About Us

As part of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, the Council on African Studies (CAS) supports and coordinates the study of Africa within Yale University. Designated by the United States Department of Education as a Comprehensive National Resource Center for the study of Africa, CAS promotes education and scholarly exchange about Africa through its curricula and educational activities open to the general public. Since 1985, CAS has coordinated an Outreach Program aimed at expanding and enhancing knowledge of Africa in educational institutions, the media, business, and government local schools, colleges, and civic groups in Connecticut and throughout New England. Locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, African studies at Yale builds on a legacy dating back to the study of African languages in the late 18th century. Prior to World War II, Yale became one of the first universities to incorporate African studies into its mainstream curriculum, which led to the formal establishment of the Council on African Studies in the post-war years. The Council has continued its legacy of leadership in African studies into the 21st century through its distinguished scholarship, innovative degree programs and projects, and one of the world’s leading Africana library collections.

Strongly committed to interdisciplinary research and initiatives, CAS fosters an academic environment where students and faculty seek novel approaches to emerging issues in African studies through joint endeavors across institutions at Yale, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Council faculty members are affiliated with a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, as well as several of Yale’s professional schools, including the Law School, Epidemiology and Public Health, and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Guided by the conviction that engagement with contemporary African realities contributes to theory building of global relevance, the council’s research and initiatives emphasize the dynamics–historical and contemporary–between African localities and the rest of the world.

CAS administers Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Master of Arts (MA) Programs, and joint degree programs with the Law School, Epidemiology and Public Health, the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and the School of Management. CAS also offers a Certificate in African Studies to students in the University’s doctoral and professional degree programs. Its programs provide students with a broad understanding of the history, culture, and languages of Africa, and grounding in cross-disciplinary approaches to the continent’s social, political, and economic developments. Central to CAS degree programs is its well-known Program in African Languages, which offers regular courses in Swahili, Yoruba, Zulu, and Igbo, and provides instruction for other African languages through the Directed Language Study program in least-taught languages, tutorials, and other initiatives.

For further information on CAS and its activities, please browse our website or contact africanstudies@yale.edu.