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African and African-American Studies

Choate House, HB 6134

34 North Main Street

Hanover, NH 03755

(603) 646-3397


About the Banner:

The “Life of Malcolm X” murals were painted by Florian Jenkins in 1972. The eight panels depict the life and assassination of the human rights activist. The murals were sponsored by the Afro-American Society and are located in Cutter-Shabazz Hall.

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Qualified majors may apply for admission to the Honors Program during the second or third terms of their junior year. We encourage proposals to be submitted as early as possible to allow time for revision as needed. The final deadline for proposal submission is the last day of April in the student's junior year. During the senior year, a two-term thesis project is undertaken under the guidance of a AAAS faculty member. Students are expected to produce a substantial thesis as the culmination of the project. For details the full "Guide to Honors in AAAS" brochure is available in the AAAS office.

Requirements: At the time of application, a student desiring to participate in the Honors program in African and African American Studies should have completed 6 courses out of the courses required for the regular major, with an average grade of 3.4 or higher in those courses. The applicant's overall college G.P.A. must be 3.0 or higher

Honors in African and African American Studies requires that students complete both AAAS 98 and AAAS 99 as their Culminating Experience. The AAAS 98-99 sequence represents two (2) terms of thesis preparation and writing, and therefore requires a commitment beyond the Program's expectations for the standard AAAS major. In the ORC, Dartmouth notes that Honors work should be "greater in depth and scope than that expected in the normal major." This is part of the reason the Honors thesis is a two-term experience. Students must fulfill all the normal requirements of the AAAS major in addition to the AAAS 98-99 sequence.

The Program also wishes to point out that producing an Honors thesis involves independent and sustained work. Students electing Honors in AAAS should be prepared and motivated to spend substantial time engaged in what can often be somewhat solitary intellectual pursuit. In many ways, the key concepts here are the greater depth of the Honors project and its foundation in sustained, independent work. The Honors program involves the student over more than two terms in designing a special topic, researching it, and eventually producing a substantial piece of writing whose depth and scope might permit the author to stand as something of an authority on the subject at hand. Such a concentrated course of is an acknowledgement of the Honors student's individuality, independence and maturity. Further, Honors work represents more than merely a credential to be placed on the official transcript; rather, it is a commitment to enter into the scholarly pleasures (and, sometimes, pains) that relatively few undergraduate students ever have the chance to encounter.

Ultimately, an Honors thesis should represent a student's intellectual dialogue with his or her chosen area of study. This means that a thesis is much more than a very long research paper; rather it is a student's original and thoughtful contribution to the field of African and African American Studies. While as a recognized field this area may seem rather young, a great deal of important and exciting work has been done here. Honors students should be prepared and anxious to step into a responsible and original dialogue with other AAAS scholars from a variety of disciplines.

Another attractive element of the Honors program in AAAS is the collaboration of student with faculty member on the project. Students should plan to work closely with their advisor from the earliest stages of their project (the defining of a topic) right on through the presentation of the thesis and the final preparation of the manuscript. Advisor and student generally meet once a week over the two terms of AAAS 98-99, and in those meetings often establish an intellectual and personal relationship that many Dartmouth graduates across the College have declared the most valuable experience of their student days.

Last Updated: 3/21/12