Center for African and African American Studies

African and African American Studies research and teaching has from its beginnings been directed towards issues, opportunities and problems that engage the academy in its social and environmental contexts. The impetus for scholarly engagement with the larger world is clear in the work of intellectuals like W. E. B. Du Bois, Caroline Bond Day, Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, C. L. R. James, Melville Herskovits and others. This foundational scholarly social engagement in the United States remains fundamental to the field and historically helps to explain the importance of evolving urban centers like Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. in shaping questions and exploring answers in the field of African and African American Studies.

The Center for African and African American Studies is Rice’s primary location for curriculum and research related to Africa and to people of African descent in the Americas and beyond. Offering a broad base for teaching and pedagogical resources as well as interdisciplinary scholarship and programming that brings Rice into national and international conversations, the center is a clearinghouse for critical conversation, instruction, cutting-edge research and community outreach in an interdisciplinary fashion.

A collaboration of the schools of Humanities and Social Sciences, the center produces synergies and harnesses collaborative engagement across the university. The center provides a unique hub for conversations on crucial topics: critical approaches to race and racism, the nature of diasporic histories and identities, and the complexity of Africa’s past, present, and future, to name a few.

Contact Us

To learn more about the Center for African and African American Studies at Rice University, please contact the program administrator at 713-348-6318 or by email at caaas@rice.edu.