The graduate certificate in Diaspora Studies has been designed to compliment students’ disciplinary training, expose them to the interdisciplinary trends in the academy, and broaden their career possibilities. The Diaspora Studies certificate provides graduate students with access to interdisciplinary scholarship in the dynamic and continually evolving field of studies in the African Diaspora globally. The certificate also gives students a competitive edge and interdisciplinary training for the still robust career outlook for specialists in pan-black studies as well as in the search for postdoctoral fellowships in the humanities and social sciences.
Scholarship on race and its intersection with gender, class, color, inequality, religion, and sexuality has opened up new ways of thinking about qualitative and quantitative research and new theoretical perspectives and paradigms. Intellectually, Black Studies/Diaspora Studies have reinvigorated disciplines across the academy. Interest in the field’s intellectual production remains a high priority for publications across university presses.
The certificate in Diaspora Studies is open to any student enrolled in graduate study at Vanderbilt University. Program acceptance requires that a student be in good standing, maintaining a minimum B+ or 3.3 grade point average, satisfactory performance of B+ or better in AADS 300 Theories of Diaspora, a brief letter of recommendation from the student’s advisor or departmental graduate studies director, and the approval of PAADS graduate studies committee, comprised of the Director of Graduate Studies, one PAADS faculty member, and the Director of PAADS.
Courses taken at Vanderbilt University prior to admission to the program can be counted toward the certificate requirements. The formal application consists of a one-page abstract of the student's research interests in Diaspora Studies, the aforementioned brief letter of recommendation with respect to the certificate from a student's advisor, and an updated curriculum vitae. Applications must be submitted in hardcopy to the Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Trica D. Keaton (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Conferral of the certificate requires an overall GPA of 3.3, satisfactory performance of B+ or better in AADS 300, completion of all distribution requirements with a B+ or better, and a “pass” on the Graduate Certificate paper.
The certificate in Diaspora Studies consists of 15 credit-hours of course work distributed as follows:
1. AADS 300 Theories of Diaspora. Interdisciplinary introduction to materials, methods, debates, and theoretical terms of scholarly research in Diaspora Studies.
2. Four additional graduate-level courses on race and its intersection with gender, class, power, or sexuality, appropriate to the student’s graduate program of study. Courses must be approved for credit and include at least three course outside the student’s home discipline. Students will be required to provide a copy of course syllabi to the PAADS graduate committee so that the committee may determine whether the courses taken or proposed to be taken by the student are indeed appropriate for certificate credit. The PAADS Director of Graduate Study may at his/her discretion follow-up with the faculty member(s) regarding course content. One course may be satisfied through an independent study (AADS 395 Directed Study) with a core or affiliated faculty member in African American and Diaspora Studies.
3. Additionally, a 35-page paper must be submitted to the graduate certificate faculty committee for evaluation on a pass/fail basis. The paper must be comparative and cross-cultural in keeping with the certificate’s diasporic emphasis. Moreover, the final paper must build upon work explored in AADS 300, AADS 395, or another course approved for graduate certificate credit. The submitted work should represent a substantial expansion of the previous work. Students must submit a proposal for the final paper to the PAADS graduate committee by the beginning of the semester in which they expect to receive the certificate. The proposal should also include the name of their faculty advisor. The paper will be evaluated by the PAADS graduate committee. The committee will assess the submitted paper on a pass/fail basis.
It is the committee’s hope that the feedback on the paper will enable the student to sufficiently revise the paper for possible future publication in peer-review diaspora studies-related journals such as Meridians, African American Review, Research in African Literatures, and Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race.
*The Graduate Certificate Program in African American and Diaspora Studies is temporarily suspending new admissions in order to assure that program assessments and revisions conducted during this short time will provide students with the highest quality of graduate education.*
ASWAD Conference: The Association of the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora
Students enrolled in the program are strongly encouraged to participate in the activities sponsored by ASWAD. PAADS will pay registration fees for eligible students. http://www.aswadiaspora.org