Department of African and African-American Studies marks 40th anniversary

KU will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its Department of African and African-American Studies with a symposium April 28.

The event begins at noon at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union with a series of panels chronicling the history of the department, from the student activism that led to its creation in 1970-71 to its current existence as the only university in the Big 12 Conference offering a master of arts program in African and African-American studies.

The symposium concludes at 5:45 p.m., followed by reception and entertainment in the Malott Room.

In addition to reviewing the department’s history, the symposium will stimulate an interdisciplinary dialogue concerning the practice, the state, the history and the future of African and African-American studies in the academy and beyond.

KU’s African and African-American studies department is one of a few such academic departments that were created in the late 1960s and early 1970s throughout the country. KU’s department is within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“The 40th anniversary of AAAS presents a unique opportunity to chronicle more than four decades of work to create a stable academic unit in the face of daunting challenges both within and without the university,” said Peter Ukpokodu, department chair.

“Since its inception at KU, the African and African-American studies department has continued to alter the very fabric of university life and teaching.

“The formation of AAAS created a space for students who had previously been excluded to be included in the university curriculum and in the process changed the fundamental character of higher education forever. The women and men affiliated with the department, over the course of the past 40 years, with their interdisciplinary, multiracial intellectual focus, have continually been at the forefront of the transformation of academia to a more global, diverse, interdisciplinary place of higher learning.”

Campus closeup
Mulu Negash, academic adviser, McNair Scholars Program
Read more

Poll


The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).