Founded by the pioneering historians Philip Curtin and Jan Vansina, UW-Madison’s African History program has long been one of the leading programs in the world. Among the rich campus resources that support the study of African history is the African Studies Program, one of the country’s few Title VI National Resource Centers for Africa. The University’s Library resources, under the direction of Emilie Songolo, are also among the best in the country and include a growing number of digital resources in the African Studies Collection. Wisconsin has now trained more than one hundred African historians, including many of the leading figures in the field, a host of rising younger scholars, and an unprecedented number of winners of the Herskovits Prize for the best book in African Studies.
Our areas of special strength include pre-colonial and modern East Africa; the African diaspora, colonialism, and globalization; and the history of health, medicine, and science in Africa.
For undergraduate courses in African History, see the Department of History’s Courses page. For graduate program requirements and courses, see the Department of History’s Graduate Program Handbook and Graduate Courses pages.
Recently, a group of UW professors and graduate students examined questions about the historical constitution and mapping of disease “hot spots” in wester Uganda. Check out this short video about their interdisciplinary research.