Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, has announced that it is now offering a bachelor’s degree program in African and African diaspora studies. Black studies was established a half century ago at Boston College, but until now there has not been a major in the subject.
The new major explores the history, culture, and politics of Africans on the continent and African-descended peoples in the U.S., the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. It familiarizes students with the multiplicity and diversity of the African diaspora with courses in English, history, sociology, philosophy, theology, communication, romance languages, and art.
The college explains that the mission of the new major program is to introduce histories, cultures, and experiences of African-descended peoples to the widest range of students; to support serious academic research on Africa and the African diaspora; give African-descended students and their peers opportunities to examine the depth and breadth of African legacies on this continent and throughout the world; more closely link local black communities with BC; and project the significance of realities of people of African descent to the intellectual life of BC and larger communities.
C. Shawn McGuffey, an associate professor of sociology and African and African diaspora studies at Boston College is leading the new major program. He is the author of the forthcoming book Blaming Mothers: Gender, Race and Male Child Sexual Abuse, which will be published by the University of Chicago Press. Dr. McGuffey is a graduate of Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. He earned a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.