During the Black Studies movement, the Department of History at Michigan State University introduced its first courses focusing on the African American experience. Since then, the study of African American history at MSU has expanded by leaps and bounds. Shaped significantly by the contributions of renowned historian Darlene Clark Hine from 1987 until 2003, MSU’s doctoral programs in African American history and Comparative Black History have enjoyed national reputations for more than two decades.
Graduate students who join our program can work with a vibrant community of African Americanists: Glenn Chambers, Pero G. Dagbovie, LaShawn D. Harris, Vanessa Holden, and Jessica Johnson. These scholars’ expertise ranges across major eras and topical specialties in the African American experience, including black women’s history, slavery studies, Afro-Diasporic studies, black intellectual history, and the civil rights-Black Power movement. Applicants to our program are considered for substantial multi-year funding packages and admits the opportunity to work as teaching and/or research assistants for scholars engaged in innovative research in African American history and Black Diaspora studies. Our students benefit from workshops, speaker series, and events sponsored by the Comparative Black History Program as well as programs and classes offered by MSU’s African American and African Studies Ph.D. Program.
According to a recent issue of the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, African American history is one of the topical fields that has experienced significant growth in Ph.D. recipients since 2000. The MSU Department of History is an ideal place to pursue a Ph.D. in African American history. Graduates specializing in this dynamic field at MSU have secured employment at a range of colleges and universities, including Arizona State University, Buffalo State University, Calvin College, Florida Memorial University, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Northwestern University, Southern Illinois University, State University of New York at Oswego, University of Kansas, University of Arizona, University of South Carolina Upstate, Washington University in St. Louis, and Wayne State University.
We welcome applications and inquiries from those interested in this program. Please feel free to contact the Graduate Director for more information.