciplines.

Hofstra's Africana Studies program is committed to sponsoring outreach events, initiating links to African and Diaspora cultural institutions, to facilitating student and faculty exchanges, and to serving as a resource for other departments and programs interested in developing an Africana Studies component.

Our faculties have conducted a wide variety of individual research projects throughout the continent, which have served to enrich our curricular offerings and motivate students to widen their knowledge of Africa and its Diaspora.

About the Program

A World To Discover
Africa, a place to discover, journey into the hearts and mind of a continent that will bring to you the magnificent splendors of neglected civilizations, cultures, and existence. Immerse yourself with an expedition that will not only broaden your horizon, but diversify your thinking. With small class size, personal attention from exceptional faculty devoted to teaching, Hofstra University Africana Studies program will guide you in a journey of understanding. The University emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Africa, where students learn about history, geography, language, politics, economics, and the cultural experience of the African people.

This study is an essential part of academic diversity because it helps in reshaping, reconceptualizing, and remolding traditional approaches to the study of the African continent. The program came to existence as a result of the need to have better understanding of the global arena, its processes and key institutions that are critical in appreciating the multicultural and multilingual geosphere called Earth. Although particular attention will be paid to continental Africa, students will have the opportunity to explore identities, cultures, literature, politics, and socio-economic issues of black peoples in the Americas as well as in Europe.


Veronica A. Lippencott
Director, Africana Studies Program
Adjunct Associate Professor of Global Studies and Geography
Roosevelt 210
(516) 463-5994
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Catherine Bangerayne
Assistant Professor of Science Education and Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Student Programming
(516) 463-7340
School of Medicine
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Anne Buddenhagen
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology
(516) 463-2423
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Michael D'Innocenzo
*In Memoriam*

Gregory DeFreitas
Professor of Economics
(516) 463-5040
100d Barnard
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Simon R. Doubleday
Professor of History
(516) 463-5020
New Academic Building 306
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Brenda Elsey
Professor of History
(516) 463-7003
308 New Academic Building
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Dyane Harvey-Salaam
Adjunct Associate Professor of Dance
(516) 463-5444
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Jennifer Henton
*In Memoriam*

Sharryn M. Kasmir
Professor of Anthropology
(516) 463-6955
Davison Hall 200C
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Robert A. Leonard
Professor of Linguistics
(516) 463-5440
309 Calkins
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Jonathan Lightfoot
Associate Professor of Teaching, Literacy and Leadership
(516) 463-5997
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Sabine Loucif
Professor of French
(516) 463-6572
325 Calkins
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Behailu Mammo
Professor of Mathematics
(516) 463-8693
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Joseph McLaren
Professor Emeritus of English
(516) 463-5975
312c Calkins
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Cheryl Mwaria
Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
(516) 463-4093
107 Heger
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Benita Sampedro
Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures
(516) 463-4521
321 Calkins
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Katrina Sims
Assistant Professor of History
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Alan J. Singer
Professor of Teaching, Literacy and Leadership
(516) 463-5853
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David E. Woolwine
Professor of Library Sciences
(516) 463-6431
Axinn Library 902C
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Lee Zimmerman
Professor of English
(516) 463-5460
Mason Hall 221
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