Black Studies Major

Sample Courses

  • Black Cinema
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Intro to Black Studies
  • We Can’t Breathe: Black Death and State-Sponsored Violence in the Contemporary United States

Popular Electives

  • African American Art History Survey
  • African American Voting and Politics
  • African Environmental History
  • Connections in Film: Black Queer Cinema
  • Gender, Sexuality, and Literature: African Women's Literature
  • Topics in American Studies: Legacies of Slavery

Study Abroad Courses

  • American Indians in Europe (Oxford)
  • Biology and Global Health (Ghana)
  • History, Environment, and Conservation (Madagascar)
  • Language Field School in Afro-Hispanic Societies (Equatorial Guinea)
  • Modernity in West Africa (Senegal)
  • Student Teaching in Ghana

Recent Student Conferences & Fellowships

  • African Studies Association
  • Annual Africa Conference
  • Black Studies Colloquium
  • Conference on African American and African Diasporic Cultures and Experiences
  • COPLAC NE Regional Undergraduate Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity Conference
  • Huron University’s International Undergraduate Conference on Race and Anti-Slavery Activism

Alumni Spotlight

Steph C. Iasiello '12, PhD

Majors: Black Studies; English Literature

Career: Iasiello is pursuing a JD at Georgia State University College of Law. They served as a Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow and Director of Information and Education at the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison.

Black Studies Major

Why study Black studies at Geneseo?

The major is designed for students who want to understand why Black lives matter from an interdisciplinary standpoint. Our country is dealing with the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow, confronting the devastation of mass incarceration, and understanding recent events in the light of white supremacy. Students are looking for ways to act, challenge, and organize, and student activists and students of color often turn to Black studies faculty for allies, information, support, and a sense of belonging.

By working closely with faculty advisors, students design an individualized program of courses and internship experiences, drawing knowledge from the humanities, the sciences and social sciences, the arts, and other fields that will help prepare them to face the challenges of living in an increasingly global and diverse world.


Program Options

Program Highlights

  • Black studies faculty, courses, and programming are central to Geneseo's priority to become a non-racist campus and the nation's first equity-centered public honors college
  • Regularly offered courses include Intro to Black Studies; Black Lives Matter; Black Humanities: The 1619 Project; Jazz Techniques; and Post-Colonial Literature
  • Performance as Social Change is a microcredential program for students interested in exploring the critical role arts-based performances play in facilitating and advancing social change
  • Students have access to international and study abroad programs in a variety of countries, such as Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Madagascar, Senegal, and the United Kingdom
  • Geneseo has connections with Kwame Nkrumah University in Ghana and recently hosted Ghanaian scholars
  • A Black studies Listserv connects students to Black studies classes, events, and issues

Example Careers

  • Community Organizer
  • Government Professional
  • Lawyer
  • Psychologist
  • Public Interest Advocate
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Social Worker
  • Teacher or Professor

Recent Employers

  • Active Plus, Inc.
  • Amnesty International
  • The City College Urban Scholars Program
  • ESL Federal Credit Union
  • MadameNoire Online Magazine

Recent Grad Schools

  • Emory University
  • The Graduate College, North Carolina A&T State University
  • Nazareth College

Contact Info

Susana Castillo-Rodriguez, Co-Coordinator & Associate Professor of Global Languages and Cultures
Welles Hall 206B

Maria Helena Lima, Co-coordinator & Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Welles Hall 225A

Black Studies

Black Studies Faculty

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