Welcome to the African/African American Literature Minor! Our program offers students a unique opportunity to explore African diasporic literatures—the literature produced by people of African descent in places all over the world, including Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. Our students develop critical understanding not only of black literature and literary theory but also of local, national, and global issues of racial identity, institutionalized racism, and anti-racist resistance.
The AAAL Minor gives you the opportunity to read and discuss a diverse group of black writers and culture-makers whose brilliant artistry and keen critical insights will reshape the way you see yourself and the world around you. You'll develop your skills at interpreting black texts and understanding how they reveal, resist, and redefine racial categories.
We live in a moment when the concept of being "post-racial" is often invoked to argue that racism is a thing of the past. But we also live in a time of mass racialized incarceration, racial profiling, and ever-widening racial inequality. The critical and historical perspectives that the AAAL Minor gives you can help you understand these crises and figure out ways of intervening in them.
The AAAL Minor teaches students that paying attention to race and its historical meanings—rather than pretending that "color blindness" is always the solution to racial problems—is the best way to confront racial inequality. By learning to be conscious of color and how it operates in our world, you'll become more aware of white privilege and learn to appreciate the lives, experiences, and literary traditions often marginalized by color-blind discourse.
The AAAL Minor can be combined with any undergraduate major at WCU. Whether you're majoring in English or fields such as History, Criminal Justice, Social Work, Communications, or Women's & Gender Studies, you'll find that the critical study of African and African American literature can enrich and inform your major in profound ways.
In today's diverse and globalized workplace, employers are always looking for graduates with the multicultural skills and perspectives that our minor provides. By declaring the AAAL Minor, you'll ensure that prospective employers see your interests in diversity and multiculturalism and recognize your credentials in the field.
Students in the African/African American Literature Minor will:
Like most minors at WCU, the AAAL Minor requires students to take six courses, or 18 credits, in order to complete the program. Our students start by taking two required survey courses—one in African Literature and one in African American Literature—and then finish by choosing four electives. View our updated AAAL Minor advising sheet .
Students in the AAAL Minor may choose from a wide range of courses in order to complete the program. Please check the online Schedule of Classes to learn about course availability for a given semester, keeping in mind that at least three to four AAAL Minor courses are offered each semester. If you're a student in the minor and unable to find a course that you need to finish the program, please contact the Minor Coordinator (or the instructor of record) about the possibility of individualized instruction. View the complete list of required and elective courses for the AAAL Minor.
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The AAAL Minor has recently added four exciting new courses to its program:
The AAAL Minor hosts roundtables, van trips, screenings, and other community-building events throughout the academic year. For example:
Interested in declaring the African/African American Literature Minor? Visit the WCU Registrar's Registration page for instructions on how to submit an Academic Plan Change Request in myWCU.