Archives and Special Collections
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360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
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Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note


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Collection Overview
Name of Creator:Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). Dept. of African American Studies.
Title:Dept. of African American Studies records
Reference Code:A118
Location Code:33/3, 34/1-2
Extent:11.25 cubic ft. (12 boxes)
Scope and Content Abstract:The collection documents the establishment and development of the Department of African American Studies at Northeastern University. Topics documented include course development in the areas of African American political and cultural experience, African history, and diaspora topics; relations with other University departments; staffing; long-term planning; course scheduling; faculty research; and student evaluation of courses and professors. Records include memoranda, correspondence, meeting minutes, course descriptions, syllabi, event fliers and programs, and department reports.
Historical Abstract:The Department of Afro-American Studies was created in 1973 by the College of Liberal Arts in response to the demands of Northeastern's African American students and a nation-wide trend towards the foundation of ethnic studies departments. During the 1970s, the Department worked to establish itself and appeal to a wide range of student interests by offering classes on the African American experience in literature, art, music, history, politics, and film. The Department worked co-operatively with the African-American Institute, the African American Master Artists-in-Residence program, and Project Ujima to provide a variety of services, classes, and events for Northeastern students and the surrounding Roxbury community. In 1975, the Department changed its name to the African American Studies Department. By 1980, the Department had six faculty members and had broadened its course offerings and relationships with other University departments, offering cross-disciplinary courses with the history and music departments. In the early 1980s, the Department suffered considerable attrition, losing most of its full-time faculty positions; it was listed in the course catalog as an “Interdisciplinary Program” rather than as a full department. In 1989, department status was regained, and the number of full-time faculty members in the African American Studies program began to increase. The Department began reaching out to area educators, offering summer institutes for Boston-area teachers on topics in African and African American history and literature. The Department currently has six full-time faculty and draws on a nation-wide scholarly community for visiting scholars and lecturers.
Language and Scripts:The collection is entirely in English.
System of Arrangement:Arranged in 2 series: 1. Administration; and 2. Faculty and Courses.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Austin, Richard
  • Bailey, Ronald
  • Carter, Holly M.
  • Chandler, Robin
  • Chiang, Gail
  • Derby, King
  • Gaddy, Kenneth
  • Gebre-Medhin, Jordan
  • Jacobs, Stanley
  • Lake, Edgar
  • Mcintosh, Sylvester, 1934-
  • Nyangani, Daniel
  • Samkange, Stanlake John Thompson, 1922-
  • Thurland, Karen
  • Vessup, Reuben
  • Warren, Joseph D. (Joseph David), 1938-

  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.).
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). African-American Institute
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). Afro-Caribbean Music Project
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). Dept. of African-American studies
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). John D. O'Bryant African-American Institute

  • African-American studies
Conditions Governing Access:Records are closed for 25 years from their date of creation unless researchers have written permission from the creating office. Records containing faculty or student information are closed for 75 years from their date of creation.
Technical Access:One DVD in Box 13 cannot be opened.
Immediate Source of Acquisition:Transferred from the Department of African American Studies.
Finding Aids:African American Master Artists-in-Residence Program records (A80); John D. O'Bryant African-American Institute records (A81).
Related Archival Materials:

African American Master Artists-in-Residence Program records (A80);John D. O'Bryant African-American Institute records (A81)

Processor:Finding aid prepared by Hanna Clutterbuck, September 2010