Africana Studies

A Disciplinary Quest for Both Theory and Method

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About the Book

Known variously as African studies, black studies, African American studies, Afro-American studies, and Africology, the academic study of the African diaspora as a holistic discipline is a relatively new phenomenon. University programs have been created with reference to a disciplinary matrix, retarding the development of appropriate theory and methods throughout Africana studies.
Fifteen leaders in the field of Africana studies provide the conceptual framework for establishing the field as a mature discipline. The focus is on four basic areas: administration and organizational structure; disciplinary matrix; Africana womanism; and cultural aesthetics. The work examines both the theory and the method of scholars in African and African-diaspora studies.

About the Author(s)

James L. Conyers, Jr., is a winner of the Cheikh Anta Diop Ankh Award for Distinguished Research in the Discipline of African American Studies. He is the director of the African American Studies Program and university professor of African American Studies at the University of Houston.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by James L. Conyers, Jr.
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 247
Bibliographic Info: references, index
Copyright Date: 2005 [1997]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2304-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

A Note to the Reader      1

Preface      3

Part 1: Administration and Organizational Structure in Africana Studies

1. Black Studies: An Overview      7

2. Notes on Administration of Africana Studies Departments and Programs      16

3. Black Studies: A New Story      29

4. Administration of African American Studies at Black Colleges      45


5. “Can the Big Dog Run?” Developing African American Studies at the University of Georgia      49

6. Africology: Building an Academic Discipline      60

Part 2: Disciplinary Matrix and Analysis

7. Afrocentricity and the Quest for Method      69


8. Africana Studies and Epistemology: A Discourse in the Sociology of Knowledge      91

9. Reaching for Higher Ground: Toward an Understanding of Black/Africana Studies      108

10. African American Studies: Locating a Niche in the Public Sphere of Higher Eucation      130

Part 3: Africana Womanism

11. Womanist Issues in Black Studies: Towards Integrating Africana Womanism into Africana Studies      143


12. Black Women, Feminism, and Black Liberation      155

13. Feminism or Womanism? A Black Woman Defining Self      175

14. On the Myth of Male Supremacy: Adam and Eve and the Imperative of a New African-centered Epistemology of Gender      180

Part 4: Cultural Aesthetics

15. Culture, Language, and Symbols in Africana Studies: An Etymological Analysis      195

16. The Black poet in Mississippi, 1990–1980      208

About the Contributors      229

Index      231

Book Reviews & Awards

“explores the development of theory and methodology in establishing African and African-diaspora studies as an academic discipline…essential for Africana collections”—American Libraries.