A year after becoming a department at U.Va., Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies s…


Last October, the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies became a full-fledged in the College after years of appeals and requests by members of the institute. Since achieving departmental status, the institute has hired two new faculty members and seen an active increase in enrollment for courses.

The transition to a department was accelerated by the arrival of College Dean Ian Baucom — whose academic background includes African studies — in 2014. The Woodson Institute previously operated as a program due to tight budget restraints and a lack of resources.

Deborah McDowell, director of the institute and an English professor, said the transition to a department has given the institute more freedom to develop a unique curriculum with distinguished…

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