African Studies Centre


African Studies New Awards Announcement

African Studies launches 3 new awards to support our students, celebrate their excellence, leadership and community citizenship and enhance students' academic experience. 

Learn more and apply here! 


Akwaba! Bienvenue! Dalụ, E Karo! Ek’abo, Mbote! Ebai! Habari! Kwabo! Mhoro! Molo! ⴰⵣⵓⵍ!Salam! Sawubona! Soo dhowow! Marhaba! Tena yistilign-ጤናይስጥልኝ! Welcome! 

Established in 1978, African Studies is a leading undergraduate program in the field in Canada and one of the top programs in North America offering an Honours Bachelor of Arts in African Studies. The African Studies Centre provides students at the University of Toronto with unique opportunities to study the complexity and dynamism of African societies and the dynamics of processes of socio-economic, cultural, environmental, and political transformations in Africa. Students study the varied histories, ideas and institutions of Africa and its diasporas through interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary lenses at three different levels of specialization.

Students have the option to pursue a Specialist, a Major or a Minor in African Studies.

The African Studies Centre fosters a vibrant intellectual, social and cultural hub of academic excellence with a shared ethos and commitment to public scholarship, social justice, global citizenship, engaged scholarship and a praxis of inclusivity, epistemic diversity, and reflexive community engagement.

Cutting-edge curriculum

Cutting across disciplines, African Studies Programs offer a path to exploring how the organization of African societies has and continues to be shaped by the complex interactions of global and regionally-specific forces, encounters and processes.

Our curriculum has three areas of emphasis: Dynamics and challenges of socio-economic and political transformations in Africa’s “modern era”; Social and political thought of Africa and its Diasporas in Europe, North America and elsewhere; and African popular cultures. Cutting edge interdisciplinary courses offered through African Studies form the core of our Programs. Additional courses from History, Political Science, Anthropology, English, Sociology, Economics, Music, Geography and Planning and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations among others complement our offerings. The Specialist program requires two years of language study designed to broaden access to the literature of Africa in African languages such as Swahili, or French, Portuguese and Arabic. African Studies has offered Swahili, an African indigenous language, for over twenty years.

Interdisciplinary courses, innovative and critical pedagogies

The interdisciplinary courses, through innovative and critical pedagogies, deal with cutting- edge subjects such as political economy, African inventions, nationalism, development, aid, humanitarianism, NGOs, conflict and peacemaking, activism and political struggles, politics, African cultures, ecocriticism, climate and environmental justice, climate change and sustainability, biodiversity conservation, food security, African feminisms, migration and displacement, gender and development, African environmentalism, land acquisition and struggles, health, black freedom, human rights, urbanization, African systems of thought, indigeneity, the slave trade, colonialism, the post-colonial state, neoliberalism, decolonization, Africa and its diasporas, Pan-Africanism, and globalization. Innovative pedagogies, nurturing students’ intellectual curiosity, cultivating engaged, creative and critical thinking and teaching cutting edge courses that recognize Africa as a living place rather than merely as a site for intellectual speculation and study inform our teaching. The African Studies Centre also offers practical courses in African languages and experiential learning opportunities in select sites on the continent.

Additional cross-listed courses with cognate disciplines and other interdisciplinary programs, drawn from disciplines in humanities, social sciences, and sciences, complement our offerings.

Programs requirements

For African Studies Programs’ requirements see African Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Science Calendar. The African Studies Centre also organizes thought-provoking seminars and curates exciting cultural events centered on Africa and its diasporas and works closely with student and community organizations in symbiotic relationships. The African Studies Course Union, organized by engaged students in African Studies, plays a leading role in student governance, citizenship and student knowledge production and dissemination through the publication of the African Studies flagship undergraduate journal: Elimu. The African Students Association also hosts special events of interest to students. Visit their website here and social media platforms on Instagram: @uoftascu| Facebook: African Studies Course Union – UofT| X/Twitter:@uoftas

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About African Studies

The African Studies is housed in New College on the University of Toronto, St. George Campus. Created in 1978, it is one of the oldest and most established African Studies programs in Canada. African Studies is well-known for its innovative and critical pedagogy teaching cutting- edge courses that recognize Africa as a living place rather than merely as a site for intellectual speculation and study. Critical pedagogies nurturing students’ intellectual curiosity, cultivating engaged, creative and critical thinking inform our teaching.

The faculty associated with African Studies are recognized around the world for their innovative and award-winning research and teaching on Africa. Our faculty are committed professors, scholars and student mentors who have taught courses in Africa, lived there, developed strong relationships with universities and research centres on the continent, and have strong and abiding commitment to the area of study. The faculty incite, support and supervise exploratory and social impact research, and international field research opportunities for students. African Studies attracts diverse and talented undergraduate students and has hosted a stellar group of Senior Doctoral Fellows as well as attracted world-renown speakers and international visitors.

Opportunities for field courses in African countries offer students unique and enriching experiential and international experiences. Our Programs are supported by the outstanding collections on Africa at Robarts Library and D.G Ivey Library.

Students in our programs are widely known for their ethical commitment to making a difference in the world, their global citizenship and their impressive award-winning records such as Rhodes Scholarships, competitive Faculty of Arts and Science research awards, University of Toronto Leadership awards, social justice awards such as the Nelson Mandela Social Justice Award, and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Awards among others. The African Studies has also welcomed and hosted a large number of exchange students over the years.

Our cutting edge curriculum, interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and innovative pedagogical practice give students the necessary tools to succeed in graduate studies and in professional programs.

Our graduates

Graduates from African Studies usually pursue further studies in major and leading graduate and professional programs and Universities in Canada and around the world such as the University of Oxford, McGill University, the University of Ottawa, Queen’s University, Columbia University, Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, Brandeis University, London School of Economics and Politics and many others such as Science Po-Paris and the University of Geneva or find rewarding careers in international development, global affairs, law, education, entrepreneurship, journalism, media and production, consulting, business administration and management, public affairs, environmental justice advocacy, and human rights advocacy.

Our location in downtown Toronto allows students to immerse themselves in enriching African  and Afro-diasporic  and Black cultural, musical, artistic scenes and others in the Greater Toronto Area. Africa-related events, cultural and performative sites available and accessible to our students include  galleries at the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, special exhibits and the extensive collections of the Textile Museum of Canada, rich Afrosonic cultural sites and hubs,  The Image Centre,  film festivals, premieres of African cinema  and films at the Toronto International Film Festival, galleries,  the annual Afrofest originally held at Queen’s Park, right in the middle of the U of T campus, now at Woodbine Park in the heart of Toronto, and  the Aga Khan Museum, a short commute to  Scarborough,  along with many serendipitous  ethno-cultural scapes and hubs in The Greater Toronto Area.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and X/Twitter to keep up to date with all African Studies related news, and events!-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

African Studies Centre Co-Curricular Activities

The African Studies Course Union, organized by engaged students in the Program, provides stellar support with special events and plays a leading role in student governance, citizenship and student knowledge production and dissemination through the  publication of the African Studies flagship undergraduate journal Elimu.

Learn More