The Department of African American Studies is an intellectual community committed to producing, refining and advancing knowledge of Black people in the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Africa. A key component of our mission is to interrogate the meanings and dimensions of slavery and colonialism, and their continuing political, social and cultural implications. We fully embrace the notion that a public institution can lead in shaping and defining disciplines, not just teaching them. We contribute to this mission by investing in a strong faculty and talented and ambitious graduate students from a variety of backgrounds. Our faculty is drawn from disciplines as diverse as anthropology, cultural studies, linguistics, literature, history, sociology, performance, and education. But we are not simply a collection of experts from traditional disciplines; we are united by a relentless commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge through excellence in scholarship and pedagogy that are at once interdisciplinary and innovative.