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Jemima Pierre


Assistant ProfessorPh.D., University of Texas at Austin

Jemima Pierre

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Biography


Jemima Pierre is Assistant Professor in the Departments of Anthropology and African and African Diaspora Studies.  Dr. Pierre received her B.A. in African Diaspora Studies from Tulane University, and later received her Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in Anthropology (in the African Diaspora Graduate Program) from the University of Texas at Austin.  She held a joint appointment in African American Studies and Anthropology at The University of Illinois at Chicago, prior to joining the University of Texas faculty in 2005.

Dr. Pierre researches and publishes on ideologies and practices of race and its relationship to global structures of power in Africa and the African diaspora.  She specializes in both African diaspora theory and critical race theory, as well as on U.S. immigration politics.  Her completed a manuscript (which is under review) is entitled, Race Across the Atlantic: Postcolonial Africa and the Predicament of Blackness.  It is an ethnographic study of the historical and contemporary cultural and political practices of race-making in urban Ghana; it examines how people are shaped by and respond to local and global hierarchies of race and power. She is currently completing her second book manuscript, “Racial Americanization: Conceptualizing Black Immigrants in the U.S.” Dr. Pierre’s many articles have appeared in journals such as: American Anthropologist, Identities, Social Text, Feminist Review, Transforming Anthropology, Cultural Dynamics, and Philosophia Africana.

Dr. Pierre has been the recipient of a number of fellowships from major research organizations including the National Science Foundation, the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, The Smithsonian Institution, the Social Science Research Council, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, The Carter G. Woodson Institute, the David C. Driskell Center for African Diaspora Studies.  Most recently, she was the Willian S. Vaughn Visiting Fellow for the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities and Visiting professor of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University (2009-2010).

Dr. Pierre was born in Gros, Morne, Haiti, and grew up in Miami, Florida.

 

Additional affiliations: The John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, and the Rapaport Center for Human Rights and Justice

 

Courses


T C 357 • Afr Diaspora: Cul/Ident/Power

42835 • Fall 2010
Meets W 12:00PM-3:00PM CRD 007A

Description:

This seminar introduces students to the African Diaspora as a historical, political, and cultural project.  The African Diaspora is a unique and complex phenomenon based on a history of experiences, contributions, and struggles emerging out of the global dispersion of people of African descent.  This course broadly surveys issues of cultural production and identity formation among communities of the African diaspora.  It is framed around the idea that notions of culture—particularly Black/African culture—are constitutive of political, socio-historical, and economic conditions that are forged through power relations.  In this course, therefore, we will recognize the centrality of power as we examine questions of culture and of representation, of history, of aesthetics, of leisure, of subjugation, and of politics in the African Diaspora. 

In our engagement with this survey of culture and politics in the African diaspora, we will explore, among other things:  global/transnational understandings and articulations of Blackness; the significance of race and racial identity, particularly in relationship to slavery and the rise of global capitalism; the relationship between politics and Black cultural production and expression; and the political economy of contemporary transnational Black existence.  The goal is to understand Black peoples’ various forms of cultural and political practices as they negotiate self, identity, and community in the contemporary context of global oppression and marginalization.  Topics covered in the course will be broad and span wide-ranging geographical areas (as wide-ranging as the African diaspora itself), and reflect unifying cultural, socio-economic, and political characteristics of African diaspora communities. 

 

Texts/Readings:

TBA

 

Assignments:

Attendance and participation 10%

Discussion leading 20%

Critical Essays (2 @ 25%) 50%

Book review 20%

 

About the Professor:

Dr. Jemima Pierre is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and an affiliate of the Center for African and African American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Pierre received her B.A. in African Diaspora Studies from Tulane University, and later received her Master of Arts and PhD degrees in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2002.  She held a joint appointment in African American Studies and Anthropology at The University of Illinois at Chicago from 2002 until 2005, when she came to join UT’s faculty. 

Dr. Pierre researches and publishes on ideologies and practices of race and its relationship to global structures of power in Africa and the African diaspora.  She specializes in both African diaspora theory and critical race theory, as well as on U.S. immigration politics.  She is currently completing a manuscript entitled, Race Across the Atlantic: Postcolonial Africa and the Predicaments of Racialization. The book is an ethnographic study of the historical and contemporary cultural and political practices of race-making in urban Ghana; it examines how people are shaped by and respond to local and global hierarchies of race and power.   

Dr. Pierre has been the recipient of a number of fellowships from major research organizations including the National Science Foundation, the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, The Smithsonian Institution, the Social Science Research Council, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the David C. Driskell Center for African Diaspora Studies.

Dr. Pierre was born in Gros, Morne, Haiti, and grew up in Miami, Florida.

Hobbies and other interests:

Dr. Pierre is a classically trained mezzo-soprano and enjoys singing with chamber choirs.  While an undergraduate student in New Orleans, she was a member of the  professional group, “New Orleans Heritage Ensemble,” which focused primarily on the performance of “Negro Spirituals”.

Dr. Pierre also enjoys competitive sports (flag football, cycling, ultimate Frisbee); she is also a certified aerobics instructor.

ANT S324L • Anth & Global Black Experience

81583 • Summer 2010
Meets MTWTHF 8:30AM-10:00AM GAR 1.126
(also listed as AFR S374E)

This course is designed to explore  the relationship of anthropology with people of African descent.  It is based on the premise that the Black global experience is at the center of any critical history of anthropology.  Will focus on the important role of Africa and its peoples in the historical and theoretical development of the field.  Will entail considerations of: the sharp distinction between the “West” and “Africa;” the relationship of colonialism and knowledge production;  the making of the cultural “other.”  Will explore the ethnographic construction of ideas of “blackness” and representations of “Black folk here and there.”  Will concentrate on the cultural politics of the ethnographic project itself, and the various ways ethnography has contributed to the making of the "African diaspora" and "African American culture."  Will round out the class with a survey of the use of anthropology by scholars of African descent.

AFR F301 • African American Culture

84605 • Summer 2008
Meets MTWTHF 8:30AM-10:00AM MEZ 1.118

This course is an exploration of African American culture that provides students with
analytical tools to critically examine and consciously participate in the ongoing
construction of African American culture. Particular attention is given to key terms such
as race, culture, Blackness, hegemony, aesthetics, and politics. Emphasis is placed on
Black agency as demonstrated through the social, political, and representational choices
made by African Americans.

AFR 376 • Senior Seminar

35875 • Spring 2008
Meets W 2:00PM-5:00PM JES A232A

A capstone course fpr AFR majors focusing on black intellectual traditions.

AFR F301 • African American Culture

84633 • Summer 2007
Meets MTWTHF 8:30AM-10:00AM MEZ 2.124

This course is an exploration of African American culture that provides students with
analytical tools to critically examine and consciously participate in the ongoing
construction of African American culture. Particular attention is given to key terms such
as race, culture, Blackness, hegemony, aesthetics, and politics. Emphasis is placed on
Black agency as demonstrated through the social, political, and representational choices
made by African Americans.

AFR 317E • Intro To The African Diaspora

35180 • Spring 2007
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM UTC 3.110

Please check back for updates.

AFR 301 • African American Culture

35910 • Fall 2006
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM UTC 3.102

This course surveys African American cultural production from the 1600s to the present. Topics cover the circumstances and responses of blacks during North American enslavement, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Great Migration, The Harlem Renaissance, The Civil Rights Movement, and in contemporary contexts. Class sessions will reflect our reading of primary and secondary texts that embody a wide range of African American religious, political, social and artistic thought and production. The class will fill gaps in students’ knowledge about African American culture and history and provide a foundation for future Black Studies course work.

Required Texts:

Kindred (Octavia Butler)

Souls of Black Folk (W.E.B. Du Bois)

Why We Can’t Wait (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Price of the Ticket (Frederick Harris)

Good Ole’ Fashioned Composition Notebook

Graded Assessments (100 points available):

Unannounced (10) Quiz #1 Kindred, lectures & other readings Unannounced

(10) Quiz #2 Souls of Black Folk, lectures & other readings

10/9/14: (30) Mid-term Test

Unannounced (10) Quiz #3 Why We Can’t Wait, lectures & other readings

Unannounced (10) Quiz #4 (Price of the Ticket; lectures & other readings

12/5/14: (30) Final Test 

AFR 301 • African American Culture

34165 • Spring 2006
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM UTC 4.134

This course surveys African American cultural production from the 1600s to the present. Topics cover the circumstances and responses of blacks during North American enslavement, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Great Migration, The Harlem Renaissance, The Civil Rights Movement, and in contemporary contexts. Class sessions will reflect our reading of primary and secondary texts that embody a wide range of African American religious, political, social and artistic thought and production. The class will fill gaps in students’ knowledge about African American culture and history and provide a foundation for future Black Studies course work.

Required Texts:

Kindred (Octavia Butler)

Souls of Black Folk (W.E.B. Du Bois)

Why We Can’t Wait (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Price of the Ticket (Frederick Harris)

Good Ole’ Fashioned Composition Notebook

Graded Assessments (100 points available):

Unannounced (10) Quiz #1 Kindred, lectures & other readings Unannounced

(10) Quiz #2 Souls of Black Folk, lectures & other readings

10/9/14: (30) Mid-term Test

Unannounced (10) Quiz #3 Why We Can’t Wait, lectures & other readings

Unannounced (10) Quiz #4 (Price of the Ticket; lectures & other readings

12/5/14: (30) Final Test 

AFR F301 • African American Culture

84140 • Summer 2005
Meets MTWTHF 1:00PM-2:30PM UTC 1.118

This course is an exploration of African American culture that provides students with
analytical tools to critically examine and consciously participate in the ongoing
construction of African American culture. Particular attention is given to key terms such
as race, culture, Blackness, hegemony, aesthetics, and politics. Emphasis is placed on
Black agency as demonstrated through the social, political, and representational choices
made by African Americans.

AFR 301 • African American Culture

32855 • Spring 2005
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM UTC 3.102

This course surveys African American cultural production from the 1600s to the present. Topics cover the circumstances and responses of blacks during North American enslavement, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Great Migration, The Harlem Renaissance, The Civil Rights Movement, and in contemporary contexts. Class sessions will reflect our reading of primary and secondary texts that embody a wide range of African American religious, political, social and artistic thought and production. The class will fill gaps in students’ knowledge about African American culture and history and provide a foundation for future Black Studies course work.

Required Texts:

Kindred (Octavia Butler)

Souls of Black Folk (W.E.B. Du Bois)

Why We Can’t Wait (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Price of the Ticket (Frederick Harris)

Good Ole’ Fashioned Composition Notebook

Graded Assessments (100 points available):

Unannounced (10) Quiz #1 Kindred, lectures & other readings Unannounced

(10) Quiz #2 Souls of Black Folk, lectures & other readings

10/9/14: (30) Mid-term Test

Unannounced (10) Quiz #3 Why We Can’t Wait, lectures & other readings

Unannounced (10) Quiz #4 (Price of the Ticket; lectures & other readings

12/5/14: (30) Final Test 

Courses


Graduate

 

Introduction to Social Anthropology (Core Seminar)

Race and the Ethnographic Imagination

African Diaspora Anthropology (Core Seminar)

Race and Colonialism

Migration, Diaspora, Transnationalism

 

 

 

 

Undergraduate

 

Introduction to African American Culture

Introduction to the African Diaspora

Anthropology and the Global Black Experience

The African Diaspora: Culture, Identity, Power

Africa and the Ethnographer’s Magic

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    University of Texas at Austin
    305 East 23rd St
    CLA 2.102
    Austin, Texas, 78712-1250
    512-471-1442