Requirements for the Minor in African Studies:

A total of 6 credit hours of lower level courses, and 18 credit hours of upper level courses are required to complete the requirements for the minor. Recommended lower level and upper level course offerings may change from year to year. Consult the course calendar for each year’s course offerings.

Lower level courses that may be counted toward the requirements should have some African content.

As of 2019, AFST 250A is a required course for a Minor in African Studies. This will not apply to students who have declared a Minor prior to September 2019.

Upper level courses that may be counted toward the requirements should be those with substantial African content or a relevant contextual focus (see list of approved upper level courses). It is mandatory to complete either AFST 351 or AFST 352 as one of the upper level courses. These courses can be taken at any point during the minor. Students may tailor their courses according to their interests, in consultation with the Chair of the African Studies Minor program. It is recommended that students take AFST 250A early in their course work to plan for the minor. Additionally, up to 12 credit hours from study abroad such as the McGill Canadian Field Studies in Africa may be counted toward the minor.



African Studies 250A – Introduction to African Studies

Major cultural, historical and geographical issues of African Studies.

AFST 250 is an introductory course designed to provide students with background information and critical approaches that will enable them to participate in academic discussions and take more advanced courses in the field of African Studies. It will emphasize critical thinking and seek to foster an awareness of the conceptual challenges involved in our attempts to understand the complexities of African Studies.

AFST 250A is a prerequisite for most senior courses in African Studies. The course is offered in both terms 1 and 2.

Additional First and Second Year Courses recommended for African Studies Minors

(Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and does not include all the courses that the advisor might count for the Minor, depending on your interests and variable course content; courses offered change year to year and some of these courses have pre-requisites. Please contact African Studies Chair Suzanne James – ( for more details or advice.)

ANTH 100: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 210: Eating Culture
ANTH 213: Sex, Gender and Culture
ANTH 217: Culture and Communication
ASIC 200: Global Issues in the Arts and Sciences
ECON 101:  Principles of Microeconomics
ECON 102: Principles of Macroeconomics
ECON 234: Wealth and Poverty of Nations
ECON 255: Understanding Globalization
ENGL 224: World Literature in English
GEOG 121: Geography, Environment, and Globalization
GEOG 122: Geography, Modernity, and Globalization
GRS 290: Global Issues in a Cultural Context
GRSJ 101: Global Issues in Social Justice
HIST 103: (6 credits) World History since 1900
HIST 105: Contemporary Issues in Historical Perspective
HIST 256: History of Africa
LING 101: Languages of the World
MUSC 165G: World Music Ensembles: African Music and Dance
POLI 260: Introduction to Global Politics
SOCI 100: Introduction to Sociology
SOCI 101: Social Interaction and Culture
SOCI 102: Inequality and Social Change
SOCI 200: Sociology of Family
SOCI 201: Ethnic Relations
SOCI 285: Citizenship and Identity

The availability of courses listed may vary year to year.



To complete a minor in African Studies, students are required to take either AFST 351 or AFST 352. Both courses are offered annually. Students may opt to take both AFST 351 and AFST 352.

AFST 351: Perspectives in African Studies: Literary and Theoretical Approaches

The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with writing about, of, and by African writers as well as writing and theories deriving from African experience. Through a selection of readings by contemporary African writers, students will read and think with Canadian Indigenous writers about it means to be in relation, to remember and to resist. Students will learn to evaluate these works as spaces of political solidarity and critical thinking between writers writing across continents.

AFST 352: Perspectives in African Studies: A Social Science Approach

This course examines the histories of “Modern Africa,” itself a problematic idea, from 1800 to the present. We will explore themes of African societies and statecraft in the 19th century; colonial conquest, collaboration and resistance; the nature of the colonial state; cultures of gender, ethnicity and work under colonial rule; violent nationalisms, independence and colonial legacies; postcolonial conflict and the crisis of the state. While taking a comprehensive approach, particular attention will be paid to case studies drawn from Senegal, Nigeria, Algeria, Congo, Rwanda, Kenya and South Africa. History 315, Britain, 1750-1850.

AFST 370 (Cross-listed with ENGL 370): Literatures and Cultures of Africa and/or the Middle East

Literary and cultural works from Africa; some sections include Africa and the Middle East. Multiple perspectives on local, national, and global issues including colonialism, migration, transnationalism, education, art and politics. May include fiction, poetry, drama, digital media, and other forms.

AFST 450R: African diasporic culture in Canadian society, fostering dialogue with members of African Canadian communities on cultural values, traditions, memory, adaptation and change  NOT OFFERED 2020/21

This course combines the study of historical evidence of the presence of African diasporic culture in Canadian society, reflection on the notion African diaspora and on various ways in which that notion has been viewed by political and cultural theorists, and the fostering of dialogue with members of African Canadian communities on cultural values, traditions, memory, adaptation and change. Students are encouraged not only to apply their classroom-based learning to their dialogue with members of African Canadian communities but also to challenge theoretical models and preconceived notions through the experience of discussing those models and notions with individuals, families and groups.

Additional Third and Fourth Year Courses recommended for African Studies Minors:

ANTH 303: Ethnography of Special Areas
ANTH 317A: Linguistic Anthropology
ANTH 332: Oral Tradition
ANTH 414: Anthropology of Globalization
ANTH 415: Anthropology of Religion and Society (not offered 2018/19)
ARTH 410: Seminar in African Art
ASTU 400: Pan-Africanism in History (Term 2 Winter 2018/19 only)
ECON 442: Issues in Economic Development
ENGL 370: Literatures and Cultures of Africa and/or the Middle East (first offered 2019/20)
FREN 328: Selected Works of African and Caribbean Literature (Language of Instruction: French)
GEOG 396: Geography of Africa
GRSJ 311: African/Black Women in the Americas
GRSJ 415 (201): Critical Racial and Anti-Colonial Feminist Approaches
HIST 313: Africa from Imperialism to Independence
NEST 304: Egyptian Archaeology
NEST 313: Introduction to Middle Egyptian Hieroglyphs
POLI 373: Ethics in World Politics
SOCI 301: Sociology of Development and Underdevelopment
SOCI 415: Theories of Family and Kinship

The availability of courses listed may vary year to year. Some courses also have specific prerequisites.

Last updated on June 1, 2020.

If you would like to discuss options for completing a Minor in African Studies, please contact the chair, Dr. Suzanne James (