Black World Studies

Black World Studies provides students with a multicultural and international education. Part of Dominican’s Interdisciplinary Studies, the program draws from several disciplines including social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, fine arts and education.

Students learn to:

  • Understand and mutually respect multiple ethnicities
  • Interpret the historical, cultural, political and socioeconomic experiences of peoples of African descent
  • Study the linkages and relationships between Africans on the continent and those in Diaspora
  • Understand the experiences and contributions of peoples of “black” ancestry to the rest of the world

The Black World Studies major is designed to enable students to demonstrate a deep understanding of black world experience, culture, societies, life, history, and philosophies. Students must also be able to grasp, analyze, and synthesize the various applicable texts used or recommended by disciplines that are included in the major.


Eligible students can travel to the annual conference of the National Council for Black Studies.

Dominican also offers two Study Abroad opportunities for students studying Black World Studies.

Elder’s Council

The Elder’s Council is an advisory board for the Black World Studies major. Their goal is to showcase the rich and diverse culture of people of African descent, and to broaden the educational experience of the students, community, and adjoining communities. Their mission is to seek, identify, and advise in the creation of programs and activities that enhance the Black World Studies experience at Dominican.

Nkuzi Nnam, PhD
Director, Black World Studies
Professor of Philosophy
(708) 524-6952
Office: Fine Arts 321 


Black World Studies is the study of "blackness" both within and without geographic, temporal spatial, political, and/or ethnic boundaries. Blackness is defined as an evolving set of constructs that elucidate key elements of African Diasporic history and culture through utilization of wide-ranging academic disciplines. This approach moves in concert with contemporary scholarly trends that seek to situate black world studies in a broader international scope.

The global examples of blackness brought to the forefront of black world studies parallel the unique challenge of black identity in a global environment. Thus students who elect this major or choose selected courses are prepared to engage in a number of post-graduate options that contribute to enhancing global cultures and identities, not unlike other university programs. The choice of the name "Black World Studies" over Africana, African, or African-American studies is a reflective one that embodies its global parameters. It is designed to engage themes like Atlantic history or culture; a revision of themes of culture; and contact between Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Black World Studies also seeks to engage blackness in other distinct contexts such as the Pacific Rim and/or the Middle East examples of blackness, or evolving methodological questions around the validity of Afro-centricity and interpretations of blackness relative to subaltern and post-colonial themes, all of which coalesce in a well-developed Black World Studies program.

Advising Worksheets

Current students, access advising worksheets here