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.