African and African Disapora Studies Department
African and African Disapora Studies Department

AFR 303 • Introduction To Black Studies

29620 • Gordon, Edmund
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM
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This course provides students with an introduction to Black Studies. The first section of the course is devoted to a history of Black Studies in the U.S. using the integration and development of Black Studies here at the University of Texas, Austin as a case study. We will then turn to considerations of the historical construction of Africa, the Black Diaspora and the idea of Blackness. Building on this foundation the course provides students with the analytical tools to critically explore canonical Black Studies literature, themes, and theories. This section of the course interrogates race, gender, class, sexuality, and their intersections as well as culture, power and politics. The second section of the course will focus in on the expression and use of Black Studies in the areas of: Critical Black Studies; Education, Psychology, and Mental Health; Government, Law and Public Policy; Expressive Culture, Arts, Music, Sports; and Africa and its Diasporic Cultures.

AFR 310K • Introduction To Modern Africa

29625 • Falola, Oloruntoyin
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM UTC 3.134
(also listed as HIS 310, WGS 301)
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This course introduces students to the history of Africa since 1800 to the present. The course is divided into four parts: Part I – an overview of African life before 1800. Part II – an overview of the partition of Africa and the upheavals to economic, political, cultural, and social institutions. Part III – an over view of colonial histories, the struggles for freedom, and the euphoria of independence. Part IV – an overview of the legacies and disappointments of colonialism, and the post-colonialism. Because the continent is so vast, its history complex, and the time period so wide, each part will have a case study to illuminate each section of the course more concretely, giving students both depth and breadth in a subject for which they have little or no prior knowledge. The readings augment the lectures and allow students to follow their interests from the topics covered. This is a great course to take before “that trip to Africa!” The class will also utilize feature films and documentaries to illustrate the historical issues more vividly. Karibu! Welcome!

AFR 317D • Community Policing In US

29640 • Burt, Brenda
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BUR 134
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This introductory course will delve into the history of policing in the United States by examining the beginning of American policing including a focus on community policing.

Students will have the opportunity to meet area police officers; judges and laypersons who represent community policing.  The course will incorporate the use of lectures,

readings/articles, video, research and extensive class discussions to assist in exploring the impact of community policing in the United States.

AFR 317D • Ethnc Humor/Multiculturl US

29629 • Gottesman, Itzik
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM PAR 1
(also listed as AMS 315, J S 311, MAS 319)
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What is meant by Jewish humor? African-American humor? This course will examine ethnic jokes from a variety of perspectives: sociological, psychological, folkloric and literary. We will explore racial and ethnic stereotypes in popular culture which serve as the basis for much of the humor. Among the questions we will address is: how do jokes migrate and change from one ethnic group to another?  What makes a joke funny and what makes a good joke teller, from the amateur to the professional comic? How do today's comics differ from previous generations? In addition to our readings we will screen weekly comedic material in film, TV and the web. 


  • Freud, Sigmund, The Joke and its Relation to the Unconscious
  • Watkins, Mel. On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy. Chicago: Chicago Review Press.
  • Davies, Christie   Ethnic Humor around the World: A Comparative Analysis
  • Mahadev Apte, Humor and Laughter: An Anthropological Approach (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press

AFR 317D • Intro East Austin Ethnography

29635 • Adelakun, Abimbola
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM ETC 2.132
(also listed as AMS 315, ANT 310L)
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In this course, students will study ethnographic methods including observant participation, interviewing, and oral histories by conducting fieldwork in East Austin communities. Students will apply the techniques they learn toward an investigation of Black out-migration and gentrification in Austin. This course provides students with skills in critical ethnography by foregrounding the racial politics that shape community-building and city development.


Objectives: Upon completion of this course students should be able to differentiate between qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, conduct ethnographic interviews, maintain a fieldwork notebook, create survey research, conduct oral histories, and identify the major components of critical ethnography as a methodology.



Preliminary Ethnographic Analysis          10

Fieldwork Notebook (I & II)                       20

Data Collection                                30

Ethnographic Summary                   20

2-Minute Essay (5/2 pts. each)      10

Participation                                     10

AFR 317D • Mixed Race Identities

29630 • Allen, Angelica
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM CMA 3.114
(also listed as AAS 310, AMS 315)
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Flag: Cultural Diversity in the US

This course serves as an introduction to the study of ‘multiracial identity’ and the ways that it has been experienced, represented and contested in American society. We will study issues of history, culture, and activism as they relate to the multiracial community.  Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach, we will examine a variety of media in the form of art, print and film. Students will be exposed to a range of voices from scholars working in disciplines including, Asian American Studies, African Diaspora Studies, anthropology, visual arts and women’s and gender studies. While the initial focus centers on the experiences of multiracials in the U.S., we will explore a range of topics which travel internationally as we examine the lived-realities of individuals, including the Amerasian community (mixed-heritage children and adult progeny of American military men and Asian women) living in various parts of Asia. Some key questions guiding this course include the following: What is “race,” and what does it mean to be “mixed”? What is the historical situation and tension of “mixing” in the United States, and why is it significant? How do such issues vary from national to transnational contexts? Can one exist in two or more categories at the same time? Why do categories matter? Isn’t everyone “mixed” somehow? Where do you fit in?


Gloria Anzaldua Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza

Cherrie Moraga Loving in the War Years

Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider

The Latina Feminist Group Telling to Live (excerpts)

Fred Ho and Bill Mullen Afro Asia: Revolutionary Political and Cultural Connections Between African Americans and Asian Americans (excerpts).

Jayne O. Ifewunigwe Mixed Race’ Studies: A reader (excerpts).



Left by the Ship. Dir. Emma Rossi Landi and Alberto Vendemiatti. (2011), Film.

Loving. Dir. Jeff Nichols. (2016) Film.

Dear White People. (2017) TV series. (episode 1).


AFR 317D • Ut Black Student Activism

29645 • Burt, Brenda
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 136
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This introductory course will explore UT Black Student Activism focusing on the history of student activism on the UT campus and explore racial identity development by discussing innovative ways to think and talk about race. The course will incorporate the use of lectures, readings, video, simulation exercises, research and extensive class discussions to assist students as they explore the impact of the UT Student Activism, using The University of Texas at Austin as its case study.   

AFR 317F • African American Lit And Cul

29660 • Sirenko, Valerie
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM BEN 1.124
(also listed as E 314V)
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E 314V  l  1-African American Literature and Culture


Instructor:  Sirenko, V

Unique #:  34355

Semester:  Spring 2018

Cross-lists:  AFR 317F

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No


Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).


Description:  Throughout American history, African Americans have struggled against a legal system designed to disempower them.  From slavery to Jim Crow to the civil rights movement, African Americans’ combative relationship with the law has required African American intellectual leaders to marshal a variety of cultural resources and rhetorical forces to their aid, not least of which has been fiction.  This course will explore how African American writers have used literature to engage with and combat social and racial injustice.


The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.


This course contains a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will comprise a major part of the final grade.


Tentative Texts:  Octavia Butler, Blood Child and Other Stories; Charles Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition; Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; and Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.


Requirements & Grading:  There will be a series of 3 short essays, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted.  Subsequent essays may also be revised and resubmitted by arrangement with the Instructor (75% of the final grade).  There will also be reading quizzes, response papers, and required class attendance and participation (25% of the final grade).

AFR 317F • Music Of African Americans

29665-29685 • Carson, Charles
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM MRH 2.608
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AFR 317F • Toni Morrison & August Wilson

29655 • Thompson, Lisa
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CLA 1.102
(also listed as AMS 315, T D 311T, WGS 301)
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Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison and the late Pulitzer award-winning playwright August Wilson are two of the most honored and prolific African American writers in history. They both make race (and particularly blackness) central to their work. Morrison, considered a “leading voice in current debates about constructions of race and gender in U.S. literature and culture . . . refuses to allow race to be relegated to the margins of literary discourse.” Similarly, Wilson cautioned against a premature, post-racial vision of the world (especially considering the cultural politics of American theatre). We will explore how notions of race and power erupt in Morrison’s “fantastic earthy realism” and Wilson’s “dramatic vision.” The class will consider their engagement with American history, trace the African American cultural influences evident in their work, and study film adaptations of their texts. Finally, by reading their essays, interviews, and speeches we will measure Morrison’s and Wilson’s influence as public intellectuals. 

AFR 321L • Sociology Of Education

29690 • Muller, Chandra
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CLA 3.106
(also listed as SOC 321L, WGS 345)
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We all have many years of experience in schools and we know what happens in schools. Do schools provide opportunities for people to have a better life? Are schools an equalizer? Are they failing? Is mandated testing a good thing? This course is designed to challenge and think critically about what we think we know about schools and education. We will study sociological research on what schools do, for people, for communities, and for our society. We will consider how people of different races, ethnicities, gender, and disability statuses interact with schools and how inequality in achievement comes about. And we will question what policies might improve schools. This is not a course where you will learn that there is one right or true answer. Rather, we will draw on our own backgrounds and experiences, read and discuss academic research, debate and argue about the issues, all with the goal of challenging and transforming our ideas. The course objective is to better understand education and social inequality.

AFR 322D • Race And The Digital

29694 • Browne, Simone
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM RLM 5.112
(also listed as WGS 322)
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In this interdisciplinary course students will examine race and digital technologies. Attention will be placed on forms of popular culture, social media, black cultural production and political action. Students will become more skilled in written communication and expression, reading, critical thinking, oral expression, and visual expression. Students will create and host a Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon, produce sound autobiographies using SoundCloud, annotate text using, and create web-ready research essays to be published online using ReadyMag.

AFR 356C • Afr Am Thtr Hist: Precol-1950

29695 • Adelakun, Abimbola
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM MEZ B0.302
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This course is a chronological examination of African-American theatre history through the study of productions, performance theory, play texts, essays, reviews, and  manifestos.  This course examines theatrical work of Africans and African Americans from Pre-Colonial West Africa to the U.S of the 1950s.  Upon completion of this course, students should be familiar with major written works of African-American theatre, have a more complete understanding of U.S. history, and know the position of African-American Theatre within the context of major U.S. theatrical movements. 


AFR 356D • Afr Am Thtr Hist: 1950-Pres

29700 • Adelakun, Abimbola
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM PAR 101
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This course is a chronological examination of African-American theatre history through the study of productions, performance theory, play texts, essays, reviews, and manifestos.  This course examines theatrical work of African Americans from the 1950s to the present.  Upon completion of this course the students should be familiar with major written works of African-American theatre, have a more complete understanding of U.S. history, and know the position of African-American Theatre within the context of major U.S. theatrical movements.

AFR 357D • African Amer Hist Since 1860

29705 • Walker, Juliet
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM GAR 1.126
(also listed as AMS 321F, HIS 357D, URB 353)
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Assessments of the historic experience of African Americans from the Civil War and Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Era and the Second Reconstruction, i.e., the post-Civil Rights Era from the 1970s through 2014, provide the focus of this course.  Emphasis will be placed on the political, economic, including the business activities, as well as social and cultural activities of African Americans. The course begins with assessing the Black American experience during the Civil War and Reconstruction.  In the immediate first post-Reconstruction, the Exodus of 1879 is considered along with the founding and building of Black Towns. Also, legal and extralegal means, including violence, disfranchisement and segregation of Blacks, that is, the rise of Jim Crow, at the turn of the century and the Great Migration of the WWI era are examined. Ideologies of black leaders during that period, W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells and Marcus Garvey are compared.

The rise of the black urban ghetto and impact of African American working class as it relates to African American culture provide the focus for examining the twentieth century Black Experience. The Harlem Renaissance and the conditions of blacks in the Great Depression and WWII to the 1954 Brown decision provide an introduction to the Black Freedom Movement of the 1960s. Assessments are made of the riots in the 1960s, ideologies of Black leaders and black organizations, CORE, SNCC, and Black Panthers. Agendas of post-Civil rights era black social, political and business leaders are examined, such as Houston’s Case Lawal, hip hop entrepreneurs and the first two black billionaires, Robert Johnson (BET) and Oprah Winfrey..

Significantly, the course begins with a Civil War, marking an end of slavery and the beginning of black political participation. It ends with the historical phenomenon of the election of Barack Obama, the first African American President of the United States. What does this say about race/racism in America? What about Katrina and Black Reconstruction in New Orleans in 2009 as well as “the $40 Million Dollar slave” 149 years after the 13th Amendment? The course ends with commentaries on retrenchment in affirmative action, commodification of African American culture, and assessments of America’s changing racial demographics on African Americans in the 21st century.


Franklin, John H. and Evelyn Higginbotham,  From Slavery to Freedom,9th ed, paper

Henry, Charles P, Allen, R , and Chrisma, R. The Obama Phenomenon: Toward a Multiracial Democracy

Holt Thomas and Barkley-Brown, E., Major Problems, African American History vol 2 

Rhoden, William C., Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall,  Redemption of the Black Athlete

Smith-Shomade, Beretta,   Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy: Selling Black Entertainment Television

Walker, Juliet E. K. The History of Black Business in America -course packet


Exam 1  (Take home)                    30

History Research Paper                 30

Student Panel Presentation           10

Exam  2(Take Home)                 30

AFR 360 • Race, Law, And US Society

29710 • Thompson, Shirley
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM CLA 1.104
(also listed as HIS 365G)
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This seminar examines the intersection of racial ideology and legal culture in the United States. We will take a broad historical approach that spans the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but we will also survey a range of contemporary sites where racial discourses permeate American law and conceptions of the rights and responsibilities of citizens. The legal construction of race in America is inextricably bound up with the development and dissolution of the institution of race-based slavery. Therefore, a consideration of laws concerning slavery, segregation, and desegregation will form the backbone of the course. We will pay special attention to Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857); Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)and Brown v. Board of Education (1954), cases that span a crucial century. By considering the long trajectories of race, law, and social transformation, we will begin to see how racial reasoning has informed many aspects of U.S. legal culture for a wide range of ethnic and social groups and how race has influenced the development of property law, family law, immigration law, and civil rights law.

This course will embrace interdisciplinary methods: we will put court cases in conversation with literature, film, social scientific writings, music, and other pertinent material. The goals of this course include 1. exploring the social and legal construction of race at various moments in American history; 2. understanding the intersection of race, gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and other markers of identity; 3. examining the interpenetration of law and popular cultural forms; and 4. determining how race has informed American conceptions of a wide variety of issues, such as privacy, property, citizenship, national security, and sovereignty.

AFR 372C • Beyonce Femnsm/Rihanna Womnsm

29715-29740 • Tinsley, Natasha
Meets MW 11:00AM-12:00PM GAR 0.102
(also listed as WGS 335)
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Course Description

“Texas. Texas. Texas.” In her musical film Lemonade, Beyoncé—costumed in a spectacularly African-print dress—sings these opening words to “Daddy Lessons” while swaying to a single guitar at Fort Macomb, New Orleans. Departing from the wide-ranging locations of her self-titled album, this shot encapsulates the vision of her current work: an unapologetically black feminism that situates itself in the historical and political landscape of the U.S. South in general, and Texas and Louisiana in particular. In this course, we follow Beyoncé’s invitation to consider the U.S. South as a fertile site for black feminist imaginations and projects. Beginning with close readings of Lemonade and Beyoncé, we enter into conversation with other black feminist texts that engage black women’s aesthetic, spiritual, erotic, and political traditions in Louisiana, Texas, and Alabama. The course provides students with an introduction to media studies methodology as well as black feminist theory, and challenges us to imagine what gender politics look like when black women, and the U.S. South, become central rather than peripheral to our worldviews.

AFR 372C • Race And Place

29745 • Thompson, Shirley
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM SZB 330
(also listed as AMS 321, GRG 356T)
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When Harriet Tubman struck out for her own freedom and for that of countless others, she knew that her success depended on an intimate knowledge of the geographic boundaries of slave and free territory and the network of safe(r) spaces known as the Underground Railroad. When segregationists advocated for laws and policies that reinforced the color line, they spoke from an interest in “keeping blacks in their place.” When current day media executives attempt to market their programming to African American audiences they often frame them in terms of an “urban” market.  As these examples show, social constructions of race and status in the United States have always intersected with social constructions of place.

This course explores these intersecting themes of race and place by considering a range of topics beginning with the formulation of an exclusively white national space from the conquest of indigenous land and the transportation of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic. We will also consider various challenges to this white supremacist national logic, from the presence of the Haitian Republic to expressions of black nationalism, diasporic imaginings and exilic critique. We will discuss geographies of plantation slavery and Jim Crow segregation and black resistance to these geographies as individuals and groups such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Marcus Garvey, Anna Julia Cooper, Rosa Parks, and the Freedom Riders forced a reconfiguration of public and private space. We will focus on such iconic black urban and rural spaces such as Harlem, Chicago, New Orleans, the Sea Islands, and more to keep track of the varied and complex politics of race and belonging. This course will provide a theoretical foundation in critical race studies and cultural geography and it will engage a wide variety of media, including speeches, memoir, poetry, music, visual culture, performance culture, film, and television. 

AFR 372C • Social Media/Social Impact

29750 • Foster, Kevin
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM CLA 1.102
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Course participants will collect and discuss the intellectual work of Black Studies thinkers and professors, and use that material as the basis for a comprehensive new media analysis in the United States. Students will discuss their individual approaches to and understandings of social media. The course is focused on action research and professional development as students develop and implement a personalized philosophy of social media engagement as it relates to the field of Black Studies.

AFR 372D • Afr Am Fam Hst/Ctm Ctxt-Hon

29752 • Pikus, Monique
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CBA 4.342
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AFR 372D • Sociocul Influences On Learn

29760 • De Lissovoy, Noah
Meets T 4:00PM-7:00PM SZB 424
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AFR 372D • Sociocul Influences On Learn

29755 • English Tillis, Gina
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM SZB 240
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AFR 372E • Afr Am Lit Snc Harlm Renais

29775 • Maner, Sequoia
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM JES A203A
(also listed as E 376S)
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E 376S  l  African American Literature Since the Harlem Renaissance


Instructor:  Maner, S

Unique #:  35170

Semester:  Spring 2018

Cross-lists:  AFR 372E

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer instruction:  No


Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.


Description:  Scholar Orlando Patterson coined the term “social death” to capture how enslaved Africans were methodically reduced to chattel through processes of alienation.  Justified through laws, language, and symbols, social death and its stigma of inferiority came to rigidly define the black American.  This course explores the possibilities for self-definition and citizenship in the wake of legal and social formations which created caste systems, denigrating stereotypes, and environments of poverty for large numbers of black Americans.


Using texts drawn from poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, this course moves through the historical periods of the long Cold War, the Second Reconstruction (Civil Rights era), and the post-soul present to examine black Americans relationship to citizenship.  Particular historical events will serve as nodes or points of focus for our inquiries including:  the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till; the 1985 bombing of MOVE headquarters in Philadelphia; the 1992 Los Angeles Riots; the federal response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005; the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012.


Undoubtedly, we face scary and confusing realities.  Gentrification, police murders of unarmed civilians, mass incarceration, and school systems which have left some of the most vulnerable members of society behind are just a few of the big issues the nation faces regarding racism and social justice.  This course’s selection of African American literature will help us to approach and imagine beyond these constraining social formations.


Sample Texts (subject to change):  The Street by Anne Petry; Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin; Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison; A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines; The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander; Women, Race, and Class by Angela Y. Davis.


Poetry selections from: Patricia Smith, June Jordan, Lucille Clifton, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Claudia Rankine, and Nikky Finney.


*Requirements & Grading:  Two short essays (30%); Rewrite of one short essay (10%); Final long essay (25%); Blog posts (20%); Quizzes and Participation (15%).

AFR 372E • Afr Am Lit Thru Harl Renais

29770 • Woodard, Helena
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM PAR 103
(also listed as E 376R)
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E 376R  l  African American Literature through the Harlem Renaissance


Instructor:  Woodard, H

Unique #:  35165

Semester:  Spring 2018

Cross-lists:  AFR 372E

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer instruction:  No


Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.


Description:  This course is an introduction to select African-American literature--slave narratives, poetry, novels, essays—in a tripartite format that extends from slavery to Reconstruction through the Harlem Renaissance.  The course proposes two primary objectives rooted in past and present literary representations of slavery.  Thematizing “the trope of the talking book,” (Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s The Signifying Monkey), the course first examines seminal slave narratives, e.g. the literature of the enslaved as discursive strategies, from self-actualization and resistance to early formations of a black literary discourse.  The course historicizes issues pertinent to the development of an African-American literary tradition, such as critical race theory, double consciousness or the struggle for self-identity, as complicated by issues pertaining to class, race, and gender.  These paradigms are presented through stylistic forms that include the oral vernacular tradition, blues ideology, and folk culture.  In the third and final unit, the course examines an unprecedented flourishing of seminal literature, art, music, and culture produced throughout the Harlem Renaissance.


Required Readings (subject to change):  Classic Slave Narratives, Henry Louis Gates, Jr • Poems of Phillis Wheatley, Phillis Wheatley • The Marrow of Tradition, Charles Chesnutt • The Autobiography of an Ex Colored Man, Charles Johnson • The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader, David Levering Lewis • Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston


*Requirements & Grading:  

.75    Three critical essays (25% each; 5-6 pages per essay, typed, double spaced)

         One major critical essay revision; see separate handout.

.15    Response papers, (in-class and out-of-class, based on course readings, 1-2 pages); reading quizzes; class participation

.10    Group presentations


Regular attendance is required.  More than four absences will be sufficient grounds for failure in the course.  The four allowed absences would include illness, deaths of relatives, and other emergencies.  If you are more than five minutes late or leave before class ends (without permission), you will be counted absent for that class.  You are responsible for all work covered in your absence.

AFR 372E • Hip Hop History

29762 • Anderson, Charles
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM WIN 1.172
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AFR 372E • Intro Ethnograph Method-L A

29764 • Jones, Omi
(also listed as ANT 324L)
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AFR 372E • Performance Ethnography-L A

29763 • Jones, Omi
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AFR 372E • Toni Morrison

29769 • Dechavez, Yvette
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.120
(also listed as E 349S, WGS 345)
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E 349S  l  5-Toni Morrison


Instructor:  DeChavez, Y

Unique #:  35014

Semester:  Spring 2018

Cross-lists:  AFR 372E; WGS 345

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer instruction:  No


Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.


Description:  This course examines select novels by Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, Toni Morrison.  The novels thematize womanism as theory, which incorporates race, gender, and culture in experiences uniquely shared by women--particularly women of color--across class and regional boundaries.  Collectively, Morrison's characters confront a wide range of challenging crises:  infanticide, male-female relations, familial conflict, socio-economical, cultural survival, etc.  Morrison's novels are a gloss on the African-American literary tradition, deeply rooted in the American literary tradition.


Required Reading (subject to change):  The Bluest Eye, 1970; Sula, 1973; Song of Solomon, 1977; Beloved, 1987; Jazz, 1992; A Mercy, 2008; God Help the Child.


Audio-Visual Aids:  Toni Morrison with Bill Moyers, History of Ideas Series; Toni Morrison on Beloved; Jazz and the Harlem Renaissance; Toni Morrison on Oprah Winfrey (Song of Solomon); The Margaret Garner Opera (documentary).


Requirements & Grading:  .50 Two Critical essays TBA (5 pages each; typed, ds); .30 A Reading Notebook (12-page minimum; typed, ds; see separate instruction sheet); .20 Presentations (TBA) / quizzes / class participation.


ATTENDANCE:  Regular attendance is required.  More than four absences will be sufficient grounds for failure in the course. Penalties may range from a reduction in overall course grade to failure of the course itself.  I reserve the right to make decisions on a case-by-case basis.  The four allowed absences will include illness, deaths of relatives, and other emergencies.  If you are more than five minutes late or leave before class ends (without permission), you will be counted absent for that class.  You are responsible for all work covered in your absence.  Read each novel completely by the first day of discussion for that book.  No makeup for quizzes is permitted.  Course pack articles are required reading.


GRADING SCALE:  Final grades will be determined on the basis of the following rubric.  Please note that to ensure fairness, all numbers are absolute, and will not be rounded up or down at any stage.  Thus, a B- will be inclusive of all scores of 80.000 through 83.999.  The University does not recognize the grade of A+.


A (94-100); A- (90-93); B+ (87-89); B (84-86); B- (80-83); C+ (77-79); C (74-76); C- (70-73); D+ (67-69); D (64-66); D- (60-63); F (0-59).


Plus/minus grades will be assigned for the final grade.  This is a writing-intensive course.  No final exam is given.

AFR 372E • Writing For Black Performance

29765 • Thompson, Lisa
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CLA 0.106
(also listed as AMS 321, E 376M, T D 357T)
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Course Description

This course will require students to write theatrical pieces as well as critical essays about the performance of black identity in America. Participants will also give oral presentations and perform readings of their work using various African-American performance styles. Students will read texts that examine African-American performance, contemporary black identity, and expressive culture. During the semester, we will explore what Lajos Egri describes as “the art of dramatic writing” or, depending on your style and interests, the art of comedic writing. We will consider the magic of theater and learn ways to use words to shape action on the stage. The main objectives of this course are finding or refining your voice, learning how to write a play or performance text and presenting it to an audience. The term will be spent reading theatre, writing plays and talking about plays–and if we are lucky, maybe even seeing a show or two. This class will introduce students to different theatrical formats such as solo performance, the choreopoem, one-acts, and the full-length traditional play. We will discuss character development, dialogue, monologue, conflict and setting. In acknowledgement of some of the difficulties writers face, we will also consider topics such as inspiration, technique and discipline as well as do a variety of writing exercises. We will also devote time performing assigned texts as well as what we write during class. The course will culminate with staged readings of excerpts from your final projects. 

AFR 372F • Black Women/Transnatl State

29795 • Smith, Christen
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM GEA 114
(also listed as ANT 324L, LAS 324L, WGS 340)
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This course surveys black women’s experiences living with and confronting state oppression around the world. From the United States to Brazil, black women experience similar patterns of political, social and economic inequality. Transnationally, racism, sexism, patriarchy, homophobia, and classism affect the quality of life of black women, particularly within nation-states with legacies of slavery and colonialism. This course takes an historical, social and theoretical look at the roots of this inequality and how black women have chosen to respond to it locally and globally. How have interlocking forms of oppression affected black women’s citizenship within the modern nation-state? How have black women, in turn, sought to organize themselves in response to this oppression?


1) To think critically about the multiple forms of oppression that affect black women’s lives globally;

2) To consider how black women’s political identity has been defined by experiences with oppression transnationally;

3) To define and articulate black women’s agency in response to oppression

Key Topics: Racism, sexism, patriarchy, homophobia, classism, transnationalism, representation, agency, black feminism.

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AFR 372F • Geogs Intl Devel In Africa

29790 • Faria, Caroline
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM GDC 1.406
(also listed as GRG 356T)
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AFR 372F • Measuring Racial Inequality

29785 • Jorge De Paula Paixao, Marcelo
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM GWB 1.130
(also listed as LAS 322)
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 “Measuring Racial Inequality” is an introductory course for the analysis of racial inequality through social statistics. The main objectives are: i) to understand the complexity of racial or ethnic variables used in demographic databases, like Census, household surveys, etc.; ii) to reflect about the concept of racial inequality hinged to its parallel conceptual dimensions: race, discrimination and theory of racial discrimination; iii) to study some statistical methods for the analysis of racial and ethnic inequality.

Coherently to these objectives, the course is split into two parts.

In the first one, the students will be in touch with selected problems related to how social scientists may understand demographic statistics disaggregated by race and ethnicity. This section is important so that the students can avoid an essentialist understanding on this matter. Or, in other words, we believe that it is necessary that the students can reflect on issues related to the complexity of the variables race and ethnicity for social statistics.

In the second part of the course, the students will be introduced to some of the most well known quantitative methods of analysis of social and racial inequality in the social sciences. The course will focuses on statistical concept and reasoning/interpretation rather than mathematics. Explanation will be based on simple example using Excel.

Each week the Instructor will give extra class exercises comprehending: i) researches on national statistical bureaus; ii) analysis of pre-tabulated demographic information; and iii) mechanisms for accessing data and micro data sets of social researches.

The Instructor is expecting that the students attending the course have different academic and personal background. As it is an introductory course, the objective is that even students with a basic level of knowledge of mathematics and statistics can attend class. Anyway, the Instructor is expecting that every student already has some previous understanding of elementary concepts as well as openness to study this kind of subject.

Finally, it is important to note that the course “Measuring Racial Inequality” is part of the process of setting out the Laboratory for the Study of Ethnic and Racial Equity (LAESER), placed at The University of Texas, Austin (LAESER’s office is located in SRH, Office 3105) and coordinated by Prof. Marcelo Paixão. As such, one of the objectives of the course is to raise interest of UT undergraduate students for the subject. Depending on mutual interest, capacity and resources, the possibility to join LAESER is welcomed.



First exam: 30%

Second exam: 30%

Research Paper: 20%

Weekly summaries: 10%

Presentation: 10%

AFR 372G • Archaeol Of African Thought

29810 • Denbow, James
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM SAC 4.174
(also listed as ANT 324L, ANT 380K)
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This course uses archaeological, anthropological and historical works to examine the development and transformation of African societies from the Neolithic through the slave trade and the beginning of the colonial period.  The course will discuss the historic and prehistoric foundations of contemporary African socieities south of the Sahara, focusing especially on equatorial and southern Africa.  The intention is to develop an understanding of the cultural dynamics of Bantu societies and traditions, and their transformations through time.  This provides an interpretive framework from which to examine emerging archaeological perspectives on the slave trade and its impact on the development of new traditions in the New World.  

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AFR 372G • Creole Languages/Speakers

29800 • Hancock, Ian
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM PAR 310
(also listed as E 364D, LIN 350)
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E 364D  l  2-Creole Languages and Their Speakers


Instructor:  Hancock, I

Unique #:  35080

Semester:  Spring 2018

Cross-lists:  AFR 372G, LIN 350

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No


Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.


Description:  This class in Creole Studies (creolistics) will begin with a general discussion of the nature of pidginized and creolized languages, and the societies and cultures that have emerged supported by them.  No attempt will be made at this point to draw any conclusions about what kind of languages they are, or where they come from.  This will be followed by an account of the development of the field of Creole Studies, from Pelleprat (1649) to the present.  The major approaches—monogeneticist, polygeneticist, relexificationalist, substratist, componentialist, bioprogram—will be dealt with, and the works of their main proponents read and discussed.  This will be followed by an examination of the definitions of the terms pidgin and creole, and of other so-called ‘marginal’ languages (traders’ jargons, cryptolectal varieties, foreigner speech, &c.), in order to justify their inclusion, or otherwise, as true cases of pidginized or creolized languages.  This will be followed by a survey of the world’s pidgins and creoles, and a detailed examination of the history and linguistic features of a small number of representative languages, with tape-recorded texts for analysis. Initially, particular emphasis will be placed upon Sierra Leone Krio, to provide a template for the examination of further creole languages; there will be particular focus on these languages that are spoken in the Americas, including African American Vernacular (“Black English”), Texas Afro-Seminole Gullah and Louisiana Creole French, as well as the Native American contact languages Yamá and Chinuk Wawa.  Others with a non-European-lexifier include Fanagalo Pidgin Bantu and Juba Creole Arabic.  We will also examine the non-linguistic aspects of creolization, i.e. of identity, cuisine, music and religion (see e.g. Chaudenson, 2001 and Le Page & Tabouret-Keller, 1985 in the reading list below).  The class includes the examination of some publications written in them, and watching some creole-language films from Sierra Leone and Jamaica.


Towards the end of the course we shall return to the issues raised at the beginning, and attempt a definition of the processes and typologies.  We will also look at creolization as it relates to acquisitionist theory, the process of decreolization/metropolitanization, and issues of education and standard language reform.


Proposed texts/readings:  Ammon, Ulrich, Norbert Dittmar and K. Mattheier (eds.), Sociolinguistics: An International Handbook of the Science of Language and Society. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2007 edition, pp. 459-469 • Arends, J., 1995. The Early Stages of Creolization. Amsterdam: Benjamins • Bakker, P., & M. Mous, eds., 1994. Mixed Languages: 15 Case Studies of Language Intertwining. Amsterdam: IFOTT • Byrne, F., & T. Huebner, eds., 1991. Development and Structure of Creole Languages. Amsterdam: Benjamins • Couto, H. do, 1996. Introduciio ao Estudio das Linguas Crioulas e Pidgins. Brasilia: Editora UnB • Edwards, W., & D. Winford, eds., 1991. Verb Phrase Patterns in Black English and Creole. Detroit: Wayne State UP • Escure, G., & A. Schwegler, 2004. Creoles, Contact and Language Change. Amsterdam: Benjamins • Grant, A., 2003. Papers in Contact Linguistics. Bradford: The University Press • Hancock, I., 1979. Readings in Creole Studies. Ghent: Story-Scientia • Hancock, I., 1985. Diversity and Development in Creole Studies. Ann Arbor: Karoma • Holm, J., 2000. An Introduction to Pidgins and Creoles. Cambridge: CUP • Holm, J., 2004. Languages in Contact: The Partial Restructuring of Vernaculars. Cambridge: CUP • Holm, J., & P. Patrick, 2007. Comparative Creoles Syntax: Parallel Outlines of 18 Creole Grammars. London: Westminster UP • Kouwenberg, S., 2003. Twice as Meaningful: Reduplication in Pidgins, Creoles and Other Contact Languages. London: Westminster UP • Lehiste, I., 1988. Lectures on Language Contact. Cambridge: MIT Press • Le Page, Robert, & Annegret Tabouret-Keller, 1985. Acts of Identity. Cambridge UP • Matras, Y., & P. Bakker, 2003. The Mixed Language Debate. Amsterdam: Mouton • Morgan, M., ed., 1994. Language and The Social Construction of Identity in Creole situations. Los Angeles: UCLA • Neumann-Holzschuh, 1., & E. Schneider, eds., 2000. Degrees of Restructuring in Creole Languages. Amsterdam: Benjamins • Polomé, Edgar, 1990. Research Guide on Language Change. Berlin: Mouton-DeGruyter • Romaine, S., 1988. Pidgin and Creole Languages. Harlow: Longman • Sebba, M., 1997. Contact Languages: Pidgins and Creoles. Basingstoke: Palgrave • Singh, I., 2000. Pidgins and Creoles: An Introduction. London: Arnold • Thomason, S., 2001. Language contact: An Introduction. Washington: Georgetown UP.


Requirements & Grading:  You’ll be graded on (a) two closed book, period long, hand in tests and (b) the composition and presentation of a research paper, and (c) on your evaluation of the papers of the others in the class.  Each of you will have a whole period at the end of the semester (half for presentation, half for questions and evaluation by everyone else).  The tests are 10% each, the evaluations 10%, attendance and participation 10% and your paper 60%.

AFR 372G • Science/Magic/Religion

29805 • Crosson, Jonathan
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM CLA 0.112
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AFR 372G • Sex & Power In Afr Diaspora

29815 • Gill, Lyndon
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CLA 1.102
(also listed as ANT 324L, WGS 340)
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Exploration of various experiences and theories of sex, intimacy, and desire alongside intellectual and artistic engagements with power hierarchies and spirituality across transnational black communities. Subjects include the concept of "erotic subjectivity" from various theoretical and methodological angles, principally within African diasporic contexts.

AFR 374C • Community & Social Devel-Gha

29825 • Jones, Omi
(also listed as AFR 387D, ANT 324L, T D 357T, T D 387D, WGS 340)
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In this course, students will participate in social change strategies that Ghanaians employ to strengthen their individual lives, their communities, and their environment.  These strategies include the work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), art for social justice, and social service agencies.  The course involves both experiential and classroom learning, with an international-based service learning component that intentionally integrates community service, theatre for social change, academic learning, and civic engagement. This course is offered alongside Texas State University’s “Ghana:  Human Rights and Social Justice Applied” which expands the opportunities for learning from a wide range of faculty and fellow students. During the course, students will work with various non-governmental organizations, arts organizations, social service agencies, schools, and/or community-based organizations to implement small-scale community and/or art projects that will: 1) enhance student learning, 2) meet small-scale community needs and 3) allow students to critically reflect upon their entire study-abroad experience. 

AFR 374C • Daily Life In Ancient Egypt

29830 • Nethercut, William
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM WAG 112
(also listed as C C 348, MEL 321, MES 342)
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The emphasis of this course, rather than the famous kings and historical narrative of Egypt, lies especially upon what we have learned about the work, lives, entertainment, experiences, families, dress, food, festivals, and religion of this people.  This makes a good follow-up for students who have already taken the Introduction to Ancient Egypt, CC 304 C  (Fall 2014), but can also serve to bring first timers into the main stream of Egyptian culture. The many sources available to illustrate our subject make of CC 348 a rich survey of Egyptian art.

This course carries a Global Cultures flag.

AFR 374D • African American Politics

29845 • Philpot, Tasha
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ B0.306
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AFR 374D • African Americans In Sports

29840 • Harrison, Louis
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SZB 104
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AFR 374D • Blacks/Asians: Race/Soc Movmnt

29834 • Bhalodia-Dhanani, Aarti
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM JES A217A
(also listed as AAS 330, ANT 324L)
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Flag: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.

Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial group in the United States making up 6% of the American population. With Asians now making up the largest share of recent immigrants it is important to study the Asian American experience, including Asian interactions with other minority groups. While a majority of Asians are immigrants, people from Asia have a long history in US. The course begins with an overview of Asian and Black history in the US through the lens of critical race theory. We will trace the historical roots of Asian and Black relations in the US and examine past and present racialization of Asian Americans and African Americans. We will examine key points of collaboration and conflict between Asians and Blacks in US history.  


Vijay Prashad, Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity
Gary Y. Okihiro, Margins and Mainstreams: Asians in American History and Culture
Fred Ho and Bill V. Mullen edited Afro Asia: revolutionary political and cultural connections between African Americans and Asian Americans
Nitasha Tamar Sharma, Hip Hop Desis: South Asian Americans, Blackness and Global Race Consciousness


Attendance: 5%
Class Participation: 15%
Exam 1: 25%
Exam 2: 25%
Research paper topic and bibliography: 5%
Research paper: 25%

AFR 374D • Hist Black Entrepren In US

29835 • Walker, Juliet
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM GAR 2.128
(also listed as AMS 370, HIS 350R)
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Within the construct of African American Business history, race, contemporary American popular culture and global capitalism, this course will focus on an important aspect in the contemporary political economy of black Americans. Specifically, the commodification (sale) of black culture provides the conceptual frame for an examination of the phenomenon of both the superstar black athlete as an entrepreneur and the Hip Hop Superstar as an entrepreneur in post-Civil Rights America. The emphasis in this course, then, is to critically examine and analyze the impact of a multiplicity of societal, cultural and economic factors in the post-modern information age, propelled by new technologies in the New Economy of Global Capitalism.  Also, consideration will be given to the new diversity as it impacts on the political economy of African Americans.

Proceeding from an interdisciplinary perspective, the course considers both the financial successes of superstar black athletes and hip hop entrepreneurs as well as their emergence as cultural icons, contrasted with the comparatively overall poor performance of Black Business not only within the intersection of race, gender, class, but also within the context of transnationalism in the globalization sale of African American Culture in post-Civil Rights America. But who profits?

Most important, why is it that business receipts for African Americans, who comprise almost thirteen percent of this nation's population, amounted in 2007 to only .5%, that is, less than one (1) percent of the nation's total business receipts? In addition, why is it that among the various occupational categories in which blacks participate in the nation's economy, especially as businesspeople, that black entertainers and sports figures are the highest paid? What does this say about race, class, gender and hegemonic masculinities in America at the turn of the new century?


Anderson, Maggie, Our Black Year: One Family's Quest to Buy Black in America's Racially Divided Economy

Jones, Marvin D. Fear of a Hip Hop Planet: America’s New  Dilemma

Marable, Manning, How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America: Problems Race, Political Economy, and  Society 

Rhoden, William C. Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete

Smith-Shomade, Beretta,   Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy: Selling Black Entertainment Television

Stoute, Steve, The Tanning of America:  How Hip Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of a  New Economy

Walker, Juliet E. K. “History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship”            

      Course Packet chapters 6-11 from The History of Black Business in America:  Capitalism, Race,

                      Entrepreneurship (New York/London:  Macmillan/Prentice Hall International, 1998)


Critical Book Review Analysis                           25%

    (5 reviews, 2-3 pages 5 points each)

Class Discussion/participation                             25%

Oral Summary of Research Paper                         5%

Seminar Research Paper (15 pages)                    45%

AFR 374D • US In The Civil Rights Era

29850 • Green, Laurie
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM UTC 3.124
(also listed as AMS 321, HIS 356P)
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A half century after the high point of the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S., most American students learn about the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, the 1957 Little Rock conflict over school desegregation, the 1963 March on Washington, and the fire hoses in Birmingham. Far fewer encounter the less-televised moments of civil rights history, the meanings of freedom that included but went beyond desegregation, and the breadth of participation by local people. It is even less common to consider other movements that paralleled the black freedom movement among, for example, Mexican Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans. Taking a comparative perspective, this upper division lecture course explores these aspects of the civil rights era. It also examines their larger historical context within American culture from the Second World War to the present. Finally, we consider questions about the writing of history: What does it mean to look back at such historic events with the benefit of hindsight?  How did they come about?  What changed?  What did not?  

Possible texts-
Cone, James H . Martin and Malcolm and America: A Dream or a Nightmare            :
Mankiller, Wilma. Mankiller: A Chief and Her People.
Garcia, Mario T. Blowout! Sal Castro and the Chicano Struggle for Educational Justice
Martin, Waldo E.  Brown v. Board of Education: A Brief History with Documents
Sellers, Cleveland.  The River of No Return: The Autobiography of a Black Militant and the Life and Death of SNCC          
Strum, Philippa. Mendez v. Westminster: School Desegregation and Mexican American Civil Rights.
Takaki, Ronald.  Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II

Three reading handouts  (5% each, 15% total)
Three in-class exams  (20% each, 60% total)
Five-page essay  (25%)
Regular class attendance (5%)

AFR 374E • Black Lives In The Archives

29870 • Burrowes, Nicole
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 308
(also listed as HIS 366N)
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How do we construct representations of the Black past? How do we understand the sources and evidence that scholars and artists use to enhance our understanding of the experiences of people of African descent? Who has the power to shape the historical record, and whose voices are silent?  We will engage critical debates about the nature of “the archive”* as a mechanism for exclusionary power, violence, surveillance, and silencing, on one hand, and the uses of archives for liberation, recovery, collectivity, and voice, on the other.  As literary scholar Brent Hayes Edwards asks, “is there a black practice of the archive?”

Archives are being created everyday.  For example, if we tried to collect materials about the Movement for Black Lives, what would we collect, who would we focus on, what could we access, how would we present it and for who? How would our answers to these questions reflect our biases and vision as producers of knowledge and cultural creators?  Students in this course will engage the current debates about the politics of archives for the Black Atlantic world. They will produce original research projects that demonstrate creative approaches to archival materials here at the University of Texas, Austin. 

*NOTE: What is an archive? It is a collection and categorization of materials, documents, art and artifacts. 


Tentative reading list:

  • Special Issue: “The Question of Recovery: Slavery, Freedom, and the Archive.” Social Text v.125(December 2015).
  • Edwards, Brent Hayes.  “Black Radicalism and the Archive.” W.E.B. DuBois Lecture Series, Hutchins Center, Harvard University, Cambridge: MA, March 24, 2015.
  • Fuentes, Marisa J. Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016.
  • Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Boston: Beacon Press, 1995.
  • Scott, David. “Introduction: On the Archaeologies of Black Memory.” small axe 12, no. 2 (June 2008): v-xvi.
  • Mitchell, Michele. “Silences Broken, Silences Kept: Gender and Sexuality in African-American History.” Gender and History 11, no.3 (November 1999): 433-444.
  • Morrison, Toni. “The Site of Memory.” In What Moves at the Margin: Selected Nonfiction, edited by Carolyn C. Denard, 65-82. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2008.
  • Alexander, Elizabeth. The Black Interior: Essays. Minneapolis: Greywolf Press, 2004.
  • Hartman, Saidiya. Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • Chaudhuri, Nupur, Sherry J. Katz, and Mary Elizabeth Perry. Contesting Archives: Finding Women in the Sources. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010.



Participation: 35%

Short Assignments: 35%

Independent Research Project: 30%


AFR 374E • Debt/Colonialism Caribbean

29855 • Jimenez, Monica
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM SAC 5.102
(also listed as AMS 321, HIS 363K, LAS 366)
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In this course we will examine the role that debt has played in the formation of colonial and neocolonial practices in the Caribbean region. In particular we will look at debt as justification and in furtherance of colonialism throughout the Caribbean region. The course will begin with historical examinations of the United States colonial projects and military invasions in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua during the early 20th century. These early interventions acted as testing grounds for US policies in the region that were premised on extractive economics and debt fueled dependence. The latter half of the course will take a close examination at the deep crisis in the US’ island territory of Puerto Rico and the emergent crisis in the US Virgin Islands. Our aim is first to take a historical view of colonial practices in the 20th century and next to evaluate how those practices have evolved into the contemporary debt fueled colonial practice.


Proposed reading list (subject to change):

  • Julie Greene. The Canal Builders: Making America's Empire at the Panama Canal. (New York: Penguin Press, 2009.)
  • Mary Renda. Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the Culture of U.S. Imperialism, 1915-1940. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.)
  • Jana K. Lipman. Guantánamo: a Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.)
  • Ellen Tillman, Dollar Diplomacy by Force: Nation-Building and Resistance in the Dominican Republic. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2016.
  • Peter James Hudson, Bankers and Empire: How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean. (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2017).
  • Alan McPherson, A Short History of U.S. Interventions in Latin America and the Caribbean (Malden, MA: Wiley, 2016).
  • Noel Maurer, The Empire Trap: The Rise and Fall of U.S. Intervention to Protect American Property Overseas, 1893-2013, (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2013)
  • Lara Merling, Kevin Cashman, Jake Johnston, and Mark Weisbrot “Life After Debt in Puerto Rico: How Many More Lost Decades?” Washington DC: Center for Economic and Policy Research, July 2017).
  • Agustín Rodríguez, “The Last Caribbean Colony, Harvard International Review; Cambridge 37.4 (Summer 2016): 14-15.
  • Linda Backiel. “Puerto Rico: The Crisis Is About Colonialism, Not Debt” Monthly Review; Oct 2015; 67, 5.
  • Diane Lourdes Dick, “U.S. Tax Imperialism,” American University Law Review, 65:1 (2015).


Proposed grading rubric (subject to change based on number of students and course level):

Attendance and Class Participation (20%)

Reading Responses (40%): Four, three-page reading responses

Lead Class Discussion (20%)

Final Paper (20%) – 10-12 page final paper 

AFR 374E • Race/Rebellion/Rev Caribbean

29860 • Burrowes, Nicole
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 0.128
(also listed as HIS 363K, LAS 366)
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From the Berbice Rebellion of 1763 led by enslaved Africans, to the fight led by the Saramaka people for land rights in Surinam, the peoples of the Caribbean have challenged the status quo.  The Caribbean is also home to the Haitian, Cuban and Grenadian Revolutions.  In this course, students will critically examine classic and recent works that represent these struggles. We will also engage Caribbean thinkers who have wrestled with questions of race, gender, labor, culture, violence, desire and memory to inform our understanding of these moments and movements. 

This course is multimedia, interdisciplinary and organized from the vantage point of Black Studies.  In addition, one of the goals will be for students to learn the historian’s craft.  Students will engage with key themes in Caribbean history, historiography and primary sources, and explicitly think about evidence, context, problem-spaces, representations, and change over time. 

Sample texts include:

  • Eller, Anne. We Dream Together: Dominican Independence, Haiti, and the Fight for Caribbean Freedom. Durham: Duke University Press, 2016.
  • Finch, Aisha. Rethinking Slave Rebellion in Cuba: La Escalera and the Insurgencies of 1841-1844. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015.
  • Guerra, Lillian. Visions of Power in Cuba: Revolution, Redemption & Resistance, 1959-1971. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012.
  • James, C.L.R. The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution. New York: Vintage Books, 1963.
  • James, Marlon. Book of Night Women. New York: Riverhead Books, 2009.
  • Lewis, Patsy, Gary Williams and Peter Clegg. Grenada: Revolution & Invasion. Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 2015.
  • Palmer, Colin. Freedom’s Children: The 1938 Labor Rebellion and the Birth of Modern Jamaica. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014.
  • Price, Richard. Rainforest Warriors: Human Rights on Trial. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012.
  • Viotti da Costa, Emilia. Crowns of Glory: Tears of Blood: The Demerara Slave Rebellion of 1823. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.


Participation: 30%

Short Writing Assignments: 30%

Research Project: 40%

AFR 374E • Race/Rights Latin America

29865 • Jimenez, Monica
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 208
(also listed as AMS 321, HIS 363K, LAS 366)
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This course is concerned with the role that race has played in the construction and development of human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean. It takes a historical approach to rights development in order to understand the growth of human rights discourse and policy in the 20th and 21st centuries. Human rights practitioners and activists in the region have critiqued the project of rights building as steeped in the old logics of colonialism and have pointed to the problem of racism that lies at the core of contemporary human rights thinking and rhetoric. Ultimately, certain groups’ rights are privileged over those of others and this course is concerned with why.

We will first examine how the logic of rights was constructed during the early republican period as excluding black and indigenous peoples. Historically the question of who was a citizen and thus who could claim rights before the state has been a fraught one in the region. 19th and 20th century debates to that effect and the laws that resulted continue to have reverberations in the contemporary moment, especially in discussions about the rights of women, and indigenous and afro-descended groups and individuals. The course is thus concerned with understanding how that logic has come to define and inhibit the possibility of rights for those communities throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Concurrently, the course will also examine how those communities have pushed against discrimination and legal boundaries to carve out rights for themselves. 

We will examine particular cases in order to understand how individual nations have treated the rights of historically marginalized groups. Case studies will include the struggle for recognition and rights of Haitians in the Dominican Republic, the current Garifuna struggle for land rights in Honduras, the case of the Awas Tigni in Nicaragua, as well as the impacts of Cold War era dirty war policies on the development of rights in the region.


Proposed reading list (subject to change):

  • Virginia Garrard-Burnett, Terror in the Land of the Holy Spirit: Guatemala under General Efraín Ríos Montt, 1982-1983. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.)
  • Joan Didion, Salvador. (New York: Vintage, 1983).
  • Diana Taylor, Disappearing Acts: Spectacles of Gender and Nationalism in Argentina's “Dirty War,” (Durham: Duke University Press, 1997).
  • Antony Anghie. Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004)
  • Poalo G. Carozza. “From Conquest to Constitutions: Retrieving a Latin American Tradition of the Idea of Human Rights.” Human Rights Quarterly 25, pp. 282- 313 (2003)
  • Aime Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism. (New York: Month Review Press, 2000).
  • Marti Koskenniemi, “Colonization of the ‘Indies’: The Origins of International Law?” in: Gamarra Chopo, Y., ed., La Idea de América en el Pensamiento ius Internacionalista del Siglo XXI. (Zaragoza, Universidad de Zaragoza: 2010), pp. 43-64.
  • Julia Suárez-Krabbe, “Race, Social Struggles, and ‘Human’ Rights: Contributions from the Global South.” Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies, Issue 6 (2013), 78-102.

Proposed grading rubric

  • Attendance and Class Participation (20%)
  • Reading Responses (20%): Students will turn in three, three-page reading responses.  The responses should fully discuss the work or works read for that week. Your discussions should include a brief summary of the work or works (including the author(s) arguments and reasons for writing); as well as the work’s connections to other readings from the class and the larger discussions we are engaged in. For weeks in which several works are assigned you should discuss each readings connection to the others assigned (i.e. why are you reading them as a group? How are they in conversation with each other?) You can also discuss the author’s methods and approach and how that leads to strengths/weaknesses of the work. Finally, your responses should pose questions (What did you not understand? What was left unanswered for you?).
  • Lead Class Discussion (20%) – In groups of two students will present the week’s readings to their classmates and the instructor. Presentations should begin with an introduction to the authors for each week (Who are they? What are their backgrounds? What are their scholarly interests?), the presenters should then give a brief introduction to the works giving the major themes, ideas, arguments and questions presented by each. Why did the author write the work, etc? Think of this is as an extended and oral reading response. The students should also bring questions and themes that will direct class discussion. Students should feel free to consult outside sources to prepare presentations as well as provide any background information and materials as needed. 
  • Final Paper (25%) – 10-12 page research paper on a topic related to the course. Students will develop a suitable topic for investigation in consultation with the instructor, they will create a research plan, select a variety of suitable primary and secondary sources for analysis, and convey their findings in clear prose. At every stage students will work with the instructor to develop their topics and ideas. Students will also exchange work with their classmates in small groups for peer-review and work shopping of drafts.
  • Presentation of research (15%) – formal 10-12-minute presentation of your research to the class that is a substantive talk organized and rehearsed beforehand and not informal comments about the paper or reading passages from the text. It should address your research goals, methodology, thesis, evidence, argument, and conclusions.

AFR 374F • Blueprint Art/Activism-L A

29873 • Bridgforth, Sharon
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Please check back for updates.

AFR 374F • Diaspora Visions

29890 • Okediji, Moyosore
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM DFA 2.204
(also listed as WGS 340)
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Please check back for updates.

AFR 374F • Historcl Images Afr In Film

29895 • Falola, Oloruntoyin
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM MEZ 1.216
(also listed as HIS 350L, WGS 340)
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Since the late 1980s, the African film industry has undergone radical changes that reflect an increasingly globalized economy and the impact of structural adjustment policies. This revolution is characterized by the low-budget, direct to video films commonly referred to as Nollywood.  While these films have come under criticism for their low production values and popularization of negative cultural stereotypes, the Nigerian video industry has risen to colossal proportions, sweeping across the continent and throughout the global diaspora.  The purpose of this course is to examine the rise of Nollywood and the genesis of a popular African art form.  Through a combination of films and readings, students will explore how Nollywood, in comparison with the established FESPACO film industry and Hollywood, depicts the society and culture of Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.  Additionally, this course seeks to engage students in a debate about how popular films affect historical imaginations and memory.  While these images have previously been the product of Hollywood and Francophone films, this course will introduce Nollywood as an alternative to how Nigerians and Africa as a whole understand their history. 


Haynes, Jonathan, ed. Nigerian Video Films. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2000.

Rosenstone, Robert A. Visions of the Past: The Challenge of Film to Our Idea of History.

Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995.

Saul, Mahir and Ralph A. Austen, eds. Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-First Century:

Art Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2010.

*There will also be several journal articles assigned throughout the semester.  These will be available through the university library’s online databases and posted to the course documents section of the class Blackboard page.


Assignment                Due                           Points

Attendance                Every class session           50

Book/Film Review    Week 6                     100

Conference Report Week 10                   50

Final Paper                Week 15                   200

Discussion Posts       See syllabus for deadlines          100

AFR 374F • Intro To South African Fiction

29874 • Rogez, Mathilde
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 105
(also listed as E 360L)
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E 360L  l  Introduction to South African Fiction


Instructor:  Rogez, M

Unique #:  35065

Semester:  Spring 2018

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No


Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.


Description:  This course will offer an overview of South African fiction written in English, and of the way the pressing political issues and political discourses have from the start shaped, and possibly been shaped in return by, literary forms and the discourse of literature.  We will start by considering the problems that English-speaking settlers have in representing South Africa to themselves and an overseas audience, move on to analysing how writers respond to the first segregation laws and then the apartheid years, which will involve discussions on the genre of the novel, the epic and the short story.  A latter section of the programme will cover the years leading to the fall of the apartheid regime and the attempts at forging a new, reconciled nation as represented in innovative plays and novels.  We will thus grapple with the issues of memory, truth and authenticity, re-presentation and voices, as well as analyse new, hybrid genres that borrow from more minor forms like detective stories, thrillers, or science-fiction.


Texts (subject to change):  Schreiner, O. The Story of an African Farm, 1883; Plaatje, S. Mhudi, 1930; Paton, A. Cry the Beloved Country, 1948; Gordimer, N. The Conservationist, 1972; Wicomb, Z. You Can’t Get Lost in Cape Town, 1987; Vladislavić, I. Flashback Hotel, 2010 (Missing Persons, 1989, and Propanganda by Monuments, 1996); Dangor, A. Bitter Fruit, 2001; Taylor, J. Ubu and the Truth Commission, 1998; Higginson, C. Dream of the Dog, 2010; Rose-Innes, H. Nineveh, 2011.


Requirements & Grading:  Two or three short papers (about 1,500-2000 words).  One longer essay or commentary (about 6,000 words) + a substantial revision of that essay.  Final paper (about 10,000 words).  Class participation.


Assignments:  The class will be run as a seminar.  Using at times some articles and critical or theoretical texts as an introduction to the issues tackled in the works on the syllabus, we will discuss as a group certain questions related to the assigned reading and comment on selected excerpts.  Come to class prepared to participate in discussions.  Grades will depend largely on the writing assignments:  over the course of the semester, you will be asked to write two or three short papers of between 1,500 to 2,000 words (10% each, keeping the best two grades if you submit more than two papers) and one longer essay or analysis of a selected excerpt of about 6,000 words (30%), which you will be asked to revise substantially and resubmit (10%).  A final paper of about 10,000 words will make up the remaining 40%.  All the assignments must be written in academic English.  Plus/minus grades will be assigned for all grades.  Class participation will be taken into account.  On-time attendance is required.  Missing more than the allowed number of classes will adversely influence your final grade.

AFR 374F • Mus Of African Diaspora-Cub

29888 • Moore, Robin
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Please check back for updates.

AFR 374F • Music Of Latin America

29875-29885 • Moore, Robin
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MRH 2.634
(also listed as LAS 326, MUS 334, MUS 380)
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Studies of both indigenous and borrowed traditions in the popular, folk,and art music of the Americas from the colonial period to the present.

AFR 374F • Producing Activist Art-L A

29887 • Bridgforth, Sharon
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Please check back for updates.

AFR 375 • Community Internship

29900 • Tang, Eric
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GEA 127
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Internship in a community organization that facilitates the economic, political, and social development of Austin's African American community. Students participate in research projects under the supervision of a faculty member

AFR 376 • Senior Seminar

29905 • Makalani, Minkah
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GEA 127
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A capstone course fpr AFR majors focusing on black intellectual traditions.