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A Message from the Head

Welcome to UIC’s department of Black Studies! Black Studies takes as its analytic starting point the lived experiences and community formations of Black people across the African diaspora, including Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. We place our in-depth analyses of Black people in critical conversation with those of other communities, recognizing the need to understand both parallels and divergences.

Black Studies uses robust multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to studying complex social problems and recognizes the importance of generating insights from beyond a single disciplinary perspective. Core and affiliated faculty in Black Studies hail from a variety of fields, including English, Political Science, History, Sociology, Performance Studies, Gender Studies, and Anthropology.

Black Studies at UIC houses and supports the Black Midwest Initiative (BMI), a progressive collective of scholars, students, activists, organizers, and community-involved people focused on documenting and advocating for the lives of people of African descent situated throughout the Midwest and Rust Belt regions of the United States.

Students pursuing the undergraduate major or minor in Black Studies learn about the Black diaspora in ways that engage and inspire while being trained in critical thinking, written communication, and the practice of research—all of which are suitable for a variety of career pathways. Graduate and pre-professional students seeking to add depth to their understanding of aspects of the Black diaspora can find a supportive intellectual community by pursuing our graduate concentration in Black Studies.

We invite you to become part of our community and join us at our events. If you’d like to know more about Black Studies at UIC, please contact us.

Joseph O. Jewell

Professor & Head

Upcoming Events in Black Studies Heading link