LSU announces creation of the Department of African & African American Studies
Published 2:13 pm Wednesday, February 24, 2021
BATON ROUGE – The LSU College of Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS) announced today the creation of the Department of African & African American Studies (AAAS). The proposal to create the department was approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents on Feb. 24 and was previously approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors in January. The new department will help meet the needs of the changing demographic of the United States and position LSU to recruit and retain students and faculty at the university who represent a broad spectrum of backgrounds and experiences.
The LSU Department of African & African American Studies is one of the first departments of its kind in the state and among South Eastern Conference (SEC) Schools. The presence of Black Studies programs and departments have been in existence for more than five decades and offer the only space for the type of open engagement and learning dedicated exclusively to local, national, and global Black experiences.
“We are excited to offer students with opportunities to think critically and attain the highest levels of intellectual achievement and personal development through the study of ideas, practices, theories and experiences of Africans, African Americans, and other diasporic communities,” said Lori L. Martin, interim director of African & African American Studies. “Students in the newly created department will learn from a visionary and diverse faculty whose work commands a range of expertise and focuses on history, ethnicity, and gender, social, cultural, political, religious and literary studies”
The LSU Student Senate passed a resolution in support of AAAS becoming a department on June 3, 2020, as the student body strongly desired that LSU and AAAS also reflect a robust investment in equity, diversity, and programming, which will be included in the curriculum and educational programs that can be provided in a more systematic manner by the department.
“The College of Humanities & Social Sciences has a responsibility to bring scholarship in the humanities and social sciences to bear on eliminating racial inequalities in health, wealth, criminal justice, education, the workplace, and other social institutions,” said Troy Blanchard, dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences. “The Department of African & African American Studies will leverage the many intellectual traditions in our college to create the next generation of leaders.”
The proposal for the creation of an independent degree program in AAAS is currently under consideration and will be included on the Louisiana Board of Regents’ agenda in the coming weeks.
About the LSU College of Humanities & Social Sciences
The LSU College of Humanities & Social Sciences positions students, faculty, and staff to be visionary leaders in their respective fields, a tradition of excellence that began with the college’s inception in 1908. For more news and information about the LSU College of Humanities & Social Sciences, visit hss.lsu.edu.