Archie D. Saunders, 57, a lecturer in the Afro-American Studies Department at Howard University since 1969, died of pneumonia Thursday at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Washington.

Mr. Saunders was born and raised in Brownsville, Tenn. He served in the Army in Germany in World War II. He came to Washington in 1952 after graduating from Lane College in Jackson, Tenn.

Mr. Saunders worked as a clerk-typist for the Coast Guard while earning a master's degree in Afro-American studies at Howard in 1964. He then was an instructor in English at Norfolk State University for a year. From 1965 to 1969, he taught English at Morgan State College in Baltimore and then was an assistant professor of English at the University of the District of Columbia for two years. He began lecturing at Howard at the same time.

In 1970 Mr. Saunders also taught at Trinity College here and at Anderson-Broaddus College in West Virginia. He was the author of a number of articles in his field.

He is survived by his wife, Gutheria of Washington; three daughters, Pamela Urquhart, Beryl Dickens and Darlinda, all of Washington; a son, Ahmad Ibn Muallem of Memphis; four brothers, Walter, Dudley, Oran and Dan, all of Tennessee; two sisters, Mamie of Detroit, and Walean Nixon of Tennessee, and seven grandchildren.