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

AFR 301 • African American Culture

29965 • Walter, Patrick
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM BUR 214
CDEWr (also listed as AMS 315, ANT 310L)
show description

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.


AFR 303 • Intro To Black Studies-Wb

29975 • Wint, Traci-Ann
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM • Internet
show description

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 304 • Intro To The Study Of Africa

29980 • Thomas, Kevin
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ B0.306
show description

This course is an introduction to African Studies, which reflects the social, cultural, political and economic diversity of the African continent. You will become familiar with a wide range of disciplinary perspectives and approaches to the study of historical and contemporary Africa. It will engage the disciplines of history, economies, cultural studies, gender studies, and religious studies. It strives to provide a foundation to the study of Africa whether it be global health or economic strategy.

AFR 310L • Intro To Traditional Africa-Wb

29995 • Falola, Oloruntoyin
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM • Internet
GC (also listed as HIS 311K)
show description

This is an introductory, inter-disciplinary course on the peoples and cultures of Africa, designed for students with a limited background in African studies as well as those who want to improve their understanding of this huge continent. The course is divided into two parts, one on a survey history and the other on aspects of culture. The subjects cover the long historical era known as the precolonial, which terminated at the turn of the twentieth century when Africa came under European rule. Among the main themes are: early history, kingdoms, interactions with external agencies, and various institutions and customs of society. Readings are drawn from two textbooks, two monographs. The books deal with essential outline histories and dense interpretive literature on a few issues. Films provide visual illustrations and additional perspectives.

1)    To use a combination of films, lectures and reading materials to introduce students to a number of themes in African history and cultures.

2)    To enable students to reflect on a number of issues in order to reach independent conclusions.

3)    To provide an adequate background that will prepare students for other courses on Africa.

4)    To improve the writing and analytical skills of students, by introducing them to the craft of history writing.

Required Materials

Toyin Falola, ed., Africa, Vol. 1, African History Before 1885, Durham: Carolina
Academic Press, 2000.

Toyin Falola, ed., Africa, Vol. 2, African Cultures, and Societies Before 1885, Durham:
Carolina Academic Press, 2000.

*** Books are available at Co-op. Students can also use the Internet to order direct from the publishers or through

Evaluation and points--100%

1)    Community Project      25%           September 18

2)    Mid-Term Examination—Take Home          25%            October 18  
     (Two essay questions, at least three pages on each)

3)     Class attendance and participation                  20%          
4)     Final examination—Take Home                   30%    December 10
        (Two essay questions, at least three pages on each)

AFR 311C • Perf/Femin/Socl Change-Wb

29999 • Pereira, Amanda
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM • Internet
VP (also listed as WGS 301)
show description

This course is an exploration of the ways that engaged performance and feminist practice generate space for social change in the United States and Africa. The course builds on the basic principle that social transformation requires individual awareness, and that awareness necessitates a rigorous examination of race, gender, class, nation and sexuality. Students will create solo, impromptu and ensemble work that illustrate different units of the course. As a result of this course, students will develop tools for productive self-reflexivity; will understand the role of positionality in collaborating across identity markers and cross-culturally; and will acquire writing and performance skills from a wide array of genres from dance and spoken word to theatrical jazz.

AFR 315 • Afro-Brazilian Diaspora

30000 • Afolabi, Omoniyi
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM RLP 0.112
GCWr (also listed as C L 305D, LAS 310C)
show description

Afro-Brazilian Diaspora

This course focuses on post-abolition Afro-Brazilian life, history, culture, politics, and letters.  It engages a wide range of literary texts, socio-cultural movements, visual arts, and cultural performances, while raising a number of questions that would lead to provocative midterm and final research papers, while simultaneously honing students’ writing skills with a number of response papers that may be expanded into a research paper. Most concepts and issues will be illustrated with multimedia clips or movies to ensure that students gain a richer experience of the Afro-Brazilian diaspora world.

Some of the questions the course will grapple with include the following: (i) What explains the continued exclusion of Afro-Brazilians from political power?; (ii) What is the legacy or impact of slavery within this context?; (iii) How is the concept of Africa (re)imagined, distorted, and manipulated in this regard?; (iv)What are the discourses used to justify social inequalities and racial discrimination in Brazil?; (v) How is the “radical” view on discrimination silenced while the “co-opted” perspective is promoted?; (vi) What are the effects of governmental patronage on cultural producers as they negotiate what Carl Degler calls the “mulatto escape hatch”?; and (vii) What are the limitations of ideology in an era of “globalization” and pragmatism?  These among other issues will form the basis of the course which will additionally analyze the social condition that goes beyond the more apparent “culture game”; and must also be seen as a political game towards visibility, participation, gendered equality, and empowerment.



  1. Students will be able to meet writing, global, and cultural diversity flags.
  2. Students will be exposed to the dynamics of coping mechanism with social inequalities.
  3. Students will not only be exposed to elements of style, they will improve their writing skills by having opportunities to re-write their assignments.
  4. Transnational resonances will be invoked for comparative analysis within contexts and texts in order to see the African Diaspora beyond a continental prism.

Required Texts:

  1. Johnson, Crook et al. ed. Black Brazil: Culture, Identity, and Social Mobilization
  2. Alves, Miriam and C. R. Durham. Finally Us/Enfim Nós
  3. Almeida, Bira. Capoeira: A Brazilian Art Form: History, Philosophy, and Practice
  4. Guimarães, Geni. The Color of Tenderness
  5. Gomes, Dias. Journey to Bahia

AFR 315G • The US And Africa-Wb

30010 • Falola, Oloruntoyin
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM • Internet
show description

This class will look at the history of the political, economic and cultural relations between the United States and Africa from the early origins of the slave trade to the present. It explores the role of the US in historical global contexts. The class is intended to elucidate historical developments both in the US and on the African continent, and should satisfy students with a strong interest in US history as well as those interested in the place of the US in the African Diaspora.  The semester is divided into four parts, each covering a major theme.
Course Objectives
To develop a base of African and US history and increase the level of awareness of the African Diaspora in the US.  
To obtain a well-rounded approach to the political, economic, and cultural connections between the United States and Africa.
To reevaluate perceptions of Africa, to recognize the vibrant nature of African culture, and to apply new knowledge to the different cultural agents active in US popular culture, such as music, dance, literature, business and science.
To help students understand present-day politics in Africa at a deeper level and to obtain a better understanding of racial conditions in the US.
To learn how to assess historical materials -- their relevance to a given interpretative problem, their reliability and their importance -- and to determine the biases present within particular scholarship. These include historical documents, literature and films.

1. Joseph E. Holloway, ed., Africanisms in American Culture  (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005 second edition).
2. Curtis A. Keim, Mistaking Africa: Curiosities and Inventions of the American Mind (Westview Press, 1999).
3. Alusine Jalloh, ed., The United States and West Africa (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2008).
4. Kevin Roberts, ed., The Atlantic World 1450-2000 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008).
5. Karen Bouwer, Gender and Decolonization in the Congo: the Legacy of Patrice Lumumba (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).
6. Gendering the African diaspora : women, culture, and historical change in the Caribbean and Nigerian hinterland / edited by Judith A. Byfield, LaRay Denzer, and Anthea Morrison. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.    

i. Public Lecture Review 10%     
ii. First  Examination 25%
iii. Book Review 20%
iv.   Book Review 20%
v. Second Examination 25%

AFR 315N • The Black Power Movement-Wb

30020 • Moore, Leonard
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM • Internet
HI (also listed as HIS 317L)
show description

The Black Power movement was a distinct period from the late 1960s and early 1970s that emphasized racial pride and the creation of black political and cultural institutions to nurture and promote black collective interests and advance black values, and secure black autonomy. The range of black power ideology ranged from the desire to create an all-black nation-state to the promotion of black economic power. This course will look at the major organizations, key figures, and ideologies of the black power movement.

Exams will be given approximately every 4 WEEKS.
Exam 1: 25%
Exam 2: 25%
Exam 3: 25%
Exam 4: 25%

AFR 315O • Politics Of Black Identity

30025 • Cokley, Kevin
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM RLP 1.104
show description

Throughout the history of African Americans there has existed a tradition whereby individuals whose attitudes, behavior, and politics differ from the Black majority have been labeled as Uncle Toms, negros, sellouts, and various other denigrating names. Underlying these labels is an orthodoxy of Black ideology that prescribes what is, and isn’t, authentic and normative Blackness. This course analyzes the idea that the activities and practices of certain Black celebrities, leaders, and intellectuals undermine Black progress.


Kennedy, Randall (2008): Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal. Vintage Books. Baker, Houston (2008). Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era, University Press.

Grading breakdown:

  • 6.7% Reaction Paper
  • 26.7% - 8 pop quizzes 
  • 26.7% - 4 journals
  • 6.7% - Research Participation
  • 33.3% final exam

AFR 315P • Intro Black Women's Studies-Wb

30030 • Wint, Traci-Ann
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM • Internet
show description

Please check back for updates.

AFR 315T • African American Lit/Cul-Wb

30038 • Bares, Annie
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM • Internet
CDWr (also listed as E 314V)
show description

E 314V  l  1-African American Literature and Culture


Instructor: Bares, A

Unique:  34377

Semester: Fall 2020

Cross-lists:  AFR 317F.1, 30038


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


Description:  This course will offer an overview of contemporary (post-1945) African American literature and culture.  We’ll view this field through the lenses of “crisis” and “care.”  We will consider how authors of African American literature have conceptualized crises related to racism, inequality, mass incarceration, human and environmental health, and state-sanctioned violence.  We will also consider how literary and artistic texts imagine care and redress in the wake of crisis. Some questions that we’ll think through together:  What role does African American literature play in a time of crisis? How do African American artists and thinkers represent crises at hand? How do they represent forms of care and sustenance that arise from crisis? What’s the relationship between collective and individual crisis in contemporary African American literature? What’s the relationship between collective and self-care?


The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other writing-focused disciplines.  Close-reading skills will be emphasized.  Students will also gain familiarity with online research tools integral to writing and research in humanities disciplines such as the OED, JSTOR, and other important databases and resources.


Potential Texts:  The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, Heavy by Kiese Laymon, Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey; selected essays by James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Saidiya Hartman, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, and Zandria Robinson.  Our textual readings may be supplemented by film, visual art, digital media, and music.


Requirements &Grading:  Assignments in this course will consist of three short essays (60%), two of which will be revised (20%) in addition to participation, presentations, and shorter creative assignments (20%).

AFR 315T • African American Lit/Cul-Wb

30039 • Mishra, Amrita
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM • Internet
CDWr (also listed as E 314V)
show description

E 314V  l  1-African American Literature and Culture


Instructor: Mishra, A

Unique:  34379

Semester: Fall 2020

Cross-lists:  AFR 317F.1, 30039


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


Description:  In light of the growing national Black Lives Matter movement and resistance to state-sanctioned violence and white supremacy, how might we think about Black literatures as sites of meaning-making, healing, joy, or revolution?  What is the power of the Black literary imagination in recasting narratives of the past and in envisioning radical futurities?  What is the present political utility of seeking value in the speculative—“what could have been”—over the official historical record, or “what was”?  This course looks at a range of contemporary Black creative works that explore the past and how the past continues to inform our present moment.  Together we will ask: how do these African diasporic writers reimagine the traumatic histories of the Middle Passage and plantation slavery, and unearth moments of Black joy and resilience in rewriting those histories?  How does Black literature and art negotiate issues of race, gender, sexuality, and class?  How does Blackness articulate itself in the creative works of more recent US-based African diasporas, such as in the work of Nigerian-American writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie?  Alongside creative works we will read selections of critical race theory, Black feminism, and activist agendas that will help us conceptualize Black death, the politics of resistance and refusal, and Black love.


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 and acquire models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.


This course contains a Cultural Diversity and 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.


Requirements and Grading:  3 close-reading research papers, including creative writing options for the final project (70% of final grade).  For the first paper, you will submit a draft that will be graded.  We will then have individual writing conferences to discuss your work and feedback, after which you will be asked to resubmit a revised paper.  Subsequent papers will have revision opportunities through peer-review and class writing workshops.  There will also be weekly reading journals/blog posts, casual class presentations, and evaluated class participation (30% of final grade).


Tentative Texts (subject to change):  Kindred, Octavia Butler; Citizen, Claudia Rankine; Sing, Unburied, Sing, Jesmyn Ward; Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi; Americanah, Chimananda Ngozi Adichie; Moonlight, film dir. Barry Jenkins; selections from Saidiya Hartman’s Lose Your Mother, James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, amongst others.

AFR 324E • Racism And Antiracism-Wb

30057 • Mena, Olivia
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM • Internet
show description

Racism is a structure and ideology that shapes and informs the contours of economic, social, political, legal, and cultural life. In this course we explore the history of race, racism, and white supremacy alongside a counter-history of anti-racist actions and a rich tradition of anti-racist theory and abolition. Students will develop a deep historical understanding of racism and develop tools for critical analysis to reflect on the contours of anti-racist work, solidarity and action within the current context of the global Black Lives Matter movement to end racism.

AFR 330C • Fashion And Desire-Wb

30060 • Gill, Lyndon
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM • Internet
GC (also listed as WGS 340)
show description


This course explores historical and contemporary style in the African Diaspora. From head to toe, runways to street corners, art installations to music videos, “dandyism” to “swag,” Patrick Kelly to Kanye West, Josephine Baker to Beyoncé, we investigate the sartorial as a wearable art form and a political arena. We unfurl the tapestry of desires that encircles black fashion in the U.S. and globally, combing through the intertwined threads of passionate creativity, sexual fetishization, corporeal autonomy, capitalism consumerism, suffocating conformity and humorous play amongst other topics.



Gott, Suzanne & Kristyne Loughran

2010    Contemporary African Fashion. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Miller, Monica

2009    Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity. Durham: Duke University Press.

Tamagni, Daniele

2009    Gentlemen of Bacongo. London: Trolley Books.

Tulloch, Carol

2004    Black Style. London: Victoria & Albert Museum.

White, Shane & Graham White

1999    Stylin’: African American Expressive Culture, from Its Beginnings to the Zoot Suit. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

AFR 330Q • Caribbean Literature-Wb

30069 • Mishra, Amrita
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM • Internet
GC (also listed as C L 323, E 343C)
show description

E 343C  l  Caribbean Literature


[previously offered as E360L.2]


Instructor:  Mishra, A

Unique #:  34939

Semester:  Fall 2020

Cross-lists:  AFR 330Q, C L 323.6


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


Description:  “As your plane descends to land, you might say, What a beautiful island Antigua is—more beautiful than any of the other islands you have seen, and they were very beautiful, in their way, but they were too green, much too lush with vegetation, which indicated to you, the tourist, that they got quite a bit of rainfall, and rain is the very thing, just now, you do not want, for you are thinking… you could stay in this place where the sun always shines and where the climate is deliciously hot and dry… since you are a tourist, the thought of what it might be like for someone who had to live day in, day out in a place that constantly suffers from drought, and so has to watch carefully every drop of fresh water used must never cross your mind”


- Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place


The Caribbean is often imagined today, as European colonizers once did, as a tropical paradise: pristine beaches, eternal sunshine, the perfect getaway.  But as Kincaid insightfully observes, in such imaginings the islands are emptied out of actual Caribbean peoples, their lived experiences, and historical complexity.  In this course we will read a range of major writers from various Caribbean nations and islands who write back to and dismantle such colonial fantasies of the Caribbean as they grapple with questions of race, gender, sexuality, and belonging.  We will begin with Caribbean writers of the early 20th century who contributed to and advanced modernist and avant-garde literary movements that are conventionally associated with Western Europe and the US.  Together we will ask: how did such texts resist colonialism and colonial ways of thinking or being?  How did such texts conceptualize Caribbean regional and national belonging?  What power did the Caribbean literary imagination have on transforming national consciousness?


We will then explore Windrush-era and contemporary writers who negotiate the postcolonial Caribbean and nationhood.  How do such texts unearth the enduring and varied legacies of slavery, indentured labor, maroonage, and the dispossession and genocide of indigenous peoples?  How might literature recast those narratives of the past and imagine alternative radical futurities?  Alongside creative works we will read some selections of literary theory and travel journals of colonizers on the Caribbean.


This course contains a Global Cultures flag.


Requirements & Grading:  3 close-reading + research papers (70% of final grade). Option to revise first paper and resubmit after an individual writing conference to discuss feedback.  There will also be weekly reading journals/blog posts, short creative writing prompts, 1-2 class presentations, and evaluated class participation (30% of final grade).


Tentative Texts (subject to change):  Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, Aimé Césaire (Martinique); Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys (Dominica); A Small Place, Jamaica Kincaid (Antigua); The Swinging Bridge, Ramabai Espinet (Trinidad), At the Full and Change of the Moon, Dionne Brand; The Price of Memory, documentary directed by Karen Mafundikwa (Jamaica); Krik? Krak!, Edwidge Danticat (Haiti); selections from works of Suzanne Césaire (Martinique), José Martí (Cuba), Junot Diaz (Dominican Republic).  We will be reading all texts in English; if you are a French or Spanish reader please feel free to read the original!

AFR 330R • Lit Of Black Politics-Wb

30070 • Marshall, Stephen
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM • Internet
IIWr (also listed as AMS 370)
show description

Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison are three of the greatest American writers. The corpus of each contains first rate literary works, provocative and erudite literary and cultural criticism, and insightful theoretical analysis of the perils and possibilities of black life under conditions of American political modernity and late modernity.

In this course, we will examine the novels, plays, and critical essays of these writers as works of democratic political theorizing and political engagement. We shall ask, how do each of these writers conceive the legacies of slavery, mastery, segregation, and racial terror, and how do each conceive the relationship between these legacies and contemporary black life? How does each writer conceive the lessons of this legacy(s) for contemporary political life? What aesthetic forms are most adequate to wrestling with these legacies, according to these three writers? And, what is the vocation of the artist in Black America and America as a whole, and are the conceptions of the artistic vocation held by these writers politically relevant for us today?



5 page Midterm paper: 20%

15 page Research Paper: 40%

Daily reading quizzes: 20%

Class Presentation: 20%


Possible Texts

  • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
  • Ralph Ellison, The Collected Essays of Ralph Ellison
  • James Baldwin, Go Tell it On the Mountain
  • James Baldwin, Blues For Mister Charlie
  • James Baldwin, The Price of the Ticket
  • Toni Morrison, Beloved
  • Toni Morrison, Paradise
  • Toni Morrison, What Moves at the Margins
  • Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark

AFR 330S • Danticat And Diaz-Wb

30075 • Wilks, Jennifer
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM • Internet
CDWr (also listed as C L 323, E 349D)
show description

E 349D  l  Danticat and Díaz


[previously unnumbered E349S topic]


Instructor:  Wilks, J

Unique #: 34970

Semester:  Fall 2020

Cross-lists:  AFR 330W, C L 323.60


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


Description:  In this course we will study the work of two of the most celebrated contemporary fiction writers in the United States: Haitian American Edwidge Danticat and Dominican American Junot Díaz.  Between them Danticat (b. 1969) and Díaz (b. 1968) have won almost all of the major American cultural and literary prizes, including the MacArthur Fellowship, National Book Award, and Pulitzer Prize; and their work has been consistently published and reviewed in such high profile venues as the New Yorker magazine and the New York Times.  At the same time that their respective works speak to broader questions of American identity, however, Danticat and Díaz also write culturally specific narratives that explore the intricacies of what it means to be Haitian and Dominican, Haitian American and Dominican American, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.  As a result, in addition to considering the qualities that have resulted in Danticat and Díaz’s elevation to the status of exemplary American authors, we will also examine how issues of gender, migration, history, and race factor into their work.


Texts (subject to change):  

General: C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution; Frank Moya Pons, The Dominican Republic: A National History; Michelle Wucker, Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola.


Edwidge Danticat: Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994); Krik? Krak! (1995); Brother, I’m Dying (2007); Claire of the Sea Light (2013).


Junot Díaz: Drown (1996); The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007); This Is How You Lose Her (2012).


Requirements & Grading:  Two short papers (3-4 pages each), 40%; Final paper (5-7 pages), 35%; Rough draft & substantial revision (4 pages), 10%; Reading journal, 15%.

AFR 330T • Diasporic Magic: Lit/Perf

30080 • Young, Hershini
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM RLP 1.108
CD (also listed as C L 323)
show description

Course Description:

A child born when the door between the spirit and material world was swinging open, 100 year old vampires who look like little girls, and crack cocaine as a character with a wicked sense of humor: this class will use satirical and slightly off-kilter texts and performances to examine reallife dark forces that plague contemporary black societies across the world. Moving from Southern Africa to black England to African America, this class explores not just the meaning of race, gender and sexuality, but also how those categories of identity can be reimagined given the omnipresent threat that black lives face. We will pay close attention to both issues of context (historical, socio-economic and anthropological) as well as to questions of structure and genre. Specifically we will think through notions of Afrofuturism, addiction, ecological disaster capitalism, thinking through how the ways black people make and embody art inform the content. The class will also include a large number of contemporary cultural texts such as music videos, popular dance trends and music.


1. Fledgling by Octavia Butler

2. An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

3. Delicious Foods: A Novel by James Hannaham

4. Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

5. The Girl with All the Gifts (Film)

6. Pumzi directed by Wanuri Kahiu (Film)

7. “In their Own Form” (Jan 21-May 16): Christian Green Gallery and Idea Lab

8. The Fits directed by Anna Rose Holmer (Film)

9. Performances by Nelisiwe Xaba, Serge Attukwei Clottey, Nora Chipaumire, Wura Natasha-Ogunji and Faka

Supplemental theoretical material will be provided on various authors in course documents.

AFR 330W • Black Queer Literature/Film

30085 • Young, Hershini
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 201
CDGCWr (also listed as WGS 340)
show description

In recent years the term “queer” has emerged as an identity and an analytical framework that focuses on non-normative ways of being. This seminar will combine elements of critical race theory and queer theory to investigate the particular experiences and cultural production of Black sexual and gender variant communities. We will analyze written works and films/videos by and about lesbians, bisexual, transgender and gay Black people.  Emphasis will be on understanding the historical and theoretical construction of sexual and gender identities and sexual/cultural practices in Black communities. Special attention will be paid to the construction of race, gender and sexual identities in North America, the Caribbean and the United Kingdom

AFR 340 • Contemp African Pop Culture-Wb

30115 • Livermon, Xavier
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM • Internet
show description

The aim of this course is to introduce students to some of the most significant aspects of popular culture in contemporary sub-Saharan Africa. Manifestations of popular culture are considered as markers of modern African identities, embedded in complex and varied socio-cultural, historical and political contexts. Within the current era of global, diasporic, and transnational flows, it is neither sufficient any longer to view Africa solely from the perspective of political economies, nor to discuss contemporary African culture within the tradition-versus-modernity debate. Manifestations of popular culture in Africa show that the continent is part and parcel of the postmodern world, with cultural production simultaneously influenced by global trends and specific African contexts. The course will cover various forms of cultural expression and genres, including popular film, music, literature, dance, comics and cartoons, fashion, sport, street art, theatre, and contemporary visual arts. Attention will be paid to the production modes, audiences and sites of consumption of these different genres and aspects of popular culture. Course instruction will include extensive film and clip viewings, analysis of music, and reading fictional texts such as popular novels and comics.


  • Marguerite Abouet Aya: Life in Yop City.
  • Nadine Dolby: Constructing Race: Youth, Identity and Popular Culture in South Africa.
  • Manthia Diawara In Search of Africa.
  • Sokari Ekine ed. SMS Uprising: Mobile Activism in Africa. 
  • Relebohile Moletsane, Claudia Mitchell, and Ann Smith eds. Was it Something I Wore? Dress, Identity, Materialitiy.
  • Mwenda Ntarangwi East African Hip-Hop: Youth Culture and Globalization.
  • Simon Weller and Garth Walker South African Township Barbershops and Salons.

AFR 340K • Medicine In African Hist

30120 • Osseo-Asare, Abena
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM BUR 220 • Hybrid/Blended
GCIIWr (also listed as HIS 350L)
show description

How do societies understand illness, and how do they restore good health? In this course, we explore how communities have confronted disease throughout Africa’s history. During the first six weeks, we read about the changing role of specialist healers since the 1700s, including shamans, malams, nurses, and drug peddlers. The second half of the course turns to the history of specific health concerns and diseases including coronavirus, ebola, malaria, reproductive health, and AIDS through regional case studies. Particular emphasis is placed on pre-colonial healing, medical education, colonial therapeutics, and the impact of environmental change.

This course offers participants a nuanced, historical perspective on the current health crisis in Africa. Staggering figures place the burden of global disease in Africa; not only AIDS and malaria, but also pneumonia, diarrhea and mental illness significantly affect the lives of everyday people. Studying the history of illness and healing in African societies provides a framework with which to interpret the social, political, and environmental factors shaping international health today.

AFR 345K • Race Against Empire: Amers-Wb

30135 • Jimenez, Monica
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM • Internet
show description


This course is concerned with the history of race as an organizing principle of empire. How have ideas of race and racialization provided justification and motivation for imperial formations? In conversation with other parts of the world, this course will focus on empire, race and social movements in the Americas. We will examine how the pursuit and maintenance of empires by Western states was (and is) deeply tied to notions of race, with particular attention to legal thinking. As part of the course, we will also explore various (and contested) critiques of empire, anti-colonial movements and their corresponding “freedom dreams.”

Learning outcomes:

  • Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of concepts, theories and debates related to race and empire.
  • Students will engage broad historical patterns and trajectories of imperialism that will help them to think critically about the contemporary world.
  • Students will be able to explain the contexts and problem-spaces that gave rise to anti-colonial movements in various locales.
  • Students will gain deeper knowledge of the workings of power and hegemony broadly defined.
  • Students will strengthen critical thinking and analytical abilities through discussion, collaboration and various types of assignments.


  • Fanon, Frantz. Wretched of the Earth and Black Skin, White Masks.
  • Cesaire, Aime. Discourse on Colonialism.
  • McKittrick, Katherine. Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis.
  • Coulthard, Glen Sean. Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition.
  • Grandin, Greg. Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, The United States, and the Rise of New Imperialism.
  • Lowe, Lisa. The Intimacies of Four Continents.
  • Stoler, Ann Laura. (Ed). Haunted by Empire: Geographies of Intimacy in North American History.
  • Briggs, Laura. Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico
  • Anghie, Antony.  Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law.
  • Kale, Madhvi. Fragments of Empire: Capital, Slavery and Indian Indenture in the British Caribbean.
  • Kelley, Robin D.G. Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination.    
  • Carpentier, Alejo. The Kingdom of this World.                  


  • Attendance and Participation 10%
  • Short Response Papers 20%
  • In-class exam 20%
  • In-class exam 20%
  • Final 30%

AFR 350J • Hiv/Aids Activism/Heal Arts-Wb

30140 • Gill, Lyndon
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM • Internet
show description

The AIDS pandemic is still far from over. This course explores the historical and contemporary phenomenon of HIV/AIDS principally in the art and activism of the African Diaspora. For over three decades we as a species have been using activism and artistry to champion the cause, mourn the dead, prevent infection and encourage healthy HIV+ lives. Here in the United States, in the American South, and at UT, we are part of a global movement of contagiously creative and inf ectiously  passionate people determined to honour, preserve and celebrate life in this age of AIDS. Throughout the semester, we will gather local and international resources, tools and strategies vital for our global well-being.

AFR 350K • Puerto Rico In Crisis-Wb

30145 • Jimenez, Monica
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM • Internet
GCIIWr (also listed as AMS 370)
show description

Course Description:  

This course will provide a history of the island’s relationship with the United States focusing in particular on questions of law and capitalism. The course will center around two questions: What is Puerto Rico to the United States? And how did we get to the present moment of crisis? In answering these questions we will focus in particular in the ways that law has racialized islanders and conceived them as unprepared and undeserving of rights. This conception has thus shaped the way that capitalism has worked as a force in shaping the islands possibilities throughout the 120 years of its relationship with the US. 


Readings (subject to change): 

  • Jorge Duany, Puerto Rico: What Everyone Needs to Know, (New York: Oxford UP, 2017). 

  • Reconsidering the Insular Cases: The Past and Future of the American Empire, Gerald Nueman and Tomiko Brow-Nagin, eds. (Caimbridge: Harvard UP, 2015). 

  • Charles Venator-Santiago, Puerto Rico and the Origins of US Global Empire: The Disembodied Shade, (New York: Routlidge, 2015). 

  • Joanna Poblete, Islanders in the Empire: Filipino and Puerto Rican Laborers in Hawai’I, (Urbana: University of Illinois, 2017). 

  • Kelvin Santiago-Valles, “ ‘Our Race Today [is] the Only Hope for the World:’ An 

African Spaniard as Chieftain of the Struggle Against ‘Sugar Slavery’ in Puerto Rico, 1926-1934” Caribbean Studies, Vol. 35, No. 1 (2007), pp. 107-140. 

  • Gervasio Luis Garcia, “I am the Other: Puerto Rico in the Eyes of North Americans, 1898,” The Journal of American History, Vol. 87, No. 1 (Jun., 2000), pp. 39-64. 

  • Solsirée del Moral, “Negotiating Colonialism ‘Race,’ Class, and Education in EarlyTwentieth-Century Puerto Rico,” in Alfred W. McCoy and Francisco A. Scarano, eds. Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009.) 

  • Eileen J. Findlay, “Love in the Tropics: Marriage, Divorce, and the Construction of Benevolent Colonialism in Puerto Rico, 1898-1910,” in Close Encounters of Empire: Writing the Cultural History of the U.S. and Latin American Relations, (Durham: Duke University Press, 1998.) 

  • Ellen Walsh, “The Not-So-Docile Puerto Rican: Students Resist Americanization, 1930,”Centro Journal, Vol. XXVI, No. I (Spr. 2014), pp. 148-171.  


AFR 350P • Urb Slavery In The Amers

30150 • Canizares, Jorge
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM BUR 116 • Hybrid/Blended
CDIIWr (also listed as AMS 370, HIS 347N, LAS 366)
show description

We associate slavery with plantations, a rural institution, yet most slaves in the Americas wound up in cities, working as peddlers, artisans, barbers, pilots, healers, soldiers, and a variety of other occupations. Cities afforded slaves relatively more freedoms. In Spanish and Portuguese America it was common for urban slaves to purchase their own freedom through the institution of slave-for-hire, and cities witnessed the development of large free-colored communities.  Although cities enjoyed a larger presence of the government, often entire neighborhood remained outside state control, sheltering maroon communities (runaways slaves). Finally, although port-cities were more connected to the European Atlantic world, they were also connected to the African world. Africa survived in cities just as it did in remote rural plantations. Students will read recent new works on urban slavery in the Portuguese-, Dutch-, French-, British-, and Spanish -American worlds, but also in Africa itself (Sierra Leone, Luanda, Ouida, Anobamo).

Texts (a monograph per week) some examples:
Karl Jacoby The Strange Career of William Ellis: The Texas Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire
Robert Harms, The Diligent: A Voyage Through the Worlds of the Slave Trade
Jon F. Sensbach. Rebecca's Revival: Creating Black Christianity in the Atlantic World

Weekly papers: 70% grade
Final paper: 30 % grade

AFR 350R • Global Hist Of Disease

30155 • Osseo-Asare, Abena
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM RLP 0.102 • Hybrid/Blended
(also listed as HIS 366N)
show description

This course introduces major themes in the history of medicine through the lens of disease. It focuses on two questions: How have people defined well-being? How have they responded to illness? The course considers major diseases to understand their multiple meanings across time and space including: AIDS, Chagas Disease, Cholera, Coronavirus, Ebola, Influenza, Malaria, Plague, PTSD and Sleeping Sickness. Themes to be considered include changing theories of disease causality, the development of international public health policy, social understandings of the body, and the growth of the pharmaceutical industry. The course emphasizes the roles governments, medical practitioners, and patients play in the social construction of disease and health. Case studies from India, Brazil, South Africa and the United States will be analyzed through readings, lectures and films.

AFR 351E • Hist Black Entrepren In US

30165 • Walker, Juliet
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM MEZ B0.306
CDIIWr HI (also listed as AMS 370, HIS 350R)
show description

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..  In addition, given the recent (Spring 2020) highly negative impact of the virulent Corona Virus, COVID-19 pandemic on the African American community, are there similarities/parallels between the factors contributing to the resulting socio-economic impact and conditions of free blacks, both as workers and entrepreneurs since 1865, with those of 21st century African Americans, also as workers and entrepreneurs, with both historical generations  contending with the persistent racial iniquities of capitalism?                                                                                                                                         

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?

Eldridge, Lewis, Capitalism:  The New Segregation
Lewis, Reginald, Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun:  How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire
Marable, Manning, How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America: Problems Race, Political Economy, and  Society  
O’Malley, Zach,  Empire State of Mind: How Jay Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office,
Peebles, R. Donahue, The Peebles Principles: Tales and Tactics from an Entrepreneur's Life Winning Deals Succeeding in Business, and Creating a Fortune from Scratch
Smith-Shomade, Beretta,   Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy: Selling Black Entertainment Television
Stoute, Steve, Tanning of America:  How Hip Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote Rules of a New Economy
Walker, Juliet E. K. History Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship [1998 edition] 

Critical Book Review Analysis       10% 
Oral Summary of Research Paper  5%
Class Discussion/Participation      20% 
Take-home Mid-Term Exam          25% 
 Seminar Research Paper (15 pp)  40%

AFR 370 • Black Horror/Psychoanalysis

30195 • Walter, Patrick
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM BUR 208
show description

This course is based on two complicated encounters:  black artists’ engagement with gothic horror and black critical theorists’ confrontations with psychoanalysis. For good reason, both horror and psychoanalysis have often been considered hostile toward the people and cultures of the African Diaspora.  Nonetheless, many key writers and filmmakers such Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, and Jordan Peele have reinvented gothic horror conventions as a way of articulating the legacies of colonization and chattel slavery.  Similarly, some of the most important black political thinkers and activists – including Frantz Fanon, Hortense Spillers, David Marriott, and Frank Wilderson – have developed their conceptual frameworks in part through complex and deeply critical revisions of the ideas of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan.  What can the ghosts, vampires, demons, and witches of African Diasporic fiction tell us about the relevance and limits of psychoanalytic thought to black critical theory and praxis?  How does Jordan Peele’s horrific imaging of the therapist’s couch in Get Out! develop a black critique of Freudian transference in keeping with Wilderson’s notions of Afro-Pessimism?  How might the vampiric death drive in Octavia Butler’s Fledgling help us to understand Fanon’s notion of violence?  This class provides an introduction to gothic horror, African Diasporic aesthetics and theory, and some of the fundamental aspects of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis.



Morrison, Toni.  Beloved

Butler, Octavia.  Fledgling

LaValle, Victor.  The Devil in Silver

Peele, Jordon.  Get Out!

---.  Us.

Condé, Maryse.  I Tituba:  Black Witch of Salem

Naylor, Gloria.  Linden Hills

O’Shea, Michel.  The Transfiguration

Gunn, Bill.  Ganja and Hess

Romero, George A.  Night of the Living Dead


Critical Theory

Fanon, Frantz.  Black Skin, White Masks (selections)

Spillers, Hortense.  “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe:  An American Grammar Book”

Marriott, David.  Haunted Life:  Visual Culture and Black Modernity (selections)

Wilderson, Frank.  Red, White, and Black (selections)

JanMohamed, Abdul.  The Death-Bound-Subject (selections)

Cole, Merrill.  “Nat Turner’s Thing.”

Freud, Sigmund.  Beyond the Pleasure Principle (selections)

---.  The Uncanny

---.  “Mourning and Melancholia.”

Lacan, Jacques.  The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (selections)

---. Ecrits (selections)

Miller, Jacques-Alain.  Extimité.”


AFR 380P • Race And Medicine-Wb

30215 • Farmer, Ashley
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM • Internet
(also listed as HIS 392)
show description

This course explores how race has played an outsized role in the history and practice of American medicine. The course examines the historical context out of which racist medical practices arose and how modern medical training has perpetuated these inaccuracies in both scholarship and clinical training. This interdisciplinary class will familiarize students with modern African American history and modern medical literature with the goal of critically engaging them in questions of race, ethnicity, biology, and medical treatment. It will be open to graduate students as well as students at the Dell Medical School.


  • Harriet A. Washington, Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present 
  • Dorothy Roberts, Killing the Black Body: Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty
  • Keith Wailoo, How Cancer Crossed the Color line 
  • Diedre Cooper Owens, Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology
  • Lundy Brawn, Breathing Race into Machines:The Surprising Career of the Spirometer from Plantation to Genetics 
  • Vence L. Bonham, JD; Eric D. Green, MD, PhD; Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, MD, “Examining How Race, Ethnicity, and Ancestry Data Are Used in Biomedical Research,” Journal of the American Medical Association, September 24, 2018 
  • Dorothy Nelkin, PhD, “Sex, Race, and Science: Eugenics in the Deep South.” Journal of the American Medical Association,August 2, 1995
  • V. Wiesenthal, M.D.,Case of a Negro Whose Skin Has Become White,” The New England Journal of Medicine, January 1, 1819.

All other materials available via CANVAS


  • Presentation/ Discussion leading- 15%
  • Class Attendance and Participation- 15%
  • Personal Race/Medicine Reflection 15%
  • Weekly Reflections 20%
  • Annotated Bibliography- 10%
  • Final Paper- 25%

AFR 381 • Alienation And Freedom-Wb

30220 • Alagraa, Bedour
Meets W 11:00AM-2:00PM • Internet
show description

This course is a graduate reading seminar which focuses on the problem of alienation as a predicament for Black radical anticolonal thought and politics. In this seminar, we will trace the genealogy of this ‘problem’ to the humanist tradition, in which the figure of the human is the site for considerations regarding both alienation and freedom. We will endeavour to consider a different humanist strand, drawn from radical Black transnational thought, which attempts to de-link from Enlightenment conceptions of Man in order to consider how alienation and freedom might be conceptualized differently. Via these theorizations, we will explore some of the key ‘problems’ of Man, which include his overrepresentation (Wynter, 2006), and the problems of alienation, labour, colonial violence. We will also consider some key paradigms which refuse these problematics, including rebellion/revolution, marronage, and aesthetic movements/traditions. The readings will be structured around the works of Sylvia Wynter, Frantz Fanon, and Aimé Cesaire, and will include works from other political philosophic traditions.

AFR 381 • Theories Of Race/Ethnicity-Wb

30225 • Irizarry, Yasmiyn
Meets TH 3:30PM-6:30PM • Internet
(also listed as SOC 395L)
show description

Please check back for updates.

AFR 390 • Black Studies Theory I-Wb

30240 • Marshall, Stephen
Meets T 2:00PM-5:00PM • Internet
show description

In this course we will explore some of the central themes and problems of Black Studies in the United States and the Black Diaspora. We will ask: What is race and how has it functioned in the constitution of modernity, space, and selfhood? What is blackness and how is it lived and expressed? What is the relationship of slavery to capitalism, empire, war, and democracy, and what are the ideological, performative, and cognitive legacies of slavery? Finally, what formations of imagination and sociability have (dis)organized Black communal life, and which remain vital?

To ask these questions, of course, requires that we simultaneously engage more basic inquiries about the very dynamic nature, constitution, and aim of Black Studies. What is Black studies? Who are its subjects? What is its object? These, and the opening questions, are rendered even more complex when we recognize that Black Studies – in the United States as in its Black diaspora versions – is defined by unstable, shifting, and contested genealogies, boundaries, and projects. Black Studies is as contested, unstable, and vulnerable as the social life/social death it portrays, and as such defies – although certainly encourages – final categorizations. 

We will pursue these and other questions emerging out of our seminar by following the intellectual path W.E.B. Du Bois marked in his The Souls of Black Folk. As the achievement of a highly dedicated yet quite often parochial man of his time, Souls reflects an intellectual terrain that is, on the one hand, quite generative, and on the other, fraught and sometimes perilous. To grapple with Du Bois is to engage the larger field of Black Studies; to grapple with the field of Black Studies is to engage Du Bois. An attentive reading of Du Bois will engender propositions that both address the text and extrapolate it. This resulting set of propositions, in turn, gives us an entry into the ever-shifting conceptual assemblage that is Black Diasporic Studies. 

Course assignments and expectations

This is an intensive, collective theoretical conversation. It requires consistency of reading and participation over the entire semester. Students must be prepared to actively engage in seminar discussions during every session. Attendance and active participation are mandatory, and are a considerable portion of your evaluation.

The seminar space must be respected. Please take care of your health and rest needs so that you are not tempted to nap or doze off during our sessions. If agreed, we will have a 15 minute break at the halfway point of our seminar. Please turn off any electronic device that might produce distracting sounds. 


Research Paper (15-20 pages): 50%                                                                   

Leading Class Discussion: 25%

Class participation (including freethinking weekly piece): 25%

AFR 395P • Subjects In Prof In Afr

30245 • Foster, Kevin
Meets T 11:00AM-2:00PM GEA 114
show description

Please check back for updates.