African Studies Center (ASC) aims to deepen and expand scholarly and educational partnerships between the University of Michigan (U-M) and African institutions; foster interdisciplinary research to find imaginative solutions to contemporary social, cultural, medical, technological and environmental problems; connect faculty and students from all colleges and units on campus working in/on Africa; and enhance the study of Africa past and present within the U-M curriculum.
ASC’s faculty support this mission through their commitment to serve the students, mentor visiting scholars from Africa, and engage in their own research and scholarship.
In turn, administrative and financial resources are available to ASC-affiliated faculty to support new and/or existing Africa-focused courses, faculty research in Africa, and engagement with African institutions, through the awarding of substantial funds for public events/symposia organize on campus and abroad, travel to conferences, as well as for research conducted in Africa and collaborative seed grants in support of innovative projects.
In addition to financial awards, the ASC provides support to its faculty and partners by facilitating the engagement between the university and African institutions through ASC’s five initiatives: African Heritage (AHI), African Social Research (ASRI), Ethiopia-Michigan Collaborative Consortium (EMC2), Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM-Africa), U-M African Presidential Scholars (UMAPS) Program.
African Studies at the University of Michigan is a growing field, courses are offered in over 30 units across campus and with more than 170 faculty affiliates engaged in Africa-related projects, workshops, and research. Although the majority of courses are offered through the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS), students study a variety of disciplines across campus and apply them in various ways to increase their understanding of the continent.
Through DAAS, undergraduate and graduate students may pursue an undergraduate specialization and graduate certification in African studies, and complete the study of the African languages. Students can also study Africa in classes and specially designed projects offered through the Schools of Art and Design, Ross School of Business, Information, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Public Health, Social Work, Information, Music, Theater and Dance, as well as several other departments and schools. Undergraduates can also gain valuable travel experience to Africa through the Center for Global and Intercultural Study.
Over the years, students have found new and exciting ways to facilitate the exchange of ideas and establish communities outside of the classroom around the study of Africa with the creation of Africa-related workshops, clubs and organizations. Some examples are:
- The DAAS Africa Workshop
- The Africa History and Anthropology Workshop
- The Africa Business Club at the Ross School of Business
- The African Students Association