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Course & Subject Guides

African Studies and African Country Resources @ Pitt

This guide provides selected high-quality resources on the global, political, economic, social and cultural aspects of the continent of Africa and its countries. It features individual country pages as well as sources searchable by topic or country.

AFRICAN Studies and Country Research

What is African Studies?

The University of Pittsburgh's African Studies Program  was established in 2001 as an interdisciplinary and cross cultural center by the University Center for International Studies.  The Center, which is one of 11 nationally recognized International Studies Center, offers both Graduate and Undergraduate Certificates.

This guide focuses most heavily on the global, political, economic, social and cultural aspects of the African continent, African nations and the resources supporting those subjects.

The Program provides students and the community with opportunities to expand and widen their knowledge of Africa as a world region, and foster a greater understanding of the forces that shape the extremely diverse and richly endowed continent.

Classes, sponsored lectures and events offered by the Program encourage better understanding of the social, political and economic systems of Africa and African nations. They also offer insights into the impact of African societies on other countries.

Hillman Library Collections

Hillman Library Resources

The collections consist of over 400,000 volumes, plus hundreds of newspapers and periodicals from or about Africa and the region. Many of the latter are in electronic format or external databases. Strengths of the collection are the culture, political science, economics, international relations, history, literature, and the life of immigrants from African countries in the United States.

"African Studies" Collection - located within the General Collection on the upper floors of Hillman

African Studies' interdisciplinary collection of print and electronic material supports the African Studies Program and many other university departments.  It includes nearly all areas of the social sciences (history, economics, anthropology, sociology, political science, international affairs, government and public affairs), and humanities (arts, music, and literature) related to Africa and its countries, as well as material on their environments.

Most material is in English with some material in African languages, French, and other Western languages. Other materials relating to the region are found in the Frick Fine Arts Library, and the libraries of the Barco Law School and Katz Graduate School of Business.                      

African American / Africana Collection - located on the first floor of Hillman

The African American Collection supports the Africana Studies Department in their study, research, interpretation, and the dissemination of knowledge concerning African American, African, and Caribbean affairs and culture. This collection houses material on the African Americans, Africans, and Caribbean cultures in the following disciplines: Arts, Education, History, Literature, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Sociology, Sports, and Religion.

Video Collection - is housed in the University's Stark Media Resource Center  located in Hillman Library.

AFRICANA Studies Research

What is Africana Studies?

Africana Studies is the study of the history and culture of African peoples.  Africana Studies examines the problems, and perspectives of Blacks in Africa and the African Diaspora, which the African Union defined as the “people [and communities] of African origin living outside the [African] continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality”.  

Most Africana departments in the U.S. grew out of Black Studies departments.  As a result "Africana Studies" at Pitt centers on the three-tier thrust of our Africana department        

1. African,  2. African American, and  3. Caribbean social sciences and humanities.

It is to be distinguished from African Studies as Africana Studies' focus combines Africa and the African diaspora (which includes Afro-Latin American studies, African American studies, and Black studies) into a concept of an "African experience" or cultural ideology with an Afrocentric perspective.