African American Research and Service Institute
The African American Research and Service Institute is housed in the African American Studies Department at Ohio University, one of the oldest African American Studies departments in the nation.
In keeping with the department's mission, the institute is guided by the Presidential Mission Statement, (especially the requirements of civility, distinctiveness, community engagement, commitment to student engagement), supportive of the emerging general education curriculum, and responsive to the political, economic, and cultural developments that are taking place in the hemisphere.
It is clear that the African American experience in the United States and the African American Diaspora has global significance. Furthermore, African American cultural products are one of the United States' major exports and a major component of America's popular culture.
The AARSI is a regionally recognized institute for the study of the African American experience. The AARSI provides a mechanism for the building of strategic partnerships across the campus, across institutions, and across the global community to conduct cross and inter disciplinary research using multi-disciplinary approaches.
Its four research emphases are:
- Rural America, especially the Ohio River Valley
- The African Diaspora in the Americas
- Constitutional law and social justice
- The sociology of entertainment
These research emphases are emblematic of the research, service and education ambitions of the institute.
With these emphases the institute will mobilize its resources to address some of the challenges facing African Americans in the 21st century, including those related to public health, public education, and the dissemination of knowledge. The institute will thus contribute to urgent debates regarding research and scholarship in the discipline of African American Studies.
Current Research: The African American Presence in the Ohio River Valley Oral History Project (AAPORV).