African Cultural Studies

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Language Programs

"Africa invented language." — Ali Mazrui

 The University of Wisconsin-Madison has long been considered a leader in the field of foreign language education. Recently, placed UW-Madison second (and first among public institutions) on its list of “The 10 Most Innovative Colleges for Foreign Language Study.”

The Department of African Cultural Studies is home to one of the oldest African languages programs in the United States, and has offered many languages over the last fifty years. In 2016-17 we are offering five languages:

In addition, we offer monitored self-instructional opportunities through two courses, Theories and Methods of Learning a Less Commonly Taught Language and Directed Study of a Less Commonly Taught Language.  Through these courses, students can study any African language not offered in a typical classroom setting. 

Hear from our students about reasons to study an African language in our department:


Every Spring we host the Festival of African Cultural Studies, through which our students showcase their knowledge of African languages, literatures, and cultures.