Learn about the history, art, politics, culture, and lived experiences of Black communities across the globe, from the African continent to right here in South Carolina.

The African & African Diaspora Studies (AADS) minor allows you to engage in critical analysis and skill-building research of the more than 200 million people of African descent in the Americas (double that number globally). Study the past history of migration and diaspora and focus on contemporary or modern society and culture of the African Diaspora. We build skills through the interpretation of primary sources and experiential learning activities in the community. We welcome all to engage in this uplifting field of study!


Gullah-Geechee is a unique, creole language spoken by descendants of enslaved Africans in the coastal areas of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Every time you use the words “tote,” “bubba,” “jitters,” or “goober” you are speaking Gullah.

Where a Minor in AADS Can Take You

The interdisciplinary minor in AADS fosters cultural understanding by engaging with issues related to race, language, cultural identity and heritage, colonization, globalization, and placemaking, but it also teaches the kinds of interdisciplinary perspectives and skills employers are looking for.

In a recent survey of employers by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, more than nine in ten employers think it’s important for college graduates to gain knowledge through interdisciplinary study and through addressing “real-life” problems while in college. About 67% of employers think that micro-credentials (like a minor) make applicants stronger job candidates.



African and African Diaspora Studies at Coastal

In this 18-credit interdisciplinary minor, you can study food and migration, Gullah culture and identity, and race and the law. What unites all the courses offered in the AADS minor is our amazing faculty, who are experts in their field.

Meet a Faculty Member
Gillian Richards-Greaves
Anthropology and Geography

Maggi Morehouse photoMeet a Faculty Member
Maggi Morehouse
Professor and Distinguished Burroughs Chair for Southern Studies





Popular Courses in Interdisciplinary Studies

ANTH 345: Archaeology of Plantations

Instructor: Dr. David Palmer

How do groups of artifacts, objects, and buildings speak to life on plantations and to the complex relationships that existed between planters, overseers, and enslaved populations? To answer this question, this course explores what archaeology reveals about settlement patterns, spatial organization, architecture, lifeways, crop production, cemeteries, and social and economic conditions on various antebellum plantations.

ENGL 341: African-American Literature, 1750–present

Instructor: Dr. Tabitha Lowery

How can reading stories of the Black experience written by Black authors can help dismantle barriers of inequality, discrimination, and stereotype? To answer this question, this course surveys nineteenth and twentieth-century African-American literature, with emphasis on the classic works of Frederick Douglass, Charles Chesnutt, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, and Ralph Ellison, among others.

Facilities and Research

The Joyner Institute for Gullah and African Diaspora Studies is the first center that The Joyner Institute for Gullah and African Diaspora Studies is the only interdisciplinary institute dedicated to a critical understanding of the experiences of Gullah Geechee people and other descendants within the global African diaspora.

Complimentary Minors

Program Contact

Tabitha Lowery 760 (added 10/27/2020) MCD

Tabitha Lowery
Edwards 288
(843) 349-2756

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