Africology: Doctor of Philosophy: College of Letters and Science, University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee.

Position:Letter to the editor


The Ph.D. in Africology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is grounded in the axiomatic assumption that, as the imperatives of global integration significantly transform human relations, the twenty-first century will witness an exponential expansion of the institutional delivery of Africological knowledge. Across the planet today, Africa remains the only continent with a vast store of natural resources (e.g., uranium, oil, copper, nickel) that are underutilized. With the demand for energy increasing exponentially worldwide, knowledge and understanding of the cultures and political economies of African countries and societies clearly are in the self-interest of the global community. Because of this twenty-first century imperative, the Department of Africology has designed the Ph.D. degree around concentrations in 1) Political Economy and Public Policy, 2) Culture and Society: Africa and the African Diaspora, and 3) a concentration outside the department in the student's area of interest.

The fields of concentration are the substantive core of the Ph.D. program. Political economy entails the normative and empirical relations of political and economic phenomena in given sociocultural contexts. Public policy entails the making of binding authoritative decisions that produce, allocate, reproduce, and reallocate societal resources. Political, economic, cultural, and social elements interact continually in every political economy, and public policy substantially frames their patterns of interaction. Through a range of research methods and techniques, the concentration in political economy and public policy grounds students in local, national, and transnational political economies and public policies. Relevant courses and seminars in such fields as economics, political science, sociology, urban planning, geography, and history will be utilized.

All cultures share in common at least eight attributes. These are species life, species being, language, religion, food, literature-art-science-technology, institutions, and transgenerational memory. Systematic comparisons of these elements of cultures in Africa and in the African Diaspora worldwide afford sound explanations of, and novel insights into, the behaviors of Africans and their descent. This concentration in comparative cultures will enable students to scrutinize rigorously exchanges, admixtures, fusions, retentions, and disappearances of cultural...

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