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Professor John Arthur (left) with some of the students enrolled in UMD's new minor in African and African American Studies.

New African and African American Studies Minor Celebrated.

Dr. Rose Brewer
Dr. Rose Brewer

UMD’s new minor in African and African American Studies will inaugurate its program on April 27, 28, and 29. The inaugural celebration will include a public lecture by Dr. Rose Brewer, a professor of African American and African Studies on the U of M Twin Cities campus. Entitled “Wealth Inequality in the United States: Contextualizing the Effects of Race, Class, and Gender," Dr. Brewer’s lecture will be held on Wed., April 27 at 2:00 pm in the Library Rotunda. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Poster for Brewer lecture
This presentation is made possible by the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative Grant received by Drs. John Arthur and Hilary Kowino. Financial support also came from the College of Education and Human Service Professions, School of Fine Arts, College of Liberal Arts, the Labovitz School of Business and Economics, and the Swenson College of Science and Engineering.

Dr. John Arthur, professor of Sociology/Anthropology, and coordinator of the new African and African American Studies minor sees it as an important step in fostering an inclusive curriculum and at the same time expand the diversity and range of courses available for students.

Arthur noted that the program has attracted students from a wide range of disciplines. “It gives students the chance to broaden their academic perspectives regarding thematic issues concerning Africans and African Americans,” he said. Last semester, he taught the Introduction to African and African American Studies class. It drew students from business, liberal arts, engineering, and education. This semester, he is teaching the Introduction to the Atlantic Slave Trade. There are 42 students taking the course.

The new program is multidisciplinary. Instructors come from the College of Liberal Arts, School of Fine Arts, and the College of Education and Human Services Professions. Examples of elective courses in the minor are History 3615 (Modern Africa), Women Studies 3750 (Voices of African Women), Music 2005 (African Roots of American Music), Sociology 3330 (The American Civil Rights Movement), and Political Science 3525 (African Politics).

For more information about the African and African American Studies program, visit



Written by Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann,

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UMD home page editor, Cheryl Reitan,

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