Secondary Field in African and African American Studies

Students enrolled in a PhD program in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, including Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Economics, English, Government, History, History of Art and Architecture, History of American Civilization, History of Science, Music, Philosophy, Sociology, and Religion may achieve formal recognition for completing a secondary field in African and African American Studies. Graduate students who choose African and African American Studies as a secondary field will benefit from learning how to do interdisciplinary work on the basis of the substantial body of scholarly writing on African and African American social, cultural, economic and political life and history. The Department also encourages comparative work on African, African American, and diasporic topics.

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Graduate students must meet the following requirements in order to have the secondary field officially recorded on their transcript.

A.  Coursework

Completion of four graduate-level courses in African and African American Studies with honors grades of B+ or above.

B.  Demonstrating Mastery in the Secondary Field

Successful completion of a research paper demonstrating mastery in the field of African and African American Studies is also required. Ordinarily this is the most successful graduate term paper written for one of the four African and African American Studies courses.

C.  Record-keeping

Students interested in declaring a secondary field in African and African American Studies should submit to the Director of Graduate Studies evidence of their successful participation in four appropriate graduate courses in the Department of African and African American Studies as well as the research paper. Once they obtain the approval of the DGS they and the registrar will receive certification of successful completion of secondary field requirements.

Additional Information is available from the Graduate Program Coordinator

Resources for Currently Enrolled Students


Graduate Colloquium

Students and faculty have the possibility of meeting twice a semester to workshop their work. For dates and details of upcoming colloquia,

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There are several fellowships graduate students can apply to, from conference travel fellowships to year-long ones. For more information, application requirements, and other details,

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Teaching Fellows

The department appoints Teaching Fellows twice a year. For more information on appointments, deadlines, available positions, and more,

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Academic Contacts