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African Diaspora and the World (ADW) Program

The African Diaspora and the World (ADW) Program at Spelman College is centered on the experiences of African descended people. ADW 111 and 112 courses are required the first year, a two-semester course sequence that speaks to students’ experiences as Black women. Students learn about themselves, their history, and place in the African diaspora and the world. Many alumnae who took the ADW courses refer to them as being the most formative educational influence in their lives.

A Conversation with Tara Roberts, National Geographic Explorer

Drs. Francesina Jackson and Pushpa Parekh talk with National Geographic explorer and storyteller Tara Roberts about her work searching for and documenting slave trade shipwrecks around the world.

Black scuba divers across the world are searching for buried shipwrecks from the transatlantic slave trade, when millions of enslaved Africans were trafficked to the Americas during the 15th to the 19th centuries. A new six-part podcast series, Into the Depths, follows National Geographic Explorer Tara Roberts as she sets off on the journey of a lifetime to meet the divers, marine archaeologists, descendants of those brought over on ships, and historians investigating the lost stories of the slave trade. She’s inspired to share their accounts both to expand the historical record and to honor the estimated 1.8 million unsung souls who perished during the Middle Passage. Along the way, Tara meets up with her family and friends, spiritual advisers, and even a poet to help tell those ancestral stories, and delves into her own roots—challenging her assumptions about home and belonging.

ADW Writers Circle Event!

ADW Carole Boyce Davies Flyer

Thursday, April 13, 2023 - 4PM - 5:30pm

You are cordially invited to attend a virtual ADW Writers Circle Event :

Join on Zoom

Meeting ID: 925 4769 0219
Passcode: 561308

View ADW Writers Event Flyer

Guest Speaker

Dr. Carole Boyce Davies is the Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters and Professor of Literatures in English and Africana Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University.

ADW Writers Circle Event!

Chitra Divakaruni Flyer

Monday, April 3, 2023 - 4PM - 5:30pm

You are cordially invited to attend a virtual ADW Writers Circle Event :

Join on Zoom

Co-sponsored by the Spelman College Honors Program, Asian Studies Program and Center for Asian Studies at UGA.

View ADW Writers Event Flyer

Guest Speaker

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning author, poet, and teacher of writing. Her work has been published in over 50 magazines, including the Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and her writing has been included in over 50 anthologies.

ADW Celebration of International Poetry Day!

ADW Poetry Day Flyer March 2023

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 - 4PM - 5:30PM

You are cordially invited to attend a virtual ADW Writers Circle Event :

Join on Zoom

Meeting ID: 995 9267 4589
Passcode: 315612

View World Poetry Day Flyer

Guest Poets

  • Dr. Roberto Eduardo Gibraltarik is a Lecturer of Spanish and African Diaspora and the World, Spelman College.
  • Ms. Ariana Benson is a graduate of Spelman College, 2019.
  • Mr. Utpal Dutta is the community member of AD-ILCC committee (on human rights)
  • Dr. Pushpa Parekh, Professor of English and Director of African Diaspora and the World, Spelman College.
  • Ms. Kayla Shannon is a junior at Spelman College pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

ADW Vision and Mission

The overarching vision of ADW is to prepare students to develop a perception of themselves as citizens of a changing and increasingly compressed world, to sharpen awareness of diverse cultural and historical experiences and to promote the association between learning and social change.

The more specific mission of the African Diaspora and the World Program is to offer a gender-informed, interdisciplinary study of the histories and cultures of Africa and its diasporas. Particular emphasis is placed on the intersections and connections among the various communities of African descent globally.

Student Learning Objectives

Through scholarly and experiential engagement, the program seeks to prepare students to become members of a world community committed to positive social change. Building on discussions of epistemology, pedagogy and other critical terms of engagement in ADW 111 and ADW 112, students at the end of the two-course sequence will be able to do the following:

  • Analyze historical and modern diasporas in terms of international migration, movement and community formation.
  • Critically analyze and evaluate how internal and external power relations have shaped and impacted Africa and its diasporas.
  • Examine, interrogate and deconstruct dominant knowledge systems about Africa and its diasporas.
  • Identify how Africa and African diasporan communities have shaped the modern world.
  • Analyze categories of identity, especially in relation to difference and the construction of gender, race, ethnicity, class and citizenship.
  • Identify in the context of Africa and its diasporas the link between degradation of the environment and human exploitation.

Learning Experiences and Activities

ADW is a reading and writing-infused course that requires students to develop well-informed questions about course content and respond to such questions in written, oral and digital form. Students create and participate in the following:
  • Short reflective free-responses
  • Essays
  • Museum audio-narratives
  • Reading logs
  • Map quizzes
  • Informal discussions
  • Formal class presentations
Bonwire Village Ghana May 2011

Bonwire Village, Ghana, May 14, 2011

Do you want to deepen your knowledge of the diaspora? Explore our African Diaspora Studies (ADS) Minor.

Contact Us

African Diaspora & The World
Giles Hall

Additional Contact Info

ADW In Action