Students and a faculty member talking outside of a building.

Villanova University’s Africana Studies Program connects faculty, students and community members interested in the academic study of Africa and the African diaspora.

With 25 faculty affiliates, about 20 courses offered each semester, a robust calendar of public events, and a major and a minor, Africana Studies has grown significantly since its founding in 1994. Whether the topic is politics in Africa, the literature of the Black diaspora in France, the history of the US civil rights movement, or Black theology, the program encourages critical thinking—crossing disciplinary boundaries, and connecting academic work with lived reality. The Africana Studies Program pursues knowledge that has often been overlooked or undervalued, and it aims to help the University develop deeply inclusive community.


Africana Studies brings together students and scholars using a diverse array of methods, from ethnographic to literary-critical, from philosophical to historical, in order to explore the worlds of Black people from many angles.

Africana Studies expands students’ horizons as they explore cultures of African and African diasporic people, potentially linking into Philadelphia-area community engagement opportunities, study abroad opportunities and international careers.

Africana Studies equips students to think critically about their world, questioning assumptions about race, colonialism, gender and sexuality, and exploring what social justice might mean in today’s world. Our courses, community engagement and campus events also engage with the economic, social, and political realities of Black people and Afro-descendants in the United States, continental Africa, the Caribbean, Brazil, and Western Europe.

Olukunle P. Owolabi, PhD
Director, Africana Studies
St. Augustine Center 258
Phone: 610-519-4727

Jessica Schwartz

Program Coordinator
St Augustine Center 202
Phone: 610-519-7717

Gabriela Molina
Graduate Assistant