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Institute for Research in African American Studies Alumni Council

Alumni of IRAAS are dedicated to the history and support of our intellectual community.

Envisioning the academy as a site of critical engagement for social transformation. . .”

IRAAS is an intellectual community that bridges scholarship, teaching, and public life.

We envision the project of African American Studies as a multi-disciplinary enterprise. Our faculty employ an array of theoretical approaches and methodological strategies to examine historical and contemporary formations in black culture, politics, and society.

The Institute has a rich tradition of scholarship which capitalizes upon our unique location in New York City, especially the dynamic community of Harlem. Currently, IRAAS engages in a broad program of research and teaching that attends to the diversity of black experiences in the global diaspora.

IRAAS understands education to be a necessarily transformative endeavor. To this end, our mission is threefold:

  • To prepare students to become critical thinkers and global citizens;
  • To facilitate and support innovative research (working groups, collaborative and individual projects, and faculty/student grants);
  • To disseminate knowledge through academic and public forums including IRAAS “Conversations,” lectures, roundtable discussions, conferences, and new media platforms.

The Institute for Research in African-American Studies of Columbia University, founded in July 1993 by Dr. Manning Marable, is an academic resource center. The purposes and activities of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies are grounded within the best scholarship of the black intellectual tradition. Towards that end, the Institute administers the Undergraduate and Master’s degree programs in African-American Studies at Columbia University; regularly sponsors academic conferences, lectures and forums on a wide variety of topics; produced the scholarly publication SOULS: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, which is distributed throughout the U.S. and internationally from 1995 to 2011.

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