New Department Builds on Rich African Diaspora Scholarship

Farah Jasmine Griffin shares her vision as the chair of the new African American and African Diaspora Studies department.

This winter, Columbia trustees voted to confirm the creation of the African American and African Diaspora Studies department, which will bring a fresh approach to the discipline at a crucial moment in race relations and black identity within our society.

“Now, more than ever, we need to have both an understanding of that history," said Professor Farah Jasmine Griffin, the William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African American Studies, who will lead the department as its first chair. "The creation of this department at Columbia is right on time because our nation and our world need the kind of knowledge we produce.”

First on the agenda is adding to the faculty and developing a Ph.D. program.

Farah Jasmine Griffin
Frank Guridy, Associate Professor, African American and African Diaspora Studies Department
Zinga A Fraser is the co-chair of Columbia's IRAAS Alumni Council and has a PhD in African American Studies.