African studies is the study of Africa, especially the continent's cultures and societies (as opposed to its geology, geography, zoology, etc.). The field includes the study of Africa's history (Pre-colonial, colonial, post-colonial), demography ( ethnic groups), culture, politics, economy, languages, and religion ( Islam, Christianity, traditional religions). A specialist in African studies is often referred to as an "africanist". A key focus of the discipline is to interrogate epistemological approaches, theories and methods in traditional disciplines using a critical lens that inserts African-centred ways of knowing and references.
Africanists argue that there is a need to "deexoticize" Africa and banalise it, rather than understand Africa as exceptionalized and exoticized.
African scholars, in recent times, have focused on decolonizing African studies, and reconfiguring it to reflect the African experience through African lens.
Notable deceased Africanists
University-based centers Austria: Institut für Afrikawissenschaften (est. 2007),
University of Vienna  Canada: Institute of African Studies,
Carleton University, Ottawa, ON China:
School of Asian and African Studies, Beijing Foreign Studies University China: School of Asian and African Studies,
Shanghai International Studies University Ethiopia: Center for African Studies,
University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Germany: Department of African Studies,
 Humboldt University, Germany Germany: Institute for Asian and African Studies,
 Humboldt University, Germany Germany: Institute of African Studies,
University of Bayreuth, Germany Germany: Institute of African Studies,
University of Leipzig, Germany Ghana: Kwame Nkrumah Institute of African Studies,
University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana Netherlands:
African Studies Centre, Leiden  Nigeria: Institute of African and Diaspora Studies, University of Lagos
Nigeria: Institute of African Studies,
University of Ibadan Portugal:
Centro de Estudos Africanos, ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon Portugal: African Studies Centre of the
University of Porto, Porto  South Africa: Centre for African Studies (CAS),
University of Cape Town Sweden: Center for African Studies,
Dalarna University, Sweden UK: Centre of African Studies,
University of Cambridge UK: Centre for African Studies
(Leeds)  UK:
Centre of West African Studies (Birmingham) UK:
School of Oriental and African Studies US:
Department of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey US:
African Studies Center, Boston University US:
African Studies Center, Michigan State University US: African Studies Center,
Africana Cultures and Policy Studies Institute US:
University of Florida Center for African Studies US: Department of African Studies at Howard University
National and transnational centers
Carleton University, Institute of African Studies - Combined Honours Undergraduate Degrees and Collaborative Masters in African Studies
University of Lagos, Masters in African and Diaspora Studies
United States of America
Beloit College, African Studies Minor - Interdisciplinary undergraduate minor field of concentration
Florida International University, Masters in African Studies, African Studies Certificates
Howard University, undergraduate minor and major in African Studies, Masters in African Studies, PhD in African Studies
Ohio University, Masters in African Studies
Rutgers University, undergraduate major and minor in African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures, with a regional focus University of Michigan, undergraduate major and minor in Afroamerican and African Studies. Also, a certificate in African Studies for graduate students.
Further reading Gershenhorn, Jerry. "'Not an Academic Affair': African American Scholars and the Development of African Studies Programs in the United States, 1942-1960."
Journal of African American History, 94 (Winter 2009), 44-68. Gershenhorn, Jerry. "St. Clair Drake, Pan-Africanism, African Studies, and the Politics of Knowledge, 1945-1965." Journal of African American History, 98 (Summer 2013), 422-433.
Library Guides for African Studies
"Help for Researchers: Africa". British Library.
"African Studies Research Guides". New York, USA: Columbia University Libraries. Archived from the original on 2013-10-01 . Retrieved .
"African Studies & African History". Research & Subject Guides. Washington DC: Georgetown University Library.
"African Studies Internet Portal". University of Illinois LibGuides. USA: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University Library.
"African Studies". LibGuides. USA: University of Iowa Libraries.
Library. "African Studies". Topic Guides. UK: London School of Economics and Political Science.
"Africana (African Studies)". Research Guides. USA: Michigan State University Libraries. Archived from the original on 2017-06-12 . Retrieved .
"Africana Studies". Research Guides. USA: New York University Libraries.
"Africana". LibGuides. USA: Northwestern University, Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies.
"African Studies". Oxford LibGuides. Oxford, UK: University of Oxford, Bodleian Libraries.
"African Studies Resources". Princeton LibGuides. USA: Princeton University Library.
University Libraries. "African Studies". Research Guides. New Jersey, USA: Rutgers University.
African Studies Library, Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge UK
Studying Africa. A guide to the sources. Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala. 3rd ed., 2014 Open Access Guide for researchers based in Africa (ilissAfrica)