Amoaba Gooden, Ph.D.
Chair and Associate Professor
Oscar Ritchie Hall
Message from the Chair
As an established academic unit housed within the College of Arts and Sciences, the fundamental value of the Department of Pan-African Studies lies in being an intrinsically diverse academic discipline. Upholding the integrity of the discipline of Black Studies, the department views people of African descent at the center of their own historical and current experiences. As such, the Department’s mission aligns with the central praxis of the National Council of Black Studies by balancing intellectual excellence with social responsibility.
Created over forty years ago, DPAS has grown into a strong and vibrant department as it continuously strives to meet the challenge of the dynamic learning environment created by our first Chair, Dr. Edward Crosby. The department is a diverse community of students, staff and faculty and comprises multiple units including the Institute of African American Affairs (IAAA), the Uumbaji Art Gallery, the African American Community Theatre (ACT), the Center of Pan-African Culture (CPAC) and a Library.
The department supports Kent State’s core value of encouraging diversity and remains committed to continued enhancement in the areas of cultural competencies and diversity orientation, both of which are intellectually and fundamentally embedded in Pan-African Studies. These competencies ensure students’ competitiveness in the workplace. DPAS continues to augment and promote our curriculum in order to enhance the department and provide students with an education that is relevant in the twenty-first century. In addition, DPAS continues to engage with many loyal alumni who have helped shape the department and influenced the campus environment for African American students and other students of color.
Our major goals for the 2013-2014 academic year include 1) augmenting the curriculum to reflect disciplinary excellence; 2) working towards the establishment of an inter-disciplinary graduate program in Pan-African Studies; and 3) working towards building stronger ties with local community organizations such as the Way of the Mind and Body (WOMB).
During the academic year we have an exciting speakers series planned which explores American, African and Caribbean experiences in the global world. Please see our events calendar for upcoming information, and make sure to visit this website regularly to see what events are coming up on our calendar. We also hope you will visit our Facebook page at Kent State Pan-African Studies and “like” us.