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College of Arts and Sciences


IAAR conference participants

Institute for African American Research

Beyond academics, the institute studies many aspects of African American life from the changing health of African Americans to the way African Americans have been portrayed in comic books.

Drawing on the knowledge and talent of faculty and students across campus, the Institute for African American Research (IAAR) is an interdisciplinary and collaborative center for research focused on people of African descent in the South and beyond.

The Institute, established in 2007 and given official status in 2009, transcends academic borders and is a forum that showcases a variety of projects throughout the academic year, ranging from history and law to public health, political science, business, music, anthropology, and more.  We operate under the guidance of an advisory board of representatives from departments campus-wide.

The IAAR sponsors a monthly seminar program that is free and open to the public; an annual research awards programs for University of South Carolina faculty and graduate students working in any area of African or African American research; lectures on a range of topics; and a variety of events.

Our Research Fellows are involved in numerous projects, such as the exploration of factors associated with parenting ideology of African American fathers, health conditions of older people living in the South as compared to individuals’ health in other regions of the United States, a look at race and history in American comic books, the prevalence of overweight and obesity rates among African American adolescents, and the use of media in African Americans’ quest for social and civil rights.

The IAAR office, located on the second floor of the Thomas Cooper Library in the heart of the Columbia campus, often features artistic exhibits that are free and open to the public. 

Please pay us a visit, and check out our website.