African Literature, Visual Arts, and Performance, Certificate

Program Code: ALVAP_UCT

Program Description

The purpose of this 12-credit Certificate is to provide students with an opportunity to comprehend the breadth of African literature, visual arts, and performance, and how these creative cultural practices respond to and shape political, economic, and social concerns. Through courses that introduce them to an inclusive array of African artistic and expressive practices, students will gain fluency in the cultural and creative diversity of African and Afro-diasporic peoples. Students will receive training in critical theory that prepares them to understand and interpret forms of expressive culture in African contexts and through African knowledge systems. They will learn to analyze the complex interrelations of local and global audiences, networks, and traditions in both formal artistic practice and vernacular art forms in their material, immaterial, and embodied expressions. Students may choose to focus on an area of study (e.g. performance) or to pursue an interdisciplinary selection of courses.

Learning objectives include:

  • Students will be able to identify, describe, and analyze prevalent forms of African expressive culture and artistic practice and the key issues they address;
  • Students will be able to think critically and discuss how local and global networks shape the production, dissemination, and reception of myriad forms of expressive cultures;
  • Students will understand the ways in which African creative and artistic expression contributes to politics, social life, and knowledge production;
  • Students will gain hands-on experience in field research or artistic practice through study abroad opportunities;
  • Students will gain skills related to a career in the arts or in foundations, museums, educational institutions or other non-profits that support, research in, or teach cultural diversity and the arts.

Program Requirements

To earn an undergraduate certificate in African Literature, Visual Arts, and Performance, a minimum of 12 credits is required.

Core Courses
Select 6 credits from the following:6
Africa in Cinema Keystone/General Education Course
African Art Keystone/General Education Course
African Studies Methodologies
Introduction to African Literatures Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to West African Dance and Culture
Elective Courses
Select 6 credits from the following:6
Introduction to Contemporary Africa Keystone/General Education Course
Afro-Hispanic Civilization Keystone/General Education Course
Women, Gender, and Feminisms in Africa Keystone/General Education Course
Special Topics
Language Rights, Policy, and Planning
Topics in the Art of the African Diaspora
AFR 459
Special Topics
Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas Keystone/General Education Course
Topics in African Art
African Drama
African Novel
Mojah Fusion Dance
African Literature of French Expression
Reading Black, Reading Feminist

No prerequisites required.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Liberal Arts Academic Advising
Use the Liberal Arts Meet the Academic Advisers web page to see the contact information for the specific adviser(s) of this program


University Park

133 Willard Building
University Park, PA 16802