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African Studies Program

Minor in African Expressive Cultures

Students on Summer 2023, Fall 2023, or Spring 2024 requirements AFREXPCMIN

The Minor in African Expressive Cultures allows students to develop a deeper understanding of African societies, nations, ethnic groups, citizens, and their many contributions to world history and current events through the study of African expressive practices—including the visual arts, music and dance, theater and cinema, epics and oral traditions, and a large variety of other creative forms of communication such as religious and political activities and numerous types of sports and games. Effective, punctuated expression—which is to say aesthetically designed and enacted communication—carries tremendous social weight across the continent of Africa, in every nation and every culture. It is used to communicate values, to bolster and garner support for them, or subvert and change them. It is used to wield or reform political influence. It is used to gain or maintain social and economic resources. It possesses this clout because aesthetic expression is sophisticated business in African societies, and citizens from every walk of life put much stock in its importance. The minor will allow students to take several courses across a spectrum of creativity—such as literature, music, and the visual arts—or concentrate courses in any one of those, or even concentrate on a particular geographic region of the continent.


The minor requires at least 15 credit hours, including the requirements listed below.
  1. Introductory Course. One (1) course:
    • AFRI-L 231 African Civilization
    • HIST-H 227 African Civilizations
  2. Electives. 12 credit hours:
    • AAAD-A 430 The Cinema of Africana Women
    • ANTH-E 300 Culture Areas and Ethnic Groups (approved topic: "Photography and Ethnography")
    • ANTH-E 309 Problems in African Ethnography
    • ANTH-E 386 Performance, Culture, and Power in the Middle East and North Africa
    • ARTH-A 155 Introduction to African Art
    • ARTH-A 255 Topics in African Art History
    • ARTH-A 352 Art of Eastern and Southern Africa
    • ARTH-A 355 Art, Craft, and Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa
    • ARTH-A 356 Art of Central Africa
    • ARTH-A 453 Art of Sub-Saharan Africa I: Arts of Africa's Western Sudan
    • ARTH-A 454 Art of Sub-Saharan Africa II: Arts of the West African Coast
    • ARTH-A 458 Topics in the Ethnographic Arts (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
    • CMLT-C 261 Introduction to African Literature
    • CMLT-C 291 Studies in Non-Western Film (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
    • CMLT-C 361 African Literature and Other Arts
    • COLL-C 103 Critical Approaches to the Arts and Humanities (approved topic: "Magic, Science, and Art in Africa")
    • FOLK-F 252 Folklore and the Humanities (approved topics: "The Cultural Work of Music in East Africa"; "Global Pop Music")
    • FOLK-F 301 African Folklore/Folklife/Folk Music
    • FOLK-E 302 Music in African Life
    • FOLK-F 450 Music in Religious Thought and Experience
    • FRIT-F 467 French Beyond the Hexagon (approved topics only; see academic advisor)
    • HIST-E 340 African Popular Culture
    • HIST-J 300 Seminar In History (approved topic: "African History and Film")
    • Additional courses chosen in consultation with the African Studies advisor
  3. Minor GPA, Hours, and Minimum Grade Requirements.
    1. Minor GPA. A GPA of at least 2.000 for all courses taken in the minor—including those where a grade lower than C- is earned—is required.
    2. Minor Minimum Grade. Except for the GPA requirement, a grade of C- or higher is required for a course to count toward a requirement in the minor.
    3. Minor Upper Division Credit Hours. At least 9 credit hours in the minor must be completed at the 300–499 level.
    4. Minor Residency. At least 9 credit hours in the minor must be completed in courses taken through the Indiana University Bloomington campus or an IU-administered or IU co-sponsored Overseas Study program.

Minor Area Courses

Unless otherwise noted below, the following courses are considered in the academic program and will count toward academic program requirements as appropriate:

  • Any course contained on the course lists for the academic program requirements at the time the course is taken--as well as any other courses that are deemed functionally equivalent--except for those listed only under Addenda Requirements
  • Any course directed to a non-Addenda requirement through an approved exception

Exceptions to and substitutions for minor requirements may be made with the approval of the unit's Director of Undergraduate Studies, subject to final approval by the College of Arts and Sciences.