04/18/14 5:15 AM

Academic Programs

The African Diaspora & The World

The African Diaspora & The World (ADW) Program

The African Diaspora and the World (ADW) Program is an interdisciplinary instructional program that provides the only two-semester course sequence, ADW 111 and ADW 112required of all students at Spelman College.

In keeping with the mission of the College, the ADW Program communicates the values and concepts central to Spelman: sisterhood, leadership, a love of learning, sensitivity to cultural differences and the use of diverse methods of scholarly engagement.

The overarching vision of ADW is one of preparing students to develop a perception of themselves as citizens of a changing and increasingly compressed world, of sharpening the awareness of diverse cultural and historical experiences and of promoting the association between learning and social change.

The more specific mission of the African Diaspora and the World Program, in both required and minor courses, is to offer a gender-informed, interdisciplinary study of the histories and cultures of Africa and its diasporas.

Particular emphasis is placed on the intersections and connections among the various communities of African descent globally. Through scholarly and experiential engagement, the program seeks to prepare students to become members of a world community committed to positive social change. Building on discussions of epistemology, pedagogy and other critical terms of engagement in ADW 111 and ADW 112, students at the end of the two-course sequence and ADW minor will be able to do the following:

  • Analyze historical and modern diasporas in terms of international migration, movement and community formation.

  • Critically analyze and evaluate how internal and external power relations have shaped and impacted Africa and its diasporas.

  • Examine, interrogate and deconstruct dominant knowledge systems about Africa and its diasporas.

  • Identify how Africa and African diasporan communities have shaped the modern world.
  • Analyze categories of identity, especially in relation to difference and the construction of gender, race, ethnicity, class and citizenship.
  • Identify in the context of Africa and its diasporas the link between degradation of the environment and human exploitation.

With the minor in African Diaspora Studies and the recent initiative of Spelman Going Global, the ADW Program also offers opportunities for experiential engagement with communities of African and African descended people globally. 

ADW short-term study travel courses, which include in-country experiences in London and Liverpool in the U.K., as well as Ghana provide international experience as well as intercultural understanding.








African Diaspora and the World Program
350 Spelman Lane, Box 314
Milligan 2305
Atlanta, GA 30314

Soraya, Mekerta, Ph.D.
(404) 270-5552/5531

Dokubo Goodhead, Ph.D.
Associate Director
(404) 270-5491

Crystal D. Dollison
Sr. Admin. Assistant
(404) 270-5530
Fax: (404) 270-5528


Study Travel

Black London
and Liverpool


“We at Spelman are at a crucial juncture in the College's history. In preparing bright and promising students for roles of leadership in the new era, we must continue making decisions about curricula.

We must be careful to maintain the very fine tradition of education at Spelman, a tradition that has served it exceedingly well for over 100 years, but we must also enhance that tradition in anticipation of the growing challenges of a changing world.”