African American studies at Iowa offers an overview on the experience of African-descended people throughout the diaspora. Our goal is to generate leadership through civic engagement, scholarship, and teaching. We strive to promote diversity, equity and inclusion and service to the university, as well as Iowa City and surrounding communities. We help students learn about the foundations of African American Studies developing new culturally intellectual perspectives. We want students to better understand African American experience related to three core areas: History, Religion and the Diaspora; Literature and Performing Arts; and Media, Politics, and Society. Within these areas, students are asked to carefully consider the construction of race, ethnicity, and identity along with the performance of class, gender, and sexuality. As our students acquire a more in-depth awareness of African American culture it will enable them to critically interrogate their culture and the world around them.

This interdisciplinary unit draws on faculty from many academic departments, including American Studies, Communication Studies, English, History, Journalism & Mass Communication, Religious Studies, Rhetoric, Sociology, Theatre Arts, and Women's Studies.