African studies is the study of Africa, especially the cultures and societies of Africa (as opposed to geology, geography, zoology, etc.). The field includes the study of the culture of Africa, history of Africa (Pre-colonial, colonisation of Africa, decolonization of Africa), anthropology of Africa (ethnic groups in Africa, demographics of Africa), politics of Africa, economy of Africa (poverty in Africa), languages of Africa, and religion in Africa (African traditional religion). A specialist in African studies is often referred to as an "Africanist". A key focus of the discipline is to interrogate epistemological approaches, theories and methods in traditional disciplines using a critical lens that inserts African-centred ways of knowing and references. Typically, African studies focus on sub-Saharan Africa, since North Africa is considered by some to be part of the Arab world. This however, is a matter of contention within the discipline itself and debates concerning identity are central to the thrust of its interdisciplinary paradigm.
For Africanists, also known as communitarians, problems within Africa are thought to be caused because the real flesh-and-blood communities that comprise Africa are marginalized from public life as so many "tribes". Therefore the solution is understood to be the need to defend culture and put Africa's age-old communities at the center of African politics. It is also argued that there is a need to "deexoticize" Africa and banalise it, rather than understand Africa as exceptionalized and exoticized.
- Chinua Achebe (1930-2013)
- George Ayittey (1945-)
- Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu (1924-1996)
- François Bassolet (1933-2001)
- Albert Adu Boahen (1932–2006)
- Amílcar Cabral (1924-1973)
- Patrick Chabal (1951-2014)
- John F. Clark (196?-)
- John Henrik Clarke (1915-1998)
- David William Cohen (1943-)
- Basil Davidson (1914-2010)
- Kenneth Dike (1917-1983)
- Cheikh Anta Diop (1923–1986)
- John Fage (1921–2002)
- Frantz Fanon (1925-1961)
- Patrick Manning (1941-)
- Ali Mazrui (1933-)
- Carl Meinhof (1857–1944)
- Micere Githae Mugo
- Godfrey Mwakikagile (1949-)
- Juma Mwapachu (1942-)
- Nji Oumarou Nchare (1964-)
- Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972)
- Julius Nyerere (1922-1999)
- Roland Oliver (1923-)
- Jean Price-Mars (1876–1969)
- Robert Sutherland Rattray (1881–1938)
- Walter Rodney (1942–1980)
- Justinian Rweyemamu (1942-1982)
- Wole Soyinka (1934-)
- Niara Sudarkasa (1938-)
- Jean Suret-Canale (1921–2007)
- Ngugi wa Thiong'o (1938-)
- Antumi Toasijé (1969-)
- Diedrich Westermann (1875–1956)
- Andrzej Zajączkowski (1922–1994)
- Center for African Studies, University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- African Studies Department, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
- Institute of African Studies, Carleton University
- Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana
- Center for African Studies, Rutgers University
- Department of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
- African Studies Center, Michigan State University
- Afrika-Studiecentrum, Leiden
- Centre of West African Studies
- School of Asian and African Studies, Beijing Foreign Studies University
- School of Oriental and African Studies
- University of Florida Center for African Studies
- Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies, University of Rochester
National and transnational centers
- African Studies Association (North America)
- AEGIS (Europe)
- African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (Australasia and the Pacific)
- Asociación Española de Africanistas (Spain)
- Bamum Scripts and Archives Project
- Timbuktu Manuscripts Project
- Internet library sub-saharan Africa (ilissAfrica)
United States of America Howard University, PhD
- Syracuse University, Pan African Studies Masters Program
- Ohio University, Masters in African Studies
- Beloit College, African Studies Minor - Interdisciplinary undergraduate minor field of concentration
- Rutgers University, undergraduate major and minor in African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures, with a regional focus
- Carleton University, Institute of African Studies - Combined Honours Undergraduate Degrees and Collaborative Masters in African Studies
- University of Ghana Masters and PhD in African Studies
- University of Ibadan, Nigeria Masters and PhD in African Studies
Center for African Studies, University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- Gershenhorn, Jerry, “‘Not an Academic Affair’: African American Scholars and the Development of African Studies Programs in the United States, 1942–1960,” Journal of African American History, 94 (Winter 2009), 44–68.
- List of African studies journals
- Africa Bibliography for a categorised list of publications in the field since 1984
- Africana studies
- Cinema of Africa
- African e-Journals Project, Michigan State University (Provides (1) a directory of more than 2,100 journals about Africa with their URLs, and where to find tables of contents, abstracts, and full text of articles online, and (2) a full-text archive of back issues of 11 African scholarly journals in the social sciences and humanities.)
- African Studies Centres worldwide (Excerpt of the website database of ilissAfrica)
- AFRICAN STUDY: African Language Publishing For Children In South Africa (This African study focuses on the dearth of teaching and learning materials in African languages required to deliver effective bilingual education, and on the potential role of translation in offering solutions for this problem.)
Library Guides for African Studies
- "African Studies Research Guides". New York, USA: Columbia University Libraries.
- "African Studies & African History". Research & Subject Guides. Washington DC: Georgetown University Library.
- "African Studies Internet Portal". University of Illinois LibGuides. USA: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University Library.
- "African Studies". LibGuides. USA: University of Iowa Libraries.
- Library. "African Studies". Topic Guides. UK: London School of Economics and Political Science.
- "Africana Studies". Research Guides. USA: New York University Libraries.
- "Africana". LibGuides. USA: Northwestern University, Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies.
- "African Studies". Oxford LibGuides. Oxford, UK: University of Oxford, Bodleian Libraries.
- "African Studies Resources". Princeton LibGuides. USA: Princeton University Library.
- University Libraries. "African Studies". Research Guides. New Jersey, USA: Rutgers University.
- Mamdani, M. (1996), Chapter 1 from Mamdani, M., Citizen and Subject: contemporary Africa and the legacy of late colonialism.