African American Studies has been an explicitly interdisciplinary field of study from its very beginnings when formulated at the turn of the 20th century by W. E. B. Du Bois, Carter G. Woodson and other scholars. Over the years, it has developed as a coherent field of study with well-developed methods, theories, and pedagogy. We believe that the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland, College Park has a distinctive intellectual and programmatic focus that continues in this tradition and extends it through situating the study of peoples of African descent at the intersection of the social sciences and cultural and historical studies.
Since its inception in 1969, the University of Maryland’s African American Studies Department (AASD) has evolved into a leading undergraduate program that has become an integral part of the University of Maryland and the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. The AASD faculty strive for excellence in scholarship and teaching and provide considerable service to the campus and community. The department has been a cornerstone in the diversity efforts of the university. Faculty recruitments in AASD have been central to the College’s and University’s celebrated achievements in diversity and the department provides substantial service in its teaching of CORE/Diversity courses in the university. Until recently, the program taught over 2000 students per year in what are mostly CORE requirements for Maryland students.