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African-American and African Studies Department records

 Series — Box: 1
Identifier: RG 18-01


African-American and African Studies Department Records date from 1970-1991 and document the history and activities of this unit at Mount Holyoke College. Materials include reports, articles, press releases, and announcements primarily concerning the creation and early years of the Department (1970-1973).


  • Creation: 1971 - 1991

Historical note:

The Black Studies Department was instituted at Mount Holyoke College during the 1970/1971 academic year. In the spring of 1970, the faculty voted to establish the Black Studies Department, an interdisciplinary department, at Mount Holyoke to work cooperatively with the five college community. Students at Mount Holyoke were able to have an interdisciplinary major at this time by combining courses offered in the five college community. In the 1974/1975 academic year, a five college major in Black Studies was developed. At this time, the focus of the major was on the experience of black people throughout the world, encompassing African-American, African, and Caribbean components. The experience of these peoples was seen as necessarily connected and influenced by being the end product of an essentially colonial and imperialistic experience involving superordination and subordination in which blacks were most often subordinated. In the 1990/1991 academic year, the Black Studies Department was changed to the African-American Studies Department and was no longer dependent on five college collaboration. However, the department did remain interdisciplinary. In the 1992/1993 academic year, the department was renamed African and African-American Studies. The name was changed again in the 1994/1995 academic year to African American and African Studies. At this time, the department's self-description changed to include a description of the major. The purpose of the major was to describe and analyze the origins and experiences of people of African descent wherever they may live or have lived. The major was also described as inherently comparative, international, and interdisciplinary in approach. An intent of the major was to conduct an analysis and investigation of the cultural, historical, political, economic, social, and psychological consequences of the dispersal of Africans from the African continent to diverse regions of the world.


0.2 Linear Feet (1 box)

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Repository Details

Part of the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections Repository

50 College Street
8 Dwight Hall
South Hadley MA 01075-6425 USA