Known variously as African studies, black studies, African American studies, Afro-American studies, and Africology, the academic study of the African diaspora as a holistic discipline is a relatively new phenomenon. University programs have been created with reference to a disciplinary matrix, retarding the development of appropriate theory and methods throughout Africana studies. Fifteen leaders in the field of Africana studies provide the conceptual framework for establishing the field as a mature discipline. The focus is on four basic areas: administration and organizational structure; disciplinary matrix; Africana womanism; and cultural aesthetics. The work examines both the theory and the method of scholars in African and African-diaspora studies.
James L. Conyers, Jr., is a winner of the Cheikh Anta Diop Ankh Award for Distinguished Research in the Discipline of African American Studies. He is the director of the African American Studies Program and university professor of African American Studies at the University of Houston.