College of Letters & Science


The Department of Afro-American Studies is committed to bringing academic research to the broadest possible audience, within and beyond the walls of the university. We believe that the deepest understanding of the complex reality of race in America requires a truly interdisciplinary approach, one that draws on history and literature, the social sciences and the arts.

Approved by the Board of Regents in 1970, the Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is an outgrowth of the student concern for relevance in higher education which was so dramatically evidenced on many college campuses during the late 1960s. Today, the department offers a wide variety of courses leading to both undergraduate and graduate degrees and is one of the most successful programs in the country.

Henry Ossawa TannerIda B. WellsW.E.B. Du BoisZora Neale HurstonFannie Lou HamerMarvin GayeSpike Lee

News & Events

Arethra Franklin
Two members of the Afro-American Studies faculty contributed to national tributes to Arethra Franklin — Thulani Davis on All Things Considered Craig Werner on… Read More
Michael Thornton, UW-Madison Afro-American Studies professor  PHOTO BY MICHELLE STOCKER

Michael Thornton says he got his education in the school of hard knocks (before he got his Ph.D. at University of Michigan.) Growing up in a military family, he had to pull up stakes often, and knows what it’s like to live on the wrong side of the tracks.

For the past 28 years, Thornton…

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Doria Dee Johnson

It is with deep sadness that the Afro-American Studies Department announces the passing of former graduate student, Doria Dee Johnson.

Doria earned her Master’s Degree in the Afro-American Studies Department in 2009. Her master’s thesis, “Shh- Big Momma and Dem’ Left Last Night: Shifting…

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Publication Date: June 24, 1996

African Americans have a long history of active involvement and interest in international affairs, but their efforts have been largely ignored by…

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Publication Date: March 1, 1985

Poems consider the past, love, music, romance, art, religion, creation, disease, movies, war, and race relations

Hemant G. Shah
Publication Date: October 16, 2003

Over the past three decades, United States foreign policy, new immigrant communities, and increasing global economic interdependence have…

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