The Center for Africana Studies Summer Institute for Pre-Freshmen—an intense, weeklong course of study aimed to not only expand students’ intellectual horizons, but also prepare them for life on campus and in the classroom—recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. The program, which is attended by incoming Penn students from diverse backgrounds and intellectual interests boasts a wide range of courses reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of Africana Studies. This past summer’s courses included “A Borderless Caribbean?: The Creole Geographies of Dominica’s Popular Music,” taught by Professor of Music and Africana Studies Timothy Rommen, and “Slaves, Rebels, and Abolitionists in American History,” taught by David Boies Professor of History Kathleen Brown, among others.
Camille Charles, Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Social Sciences, professor of sociology, Africana Studies and education, and director of both the Center for Africana Studies and the Summer Institute for Pre-Freshmen, says the Center is incredibly proud not only of the program, but also of the legacy that it represents. “For 30 years, we have helped to prepare incoming freshmen for the rigors of Penn while introducing them to the interdisciplinary field of Africana Studies,” says Charles. “On a more personal level, we have helped students to foster meaningful relationships with their classmates and the renowned faculty who teach in our program. The Summer Institute provides a unique opportunity for Penn’s incoming students, and this is something that the University should be very proud of.”