About the Department

The pioneering anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits founded Northwestern University's Program of African Studies (PAS) in 1948, one of the earliest centers of its kind in the United States.

Today, the Program serves as a vital base for the world-class Africanist faculty, students, and professionals attracted to Northwestern and its renowned Herskovits Library of Africana Studies. Guiding the study of Africa at Northwestern, the program hosts scholars and distinguished visitors from the continent and around the world.  Throughout the year, PAS sponsors events such as talks, discussions, readings, and films. We also collaborate with a variety of centers both within Northwestern and outside in several projects:

Interdisciplinary Focus

PAS encompasses a thriving community of faculty and graduate and undergraduate students who specialize in a variety of disciplines across the university. The program promotes interdisciplinary coursework and special events focusing on current events, language training, study abroad programs, and research. In addition, PAS grants an Adjunct Major and Minor in African Studies at the undergraduate level and a Certificate in African Studies at the graduate level, as well as administers several grants and fellowships to encourage academic research on Africa and the Diaspora.