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

AFR 301 • African American Culture

30545 • Jones, Omi
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM JGB 2.216
(also listed as ANT 310L)
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This course surveys African American cultural production from the 1600s to the present. Topics cover the circumstances and responses of blacks during North American enslavement, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Great Migration, The Harlem Renaissance, The Civil Rights Movement, and in contemporary contexts. Class sessions will reflect our reading of primary and secondary texts that embody a wide range of African American religious, political, social and artistic thought and production. The class will fill gaps in students’ knowledge about African American culture and history and provide a foundation for future Black Studies course work.

Required Texts:

Kindred (Octavia Butler)

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

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

Price of the Ticket (Frederick Harris)

Good Ole’ Fashioned Composition Notebook

Graded Assessments (100 points available):

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

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

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

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

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

12/5/14: (30) Final Test 

AFR 302M • Numbering Race

30550 • Paixao, Marcelo
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM RLP 1.402
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I. Course Description and Objectives

In this course, you will learn about quantitative methodology and statistics through the lens of race. You will have the opportunity to examine, analyze, and critique real-world data, quantitative research, and public discourse concerning race in America. Some empirical and quantitative skills you will learn this semester include (1) conceptualization and operationalization in quantitative measurement, (2) the calculation and interpretation of descriptive statistics and statistical relationships, (3) the application of statistical techniques to understand social phenomenon, and (4) techniques for presenting results from quantitative analysis. As we cover various statistical techniques, you will also learn about the origins of the concept race, including the actors (many of whom were scientists and statisticians) and actions that brought race into being and continue to justify racial thinking. We will also discuss how these efforts have impacted our current collective and individual understandings of race, especially as they relate to the quantitative study of race and various social problems. This course satisfies the core math requirement and carries the quantitative reasoning flag.

II. Course Requirements

A. Required Readings/ Materials
Leon-Guerrero, Anna, and Chava Frankfort-Nachmias. 2015. Essentials of Social Statistics for a

Diverse Society. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. (LGFN) Scientific calculator

Additional readings will be available online through Canvas. Some of the readings posted are required for the course. Other readings, exercises, information sheets, and links to websites are posted to assist you in this course and enhance your class experience. I encourage you to look them over.

Numbering Race, Irizarry Fall 2015

B. Assignments and Assessment

Problem Sets

Problem sets include calculation and interpretation questions designed to gauge your understanding of the methodological and statistical concepts covered throughout the semester. Problem sets will be posted on Canvas at least one week prior to their due date. Students will need to show all of their work/calculations to receive full credit. Partial credit will be given to answers that are partially correct.

Reading Quizzes

Almost every week throughout the semester, you will have a short quiz on the material covered in the readings. You will be allowed to refer to your notes while taking the quiz, but not the readings or text. There are no make-ups for quizzes; however, I will drop your lowest quiz grade at the end of the semester.

In-Class Assignments

In-class assignments will offer you the opportunity to practice the mathematical, statistical, and critical thinking concepts covered in class.

Team Lab Assignments

To help familiarize you with quantitative methodology and the interpretation and presentation of quantitative data, there will be two team lab assignments. I will post each lab assignment on Canvas at least one week prior to the deadline. Lab assignments must be done with your team members (team member selections will be made after the final drop/add date).


Students must complete two essays that summarize/evaluate news articles/stories that present racial comparisons stemming from statistical analysis (due dates are noted on course schedule). Each essay must include a minimum of three news stories on a particular topic. These news stories can be from magazines, newspapers, or credible online news sources (check with your instructor if you have any questions). Essays must (1) be at least three-pages (typed), (2) summarize and critique/evaluate your selected news stories, and (3) incorporate concepts and ideas from class discussion and readings. Note: You may not use advertisements and data highlights (these are usually brief and present no real story or argument), academic articles (articles from peer-reviewed journals), or research articles from course readers to complete this assignment. More details regarding each essay will be provided during the semester.

AFR 303 • Introduction To Black Studies

30552 • Wint, Traci
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM
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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 304 • Intro To The Study Of Africa

30555 • Chery, Tshepo
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM GDC 4.302
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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

30560 • Falola, Oloruntoyin
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM UTC 3.112
(also listed as AHC 310, HIS 311K)
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This is an introductory, inter-disciplinary course on the peoples and cultures of Africa, designed for students with a limited background in African long precolonial history, as well as those who want to improve their understanding of this huge continent  before 1885. It is an excellent background to the class on Modern Africa.

The course is divided into two parts, one on an outline history over a long period.Among the main historical themes are: early history, kingdoms, interactions with external agencies, and various institutions and customs. The other is on resilient aspects of culture such as the family, religion, sexuality, gender, women, economy, and politics . 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.  


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

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

 iii.) To provide an adequate background that will prepare students for other courses on Africa, especially those on the modern and contemporary.

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

AFR 317C • Intro To Ancient Egypt

30570 • Nethercut, William
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM WAG 101
(also listed as C C 304C)
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This course is for the beginner. There are no pre-requisites other than a fascination for what has always seemed mysterious and powerful. We shall explore the most important chapters of Egypt's story, beginning with what is known of the pre-historical period from 13,000 B.C. down to the Neolithic and Pre-Dynastic era, 6,000 to 4,000 B.C. We shall then study the Old Kingdom, its first dynasties, monuments, personalities, culture, development of the hieroglyphic system, earliest mythological traditions (3100 to 2125 B.C.). The same inclusive review of language, culture, and history will be presented for the Middle Kingdom (2125 to 1550 B.C.) and New Kingdom (1550 to 1069 B.C.) In every instance we shall compare the Egyptian way of thinking with the cultural styles of the major Near Eastern civilizations. It will be particularly instructive to discover the ways in which Egyptian traditions were altered as we move down through the centuries. A startling example is the transformation of Set from a captain of Ra in the Old Kingdom who drove off the underworld Serpent to a base deceiver in the New Kingdom, or of Osiris, a disturbingly powerful force among the Dead in the Old Kingdom, into a more welcoming "St. Peter" in King Tut's funeral chamber (New Kingdom).

This course carries the Global Cultures flag and fulfills the Cultural Expression, Human Experience, & Thought course area requirement.


Three Examinations, each counting 33 1/3% of total grade


Manley, Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Egypt

Seventy Great Mysteries of Ancient Egypt by Bill Manley ISBN 0 -500 - 05123 - 2

AFR 317C • The United States And Africa

30565 • Falola, Oloruntoyin
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM UTC 3.112
(also listed as HIS 317L)
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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 317D • Intro To African Amer Hist

30577 • Farmer, Ashley
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM UTC 3.132
(also listed as HIS 317L)
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The course is a survey of African-American history from the slave trade to the recent past. It is an introductory examination of the black experience and is designed to bring to life the voices and history of African Americans. The course is organized chronologically, with an emphasis on the ideas, actors, and organizations that contributed to the African American experience. By the end of the semester, students will have an understanding of how African Americans have contributed to the making of America, the problems that they face, and how African Americans have defined themselves, their history and culture, and their struggle for equality.

Deborah Gray White, Mia Bay, and Waldo E. Martin, Jr. Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans with Documents, Combined Volume
Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Never Caught: The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge
Barbara Ransby, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision  

Attendance & Participation:  20%                  
Document Essays:               25%                
HistoryMakers Mixtape:        15%               
Midterm Exam:                    20%
Final Exam                          20%

AFR 317D • Politics Of Black Identity

30585 • Cokley, Kevin
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CMA 3.114
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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 317D • The Black Power Movement

30580 • Moore, Leonard
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM UTC 2.112A
(also listed as HIS 317L)
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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 317E • Afro-Brazilian Diaspora

30595 • Afolabi, Omoniyi
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM PAR 204
(also listed as LAS 310)
show description


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


Course Requirements and Grading:

5 Response Papers (2 pages)             = 10%

5 Re-Written Papers (2 pages each)  = 10%

Midterm Paper (5-7 pages)                = 20%

Research Proposal and Annotated

Bibliography                                        = 10%

Final Research Paper  (10 pages)       = 20%

Oral Presentation                               = 10%

Attendance                                         = 20%

AFR 317F • African American Lit And Cul

30610 • Rivera-Dundas, Adena
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 210
(also listed as E 314V)
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E 314V  l  1-African American Literature and Culture


Instructor:  Rivera-Dundas, A

 Unique #:  35150

Semester:  Fall 2018

Cross-lists:  AFR 317F.1

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:  This course will engage with the rich literary tradition of black female writers, starting with the rise of black feminism in the 1980s and ending with the contemporary moment.  As a class, we will read long- and short-form fiction, experimental prose, essays, and poetry in order to investigate ways in which literary form informs, challenges, or is shaped by intersectionality and anti-racist politics.  This class will ask students to consider the relationship between race, gender, and literature, and ask what writing and reading can do in the face of sexist and racist systems.


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:  Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Claudia Rankine's Citizen,and selections from bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Maya Angelou, and Saidiya Hartman.


Requirements & Grading:  There will be a series of 4 short essays, two of which must be revised and resubmitted (80% of the final grade).  There will also be graded short assignments, in-class presentations, and required participation (20% of the final grade).

AFR 317F • Music Of African Americans

30615-30630 • Carson, Charles
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM MRH 2.608
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Please check back for updates.

AFR 317F • Revolution Will Be Dramatized

30600 • Thompson, Lisa
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM RLP 1.104
(also listed as AMS 315, T D 311T, WGS 301)
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This course will examine the representations of black political protest in film and theatre from the 1960s to the present. We will discuss fictional and documentary films as well as plays. The class will also consider the performative aspects of black protest movements for social justice. Texts under consideration include plays such Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, Robert O’Hara’s Insurrection, and films such as Free Angela and all Political Prisoners, The Butler, The Untold Story of Emmett Till, Night Catches Us and Panther. 



  • The Mountaintop – Katori Hall 

  • Insurrection – Robert O’Hara 

  • Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (film, director – Shola Lynch) 

  • The Butler (film, director – Lee Daniels) 

  • The Untold Story of Emmett Hill (film, director – Keith Beauchamp) 

  • Night Catches Us (film, director- Tanya Hamilton) 


Grading breakdown: 

  • Performance review journal – 25% 

  • Attendance – 15% 

  • Class presentation – 30% 

  • Three response papers – 30%

AFR 322 • Intro To African Prehistory

30635 • Denbow, James
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM SAC 4.118
(also listed as ANT 324L)
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This course provides an overview of human biological and cultural evolution in
Africa. The roots of humankind go back almost 6 million years on the continent. This is
an enormous time when one considers that human history in the New World only began
less than 17,000 years ago. In addition, the African continent makes up over 20% of the
earth’s landmass and is more than three times the size of the continental United States!
Today there are more than a thousand languages spoken in Africa and cultural and
ecological diversity is great. Apart from Egypt, Ethiopia, and the Swahili and
Mediterranean coasts, however, written sources only document the last few centuries of
the continent’s history.

The first few weeks of the class will present an overview of the physical,
environmental, cultural and linguistic diversity of the continent. The course will then
focus on the evolution of humankind from its early beginnings over 3 million years ago
up to the beginnings of early civilizations in Africa. (The following semester the
Archaeology of African Thought (ANT 24L) will look more closely at the development
of the ancient civilizations of Ancient Egypt, Axum, Ghana, Kongo and Great Zimbabwe.
The relationships between religion, gender, culture and power will be more fully
addressed in that second course.)

Your books have been selected to discuss different aspects of Africa’s long
history. Barham and Mitchell focus on a detailed archaeological presentation of the early
history of the continent. Reader presents a more generalized overview of the continent’s
history that extends from earliest times into the present. The Reader book will be used for
both semesters.

The lectures will not follow the readings directly, but rather expand on them to
bring material up to date and include discussions of African peoples, cultures and
languages. Students are encouraged to raise questions during the lectures in order to
ensure that topics of interest to you are discussed—it is your class after all. No prior
knowledge of Africa or of archaeology is expected.

The course carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed
to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. Therefore a
substantial portion of your grade will come from assignments covering the practices,
beliefs, and histories of non-U.S. cultural groups, past and present.

AFR 372C • Women And Socl Mvmnts In US

30645 • Green, Laurie
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM UTC 4.122
(also listed as AMS 321, HIS 365G, WGS 340)
show description

This upper-division history lecture course examines women’s participation in both well-known and lesser-known social movements during the twentieth century, more deeply than is possible in a U.S. history survey course. Throughout, we explore women’s activism in movements that specifically targeted women’s rights, such as the woman suffrage movement. However, we also consider women’s participation in movements that do not outwardly appear to be movements about women’s rights, such as the Civil Rights Movement. 

In addition to exploring the scope and contours of women’s activism, the course will emphasize on four key themes: 1) how cultural understandings of gender may have shaped these movements; 2) tensions between ideas of women’s rights that emphasized equality of the sexes and those that emphasized difference; 3) the question of whether you can write a universal history of women or need to write separate histories along lines such as race, class, region, religion, sexual preference, and more; 4) power relations not only between men and women but among women. 


SHORT READINGS will be available on Canvas. 
Crow Dog, Mary. Lakota Woman.

Moody, Anne. Coming of Age in Mississippi. 1968.
Orleck, Annelise. Common Sense and a Little Fire: Women and Working-Class Politics in the United States, 1900-1965.
Marjorie Spruill Wheeler, One Woman, One Vote: Rediscovering the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

OTHER COURSE MATERIALS: Films, photographs, original historical documents


Short assignments                                                               10% total      

Unit quizzes (3)                                                                     10% total

Unit in-class essay exams (3)                                            60% total

Take Home Final                                                                  20%

Extra credit   1-2 points added to final grade

Attendance: Unexcused absences beyond those allowed result in a point deduction from final grade.

AFR 372C • Women Of Color Feminisms In US

30642 • Guidotti-Hernandez, Nicole
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM CMA 3.114
(also listed as AMS 321, MAS 374, WGS 340)
show description


This relational ethnic studies course examines the most influential works produced by those women of color whose political and cultural investments in a collaborative, cross-cultural critique of U.S. imperialism and heteronormativity has been called “US Third World Feminism.”  In order to situate these works historically, materially, and culturally, we will also read works by key “third world” anti-colonialist writers.  In addition to developing a facility with historical and contemporary discourses of nationalism, gender, race, sexuality, and class, our goal will be to engage in a sustained and critical exploration of the limits and promises of “US Third World Feminism.”  What is “third world” about this feminism, and what is gained by using this politically fraught label?  How does its discourse carry over into everyday practice?  How do the documents produced under its name draw from the anti-colonial writings of “third world” writers?  What is the relationship between this mode of feminism and more recent elaborations of global and transnational feminisms? 



Alarcón,,  Norma, Kaplan, Caren and Moallem, Minoo. Between Woman and Nation 

Anzaldúa, Gloria and Moraga, Cherríe eds. This Bridge Called My Back 

Davis, Angela. The Angela Davis Reader. 

Ehrenreich, Barbara  and Annette Fuentes Women in the Global Factory 

Límon, Graciela. In Search of Bernabé 

Mohanty, Chandra .Feminism Without Borders. 

Peña, Milagros. Latina Activists Across Borders 



La Operación 

Black Skins/White Masks 



25% Final Paper 

5% Prospectus and Bibliography 

30% Long Papers 

10% Presentation of final paper 

30% Attendance and Class Participation

AFR 372D • Global History Of Disease

30651 • Osseo-Asare, Abena
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM GAR 2.112
(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: Ebola, AIDS, malaria, plague, cholera, influenza, sleeping sickness, Chagas Disease, and PTSD. 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.

Course Goals:

Primarily, this course aims to equip participants with tools for reading and researching about the past. Further, it provides a useful introduction to medical history across cultures for those considering a career in medicine or public health. It shows how people define illness according to particular social and cultural categories overtime. Through specific case studies, the course provides participants with an historical framework to interpret current debates in health policy and disease management.

AFR 372D • Medicine In African History

30652 • Osseo-Asare, Abena
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM BUR 128
(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 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 372D • Psychology Of Race/Racism

30655 • Awad, Germine
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM UTC 1.104
show description

Please check back for updates.

AFR 372D • Sociocul Influences On Learn

30660 • Brown, Keffrelyn
Meets T 1:00PM-4:00PM SZB 411
show description

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AFR 372D • Sociocul Influences On Learn

30665 • Cook, Courtney
Meets TH 4:00PM-7:00PM SZB 424
show description

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AFR 372E • Afr Am Lit Thru Harl Renais

30685 • Richardson, Matt
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BUR 228
(also listed as E 376R)
show description

E 376R  l  African American Literature through the Harlem Renaissance


Instructor:  Richardson, M

Unique #:  35875

Semester:  Fall 2017

Cross-lists:  AFR 372E.4

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No


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


Description:  The eighteenth century saw the inauguration of writing from enslaved Africans in America.  Even from a condition of bondage, their work contributes to literary and intellectual debates about the nature and limitations of freedom, personhood and citizenship.  We will begin by examining issues of gender and sexuality from the perspectives of slaves and freed people.  We will also examine works by African American authors writing a generation after slavery as they look back to slavery in order to imagine the future of African Americans.  This course is a survey of major black writers in the context of slavery and its immediate aftermath.  Throughout the course, we will view films and documentaries that illuminate this period of African American culture and history.


Texts:  • Henry Bibb: Narrative of the life and adventures of Henry Bib • Olaudah Equiano: The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings • David Walker: Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World • Frederick Douglass: Narrative of the Life • Harriet Jacobs: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl • Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Iola Leroy • Charles Chesnutt: Marrow of Tradition • Nella Larsen: Quicksand and Passing


Requirements & Grading:  Two Short Papers (4-6 pages each), 40%; Final Paper, 40%; Attendance, 10%; Participation, 10%.


AFR 372E • Contemp Afr Amer Women Fic

30700 • Richardson, Matt
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 228
(also listed as E 376M, WGS 340)
show description

E 376M  l  7-Contemporary African American Women’s Fiction


Instructor:  Richardson, M

Unique #:  35870

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists:  AFR 372E.15, WGS 340.29

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer instruction:  No


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


Description:  In this course, we will examine the novels and films of women of African descent produced from the 1970s to the present.  We will focus on issues of imagination and the creation of spectacular images of the past and the future.  This class gives special consideration to how African and African Diasporic spirituality is depicted in film and literature.  In this course, we will use the work of history and psychoanalytic theory, cultural, queer, and feminist theories to assist our exploration of these questions and issues.


Required Texts:  Beloved by Toni Morrison; The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez, Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler; Binti by Nnedi Okorafor; Yabo by Alexis DeVeaux, and Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson; Course Reader.


Requirements & Grading:  Four short 1-pg Essays Based on Questions and Close Readings of Required Texts: 30%; Two short 3-pg Essays: 30%; 8-10-pg Research Paper; 20%; Attendance and Participation: 20%.

AFR 372E • Fashion And Desire

30675 • Gill, Lyndon
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GEA 114
(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 372E • Screening Race

30676 • McClearen, Jennifer
Meets M 1:30PM-3:00PM CMA 3.116
show description

Please check back for updates.

AFR 372E • Self-Revlatn Women's Wrtg

30697 • Hillmann, Michael
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 2.102
(also listed as WGS 340)
show description

Please check back for updates.

AFR 372E • Toni Morrison

30680 • Woodard, Helena
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 204
(also listed as E 349S, WGS 345)
show description

E 349S  l  5-Toni Morrison


Instructor:  Woodard, H

Unique #:  35755

Semester:  Fall 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 • Transnatl Latinx Pop Culture

30677 • Gutierrez, Laura
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GEA 114
(also listed as LAS 328, MAS 374, WGS 340)
show description


This course uses a set of interdisciplinary methods (mainly from ethnic studies, Latina/o studies, cultural studies, and performance studies) to help us understand the kind of 'work' culture is doing in a larger framework, historical, economical, and societal. The class uses these theoretical and methodological lenses to examine Transnational Latina/o popular culture from the 20th and early 21st centuries in order to consider the ways in which popular culture has been an important aspect of nation-building strategies on different scales, from nation-states to Latina/o communities in the US. We pay particular attention to expressive culture from the beginning of the 20th century, focusing on social dance forms like samba, tango, and danzón. Additionally, sports spectacles are analyzed to understand the performance of masculinity, the interconnected between politics and ‘entertainment’ (soccer) and the theatricality of the spectacle (lucha libre—Mexican masked wrestling). The course material moves through the 20th century and into the 21st century and across geo-political divides to put forward the idea that Latina/o popular culture is transnational (at the same time as translocal); cultural works that will be examined in order to grasp a full understanding of his notion run the gamut from the formation of salsa to the reggeatón phenomenon and telenovela (Latin American soap operas) industry to music television. In a more general way, the ultimate goal of the class is to get the student to think about the ways in which popular cultural forms are part of a 20th and 21st century sensibility that is both part of “the practice of everyday life” and nation-building projects. But the student will be asked to think about how different publics consume popular culture (at times transforming it and/or changing its meaning) and, likewise, it is important to consider what happens when popular culture—thanks to the (transnational) cultural industries—travel across geo-political and linguistic borders. The operating question throughout the semester is then, is what is transnational about Latina/o popular culture and why does it matter?

TEXTS (selections):

*Imagination Beyond Nation: Latin American Popular Culture, edited by Eva P. Bueno and Terry Caesar

*Musical ImagiNation: U.S.-Colombian Identity and the Latin Music Boom by María Elena Cepeda

*Latino/a Popular Culture, edited by Michelle Habell-Pallán and Mary Romero

*Memory and Modernity: Popular Culture in Latin America, edited by William Rowe and Vivian Schelling

*Fragments of a Golden Age: The Politics of Culture in Mexico since 1940, edited by Gilbert Joseph, Anne Rubenstein, and Eric Zolov

*From Bananas to Buttocks: The Latina Body in Popular Film and Culture, edited by Myra Mendible

*Oye Como Va! Hybridity and Identity in Latino Popular Music by Deborah Pacini Hernández

*Musica Norteña: Mexican Migrants Creating a Nation between Nations by Cathy Ragland


Attendance and Participation: 15%

One in-class short presentation: 10%

Three short essays during the semester: 30%

Final research paper: 45%


AFR 372F • Obama/American Democracy

30702 • Joseph, Peniel
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM GAR 0.128
(also listed as HIS 350R)
show description

This undergraduate seminar focuses on the impact of Barack Obama’s watershed presidency on American democracy. 

The course utilizes President Barack Obama’s personal biography and political trajectory as a prism to view larger conflicts, debates, transformations, and setbacks in the black freedom struggle and the relationship between race and democracy at the local, regional, national, and global levels. Barack Obama’s watershed 2008 presidential election inspired hopes for a “post-racial” future that confronted harsh political, cultural, and economic realities that at times reinforced entrenched racial divides. In other instances, Obama’s election opened new opportunities for Americans and citizens around the world to forge a more radically multicultural, multiracial, and multiethnic future

Students interested in black politics, civil rights, social policy and the deep connections between the historical development of racial justice struggles and contemporary policy debates and challenges would find this course of interest. 


Students will be evaluated based on four criteria:

1)     Weekly three-paragraph critical analysis of the readings.

2)     Five Page Book Review of Obama, Dreams From My Father

3)     Five Book Review of Dyson, The Black Presidency

4)     Class participation


Readings: We will a total of four books during the semester


The course books will focus on Obama, the historical and political context that shaped him, and the one he helped to transform as a student, community organizer, state senator, U.S. senator, and two term president. We will read, study, discuss, and critique several different kind of works related to Obama including his own memoir; a critical political and intellectual biography; the first policy assessment of his presidency by a group of historians; and the meaning of his iconography to black Americans.  








A weekly three-paragraph response on the assigned reading is due by 5 PM the day before our seminar. Each student should read everyone’s essay before the start of class and provide comments, both positive and critical, that will be used for class discussion. Your responses should be submitted in the “Discussion” section of Canvas which will allow you to post your response as well as comment on the responses of others.


Each paragraph should be five sentences and consider the following:

  1. How does the author approach race and democracy in shaping Obama? How does the history being explored connect to our contemporary understanding of black and Africana identity and what are the theoretic and political implications of the work, both historically and contemporaneously?
  2. What’s the argument being laid out and how persuasive do you find it to be? Examine the sources in the bibliography and endnotes to consider the way in which the author has marshaled their evidence.
  3. How does the work (book chapter) merit analytically and stylistically? Does the author’s analysis seem persuasive and insightful, even when you disagree?
  4. Think about the readings in tandem, both thematically, chronologically, and theoretically. How does America’s complicated racial history and legacy shape the social, political, and cultural contexts that Obama imbibes on his journey intellectualy, personally, and politically?
  5. Meetings with Professor Joseph: All students are required to meet with Professor Joseph one-on-one once during the semester.  


Midterm Assignment: Complete rough draft of final essay.


Final Assignment: Barack Obama, Race, and American Democracy: A Critical Historical Assessment


Students are required to write a critical 10-15 page essay assessing President Barack Obama’s impact and influence on American democracy as both a political leader and symbolic figure.


Based on our readings this semester, what makes Barack Obama such a historic figure? What are his most important successes and failures? Did Obama’s presidency lead to greater racial progress in the United States and around the world? If so, provide three specific examples of why. If not, provide three examples of why not. If, as I suspect, his presidency proved a more complicated and contingent phenomenon, outline the nuances here as well. As a candidate in 2008, Obama offered himself as part of the “Joshua Generation” standing on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s shoulder. Yet many critics alleged that President Obama’s use of drone strikes, his failure to prosecute Wall Street crimes, and his unwillingness to promote radical policies to promote racial and economic justice betrayed King’s legacy. Others countered that his support for equal pay for women, the passage of the Affrodable Care Act, promotion of environmental protection, and effort to scale down mass incarceration offered definitive proof of Obama’s social justice commitments. Given what we have read in great detail this semester about the world that shaped Obama—from both his and various critics, journalists, and historians’ perspective—what will future Americans and world citizens define as his enduring legacy?


Our semester reading list provides a sample of many of these issues, but of course is not exhaustive. How has this scholarship impacted the real world and what are its flaws, omissions, strengths, and weaknesses?


Please source your speech/policy paper with a bibliography and endnotes. This final project is due in Professor Joseph’s GAR office by 6PM on Monday, December 10, 2018



Class Schedule




Part 1. The Making of Barack Obama


September 10   Obama, Dreams From My Father, Ch. 1-3

                        Baker, Obama: The Call of History, Ch. 1.

Zelizer, The Presidency of Barack Obama, Ch. 1-2



September 17   Obama, Dreams From My Father, Ch. 4-6

                        Baker, Obama: The Call of History, Ch. 2

Zelizer, The Presidency of Barack Obama, Ch. 3



September 24   Obama, Dreams From My Father, Ch. 7-10

                        Baker, Obama: The Call of History, Ch. 3

Zelizer, The Presidency of Barack Obama, Ch. 4



October 1         Obama, Dreams From My Father, Ch. 11-14

                        Baker, Obama: The Call of History, Ch. 4.

Zelizer, The Presidency of Barack Obama, Ch. 5


Part 2. Barack Obama, Race, and American Democracy


October 8         Dyson, The Black President, Ch. 1-2

                        Baker, Obama: The Call of History, Ch. 5

Zelizer, The Presidency of Barack Obama, Ch. 6



October 15       Class Does Not Meet


Dyson, The Black President, Ch. 3-4

                        Baker, Obama: The Call of History, Ch. 6.

Zelizer, The Presidency of Barack Obama, Ch. 7



Part 3. A Place Where All Things are Possible: The Black Presidency, Part 1


October 22       Dyson, The Black President , Ch. 5

                        Baker, Obama: The Call of History, Ch. 7

Zelizer, The Presidency of Barack Obama, Ch. 8.

Obama Dreams From My Father Book Review Due



October 29       Dyson, The Black President, Ch. 6

                        Baker, Obama: The Call of History, Ch. 8

Zelizer, The Presidency of Barack Obama, Ch. 9


November 5     Baker, Obama: The Call of History, Ch. 9

                        Dyson, The Black President, Ch. 7

Zelizer, The Presidency of Barack Obama, Ch. 10



November 12   Baker, Obama: The Call of History, Ch. 10

Dyson, The Black President, Ch. 8

Zelizer, The Presidency of Barack Obama, Ch. 11

The Black Presidency Book Review Due



Part 4. The Age of Obama is the Age of Ferguson and Mass Incarceration: The Black Presidency, Part 2



November 19   Baker, Obama: The Call of History, Ch. 12 and Epilogue

Zelizer, The Presidency of Barack Obama, Ch. 12

                        Obama, Dreams From My Father, Ch. 15-19


November 26   Zelizer, The Presidency of Barack Obama, Ch. 13

                        Coates, “My President Was Black”


December 3      Zelizer, The Presidency of Barack Obama, Ch. 14-15

                        Coates, “The First White President,”



December 10    Zelizer, The Presidency of Barack Obama, Ch. 16-17


Assigned Readings


Books can be found at the MAIN Co-op, on Guadalupe, under HIS 350R/unique# 39227. They are also on reserve at the Benson Latin American Collection Library in SRH 1 and can be borrowed for 24 hours. In addition, those that are offered as e-books for checkout from UT are noted below.



Dyson, Michael Eric. The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America (New York: Hoghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016).


Baker, Peter. Obama: The Call of History (New York: Callaway, 2018).


Obama, Barack; Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004).


Zelizer, Julian E., ed., The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2018).








Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 512-471-6259 (voice), 512-410-6445 (video phone) or via email For more information on available services, please see


By UT Austin policy, you must notify Professor Joseph of any pending absence to observe a religious holy day at least 14 days in advance of the day you wish to take an absence. If you miss a class to observe a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete any missed work within a reasonable time after the absence.


For information on UT policies on Student Conduct and Academic Integrity, please see   

AFR 372G • African Queer Studies

30710 • Livermon, Xavier
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM RLP 1.102
(also listed as WGS 335)
show description


This course explores queer gender and sexuality in Africa, with particular focus on theoretical issues, the colonial encounter, citizenship and activism, media representations. In the first unit, we will examine some of the theoretical issues that are relevant to studying queer gender and sexuality in Africa and in the African Diaspora more broadly. In the second unit, we will explore some of the literature on the impact of colonialism on queer African identities and practices, and we will pay particular attention to its lasting impact on queer African lives in our post-colonial moment. In the third unity, we will read several ethnographic and literary texts on specific communities in order to expand our understanding of the diverse ways in which queer Africans create identities, experience desire, and redefine dominant notions of citizenships. In the final unit of the course, we will examine representations of queer African sexuality in literature, film, and media, focusing especially on representation in relation to recent events in South Africa, Uganda, Malawi, and Senegal. We will pay particular attention to how such representations are shaped by political economy and influenced by the international community.



Queer African Reader Sokari Ekine and Hakima Abbas eds.

African Sexualities: A reader Sylvia Tamale ed.

Heterosexual Africa?: The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS Marc Epprecht

OUT in Africa: LGBT Organizing in Namibia and South Africa Ashley Currier

Allah Made Us: Sexual Outlaws in an Islamic African City Rudolf P. Gaudio

Black Bull, Ancestors, and Me: My life as a Lesbian Sangoma Nkunzi Zandile Nkadinde



Attendance: 10%

Participation: 10%

Response Papers: 20%

Midterm: 20%

Final: 40% 

AFR 372G • Contemp African Pop Culture

30705 • Livermon, Xavier
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM RLP 1.104
(also listed as ANT 324L, WGS 340)
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.

Grading breakdown (percentages):

  • Attendance and Participation 20%
  • Response Papers 20%
  • Midterm 20%
  • Final 40%

AFR 372G • Histories African Liberatn

30715 • Chery, Tshepo
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM GAR 2.112
(also listed as HIS 364G)
show description

Is Africa free from all forms of colonialism? This course engages this question by examining the historical moment of African independence. It focuses on a variety of texts, both primary and secondary, from across the continent and beyond that embody the romantic visions, realistic compromises, and some of the tragic aftermaths of independence on the African continent. The course will explore themes that include an examination of the anti-colonial movement, the role of Pan-Africanism within nationalistic dialogues, the strengths and weakness of African nationalism after independence, as well as the challenges of nationalism in contemporary Africa.

AFR 372G • Religions Of The Caribbean

30707 • Crosson, Jonathan
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 112
(also listed as ANT 324L, LAS 324L, R S 366)
show description

In this course we will discuss the politics of religious practices in the Greater Caribbean, from Vodou and Rastafari to popular Hinduism. As a region, the Greater Caribbean encompasses the islands of the insular Caribbean, the Caribbean coasts of Central America and South America, Brazil, and the centers of Caribbean trans-migration in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (this course will focus on Caribbean diasporas in New York City, for example). While the Caribbean is usually seen as African diasporic and Christian, West and Central African religions, Hinduism, Islam, spiritism, European esotericism, and indigenous religions all maintain long-standing and vibrant presences. We immerse ourselves in the complex nexus of Caribbean religions through explorations of practices including Cuban-Kongo religion, Haitian vodou, U.S. fantasies of voodoo and U.S. interventions in the Caribbean, Hindu popular religions in Trinidad and Guyana, Islam in the Caribbean, Black Carib religion in New York and Honduras, and Rastafarianism in Jamaica.


  1. Barry Chevannes. Rastafari: Roots and Ideology
  2. William Earle and Srinivas Aravamudan. Obi; or the History of Three-Fingered Jack
  3. Karen McCarthy Brown. Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn
  4. Paul Christopher Johnson. Diaspora Conversions: Black Carib Religion and theRecovery of Africa
  5. Aisha Khan, ed. Islam and the Americas
  6. Todd Ramón Ochoa. Society of the Dead: Quita Manaquita and Palo Praise in Cuba


  • Class Attendance and Participation (15%)
  • Two Midterms  (25% each)
  • Final Exam (35%)

AFR 374C • Africa/Indian Ocean World

30722 • Falola, Oloruntoyin
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM MEZ 2.122
(also listed as ANS 361, HIS 350L)
show description

This course explores the connected histories of the geographical regions and economic communities that share the littoral space of the Indian Ocean. Historians have described the Indian Ocean World in relation to varied conceptions of time, space, and cultural location. Economic historians have identified it as a sophisticated and durable system of long-distance exchange that connects Africa and China and all points in between. Historical scholarship set in the intersection between economic and cultural history looks at this vast oceanic region as an area of social and cultural diversity rooted in civilizations such as the ‘Irano-Arabic,’ ‘Hindu,’ and ‘Chinese.’ But such definitions based on rise and fall of civilizations marginalize the significant role of East African societies in the making of the Indian Ocean World. Therefore, recent historiography describes the Indian Ocean as an interregional arena of economy and culture, which stands somewhere between the generalities of the ‘world system’ and the specificities of particular regions. Through an engagement with such historiographical shifts, this course explores the connected histories of Africa in the Indian Ocean World from the early modern to the modern period. Focusing on the histories of trade, labor, and ideas, it will explore the multiple connections that pre-colonial African societies shared with the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. It further looks at how European intervention in the commercial networks of the Indian Ocean World from the last decade of the fifteenth century transformed the trade relations between the littoral societies of East Africa and South Asia. However, old trading communities not only survived but found new ways of engaging with commercial activities. This course explores such changes in the Indian Ocean World through thematic discussions on trading communities, labor migration, and shared cultural heritage. Finally, it explores how Africa’s interactions with the Indian Ocean communities changed due to European colonial impositions and during the struggles for decolonization.

Course Objectives:


1)    Oceanic histories, by default, are transnational in nature. One of the primary objectives of this course is to help the students think beyond the national models of historical writing and explore the historical connections between different world regions. It will help students to think about mobility, borders, and spatial imagination associated with the ideas of space and place.

2)    The course will also encourage students to engage with transnational and global histories moving beyond the agendas of area studies. Students will identify key themes in African and South Asian history, which demands an examination of the transregional economic, political, social, and cultural agents. The selected readings will encourage students to explore the imbricated nature of the economic, social, and cultural histories of the field.

3)    As the course explores the history of connected geographies, rise and fall of economic communities, making and unmaking of boundaries, and the mobility of people and disseminations of ideas in the longue durée of historical formation in the Indian Ocean World, students will become familiar with multiple forms historical writing. In doing so, the course will introduce the intersections between different categories of historical analysis. 

4)    Students will learn how to analyze primary source documents and apply this to their written work.Students will learn how to analyze secondary sources, including films and literature, and apply this to their written work.


Course Materials:


All will be provided by the Instructor


Grading Components:

Attendance: 15%

Community project: 10%

Bibliographical project: 15%

Primary source analysis: 20%

Final paper: 40%


Attendance Policy:


            The class attendance will be counted based on a total of 12 weeks. 15 points of the final grade will come from class attendance. For each absence, students will lose 1.25 points out of the total 15 points.  


Community Project:


As part of the community project, students will research on cuisines, clothes, music, and works of literature that tell us a story of historical connection between different regions across the Indian Ocean. Students will write an essay (word limit 500) based on their research. It’s due on the third week of class. The assignment should be typed in Times New Roman, double space.


Bibliographical project:

As the course progresses, each student will prepare a thematic bibliography on a topic of their own choice. This bibliography of secondary readings is meant to help the students develop their final essay. Students are welcome to discuss the bibliography in class or with the instructors during office hours. The bibliography should be prepared according to Chicago Style Sheet. Students will submit the bibliography on October 30 in class.


Primary Source Analysis:


Students will find five primary sources that fit a particular topic/theme discussed in the class. They can be acquired from digital archives or from a local archive/museum/library, etc. First, students must pick a theme to address. Then, students should narrow their topic through a process of secondary and primary research. Details of this process will be discussed in class. The final product will be an analytical essay, which uses the primary and secondary sources to support a student-generated thesis. All submissions should be at least 5 pages long (double-spaced, size 12, and Times New Roman font). Students will submit this essay on November 20 in class.


Final Paper:

Students will submit the final long-essay (10-12 pages, double-spaced, size 12, and Times New Roman font) on December 10. The essay should be a continuation of the primary source analysis essay. The essay should have a clearly stated thesis and a synthetic analysis of the secondary literature on the chosen topic. The bibliographical project and the primary source analysis essay will help the students towards this end. The final essay should exhibit students’ understanding of historiography as we as their critical thinking. Students are encouraged to draw ideas from the class discussions.


Course Schedule:

Introduction to the Indian Ocean World


September 4: Introduction  



Edward A. Alpers, The Indian Ocean in World History, New York: Oxford University

Press, 2014. (Chapter 1 & 2) (Available on canvas)  


Film Screening: Caravans of Gold


September 11: Community Project



Part I: Connected Histories and the Material World of the Indian Ocean


September 18: Economic Communities of the Indian Ocean World (1)



Edward A. Alpers, The Indian Ocean in World History, New York: Oxford University

Press, 2014. (Chapter 3, 4, & 5) (Available on canvas)


Film screening: Lost Kingdoms of Africa: Great Zimbabwe


Community Project due (submission in class)


September 25: Economic Communities of the Indian Ocean World (2)



Edward A. Alpers. “Gujarat and the Trade of East Africa, c. 1500-1800.” The

International Journal of African Historical Studies 9, no. 1 (1976): 22-44.


Thomas Vernet, “East African Travelers and Traders in the Indian Ocean: Swahili Ships,

Swahili Mobilities ca. 1500–1800.” in Trade, Circulation, and Flow in the Indian Ocean World, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2015.


Film screening: Maritime History of India


October 2: Commodities and Interaction: Stories of Cotton (1)



Pedro Machano and Sarah Fee, “Introduction: The Ocean’s Many Cloth Pathways,” in

Pedro Machado, Sarah Fee, and Gwyn Campbell, eds. Textile Trades, Consumer Cultures, and the Material Worlds of the Indian Ocean: An Ocean of Cloth. Springer, 2018. (Available on canvas)


MacKenzie Moon Ryan, “Converging Trade and New Technologies: The Emergence of

Kanga Textiles on the Swahili Coast in the Late Nineteenth Century,” in Pedro

Machado, Sarah Fee, and Gwyn Campbell, eds. Textile Trades, Consumer Cultures, and the Material Worlds of the Indian Ocean: An Ocean of Cloth. Springer, 2018. (Available on canvas)


Film screening:The Story of India-Spice Routes and Silk Roads


October 9: Commodities and Interaction: Stories of Cotton (2)



Gwyn Campbell, “The Decline of the Malagasy Textile Industry, c.1800-1895,” in Pedro

Machado, Sarah Fee, and Gwyn Campbell, eds. Textile Trades, Consumer Cultures, and the Material Worlds of the Indian Ocean: An Ocean of Cloth. Springer, 2018. (Available on canvas)


Julia Verne, “Contemporary Geographies of Zanzibari Fashion.” in Pedro Machado,

Sarah Fee, and Gwyn Campbell, eds. Textile Trades, Consumer Cultures, and the Material Worlds of the Indian Ocean: An Ocean of Cloth. Springer, 2018. (Available on canvas)



Part II: Labor and Migration in the Indian Ocean World


October 16: African Slaves in the Indian Ocean World (1)



Gwyn Campbell ed. The Structure of Slavery in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia, London:

Frank Cass, 2004. (Introduction and page 16-51) (Available through Canvas)


October 23: African Slaves in the Indian Ocean World (2)



Robert Harms, Bernard K. Freamon, David W. Blight ed. Indian Ocean Slavery in the

Age of Abolition, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013. (Chapter 2 and 3) (Available through Canvas)


Film screening: The Untold Story of Arab Slave Trade of Africans


Discussion on how to prepare a bibliography


October 30: Indian Indentured Experience: East Africa and African Islands



Marina Carter. “Strategies of Labor Mobilization in Colonial India: The Recruitment of

Indentured Workers for Mauritius,” The Journal of Peasant Studies, 19, no. 3-4 (1992): 229-245.


Radhika Viyas Mongia, “Race, Nationality, Mobility: A History of the Passport,” Public

Culture 11, no. 3 (1999): 527-555.


Film screening: Coolies: How Britain Re-Invented Slavery


Bibliographic project due in class.


November 6: Indian Indentured Experiences: South Africa



Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed. Inside Indian Indenture: A South African Story. Cape

Town: HSRC Press, 2010. (Chapter 1 and 2) (Available on Canvas)


Goolam Vahed and Ashwin Desai. “Indian Indenture: Speaking Across the Oceans,” Man

In India 92, no. 2 (2012): 195-213. (Available on Canvas)


Film Screening: Stealing a Nation  


Discussion on how to select primary source


Part III: Cultures of the Indian Ocean


November 13: Islam Across the Ocean



Goolam Vahed, “Constructions of Community and Identity Among Indians in Colonial

Natal, 1860–1910: The Role of the Muharram festival,” The Journal of African History 43, no. 1 (2002): 77-93. (Available online)


Green, Nile. “Islam for the indentured Indian: a Muslim missionary in colonial South

Africa,” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 71, no. 3 (2008): 529-553. (Available online)  


Film screening: From Africa to India: Sidi Music in the Indian Ocean Diaspora


November 20: Dissemination of Culture: India in Africa



John C. Hawley, India in Africa, Africa in India: Indian Ocean Cosmopolitanism,

Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008. (Chapter 4 and 5) (Available through Canvas)


Film screening: Queen of Katwe


Primary source analysis paper due (submission in class)  


November 27: Dissemination of Culture: Africa and India



John C. Hawley, India in Africa, Africa in India: Indian Ocean Cosmopolitanism,

Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008. (Chapter 8 and 9) (Available through Canvas)  


Film screening: Idi Amin Asian Expulsion



December 4: Literary Histories of the Indian Ocean World  



Gaurav Desai, Commerce with the Universe: Africa, India, and the Afrasian

Imagination, New York: Columbia University Press, 2013.(Chapter 1 and 2)(Available online on UT library)


Film screening: The Indian Ocean - Retrieving History To Build A Future


Discussion of research drafts


December 10:


The final paper is due by 12:00 noon December 10.

(Submission via email to the instructor)

AFR 374C • Egypt Hieroglyphics Cul Ctx

30725 • Nethercut, William
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 112
(also listed as C C 348)
show description

Egyptian Hieroglyphics in Cultural Context

This course is designed for those who wish to learn the vocabulary and grammar of ancient Egyptian as a guide to understanding artefacts and monuments from the different periods of Egyptian history, whether in museums, exhibitions, or on site overseas. We shall begin with the signs painted on pottery from the pre-dynastic period, proceed with formulas popular in the Old Kingdom, including the Pyramid Texts from the Fifth Dynasty, and continue with the examination of stelae and cartouches from the Middle and New Kingdoms. Wherever we can find hieroglyphics, as on the reverse side of scarabs in Hatshepsut's collection, or graffiti from the Workmen's Village in the Valley of the Kings or on the obelisks of Karnak, Rome and New York City, we shall practice reading them.  With this background, we will engage texts from the Ptolemaic period and, notably, the Rosetta Stone. Formal communication  during the Roman rule in Egypt will offer a different opportunity to appreciate. In each case,  diverse artefacts and texts will allow us to extend our understanding of Egyptian history.

This course carries the Global Cultures flag.

AFR 374D • African American Politics

30740 • Philpot, Tasha
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM UTC 3.132
show description

Please check back for updates.

AFR 374D • Black Women In America

30735 • Berry, Daina
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM GAR 1.126
(also listed as AMS 321, HIS 350R, WGS 340)
show description

Course Description:  

In an White House Blog posted on 10 February 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama announced the 2012 theme for Black History Month: Celebrating Black Women in American Culture and History. “They are women,” she explained, “who fought against slavery, who stood up for 


Women’s suffrage, and marched in our streets for our civil rights.”  Continuing, she noted that African American women also  “… stirred our souls and they’ve open our hearts.”  In addition to celebrating Black Women’s contributions, we must also look at the struggles women overcame to be a part of the American fabric; struggles over their images, representation, and reputation. 


To that end, the course will use primary sources, historical monographs, and essays to provide a chronological and thematic overview of the experiences of black women in America from their African roots to the circumstances they face in the present era.  This seminar class will be discussion driven and will address the following topics: the evolution of African American women’s history as field of inquiry; African American women historians; the trans-Atlantic slave trade; enslavement in the United States; abolition and freedom; racial uplift; urban migration; labor and culture; the modern civil rights movement; organized black feminism; hip-hop culture; AIDS and the Black Women's Health study.  Additionally, the course will draw upon readings written by and about African American women with a particularly emphasis on their approach to gender and race historiography 



  • Assata Shakur, Assata: An Autobiography 

  • Tera Hunter, To Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women’s Lives and Labor After the Civil War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997). 

  • Catherine M. Lewis and J. Richard Lewis, eds., Women and Slavery in America: A Documentary History (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2011). 

  • Eric McDuffie, Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism(Durham: Duke University Press, 2011). 

  • Deborah Gray White, Ar’n’t I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1985). 

  • Additional readings will be distributed electronically on Blackboard. 





  • Class Engagement       20%   

  • Posting Responses to the Week’s Readings   10% 

  • Cultural Critique         20% 

  • Outline of Research Paper with Annotated Bibliography      15% 

  • Final Research Paper and Presentation           35% 


AFR 374D • Civil Rts Mov From Comp Persp

30745 • Green, Laurie
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM JES A209A
(also listed as AMS 370, HIS 350R)
show description

This writing intensive seminar allows students already familiar with the history of the civil rights movements of the mid-twentieth century to more deeply explore themes that can be addressed only briefly in a large course. We concentrate primarily on African American and Mexican American struggles for civil rights, but also address the Asian American and Native American movements. Using a comparative approach allows for unique insights into the complex histories of places like Texas, California, and elsewhere. Students consider the distinctiveness of each movement while also viewing them in relation to each other. We also explore how historical understandings of race, national origin, gender and class impacted these movements. This comparative perspective encourages new understandings of mid-twentieth century U.S., more broadly speaking.

In the first part of the class, students concentrate on readings, discussions, and brief assignments. Students then deepen their understandings of the civil rights era by researching and writing a 5,000 word research paper about a specific struggle at the University of Texas or Austin. These original research papers are based on archival collections at the University of Texas, newspapers, and published scholarly works. Students work closely with the professor to identify topics and sources. As a class, we also work on improving students’ writing skills, and the project is broken down into a series of shorter assignments leading to the final draft. Most of this history has received next to no historical attention, so this research has significance beyond the classroom. At the end of the course, students thus present papers in a conference-like format.

Readings (Please note: these are possible texts, the final syllabus will include fewer texts.):
Biondi, Martha. The Black Revolution on Campus

Goldstone, Dwonna. Integrating the 40 Acres: The 50-Year Struggle for Racial Equality at the University of Texas

Green, Laurie. Battling the Plantation Mentality: Memphis and the Black Freedom Struggle

Maeda, Daryl J. Chains of Babylon: The Rise of Asian America
Oropeza, Lorena. ¡Raza Si! ¡Guerra No! Chicano Protest and Patriotism during the Viet Nam War Era

Phillips, Kimberley L. War! What is it Good For? Black Freedom Struggles and the U.S. Military from World War II to Iraq

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (8th edition) NOTE: Be sure you purchase the correct edition.

10% Participation (completion of readings, participation in class discussion)

15% Archives activity
60% Research paper. This is a cumulative grade based on a series of assignments from the initial planning stages to final submission of the papers.

15% Presentation
There is an attendance policy; unexcused absences over a certain number result in point deductions from the final grade.

AFR 374D • Diasporic Magic: Lit/Perfrm

30727 • Young, Hershini
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GEA 127
show description

Course Description:

A girl punished for her crimes with a sloth attached to back, 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 real-life 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. Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
  5. Welcome to Our Hillbrow by Phaswane Mpe
  6. The Girl with All the Gifts (Film)
  7. Pumzi directed by Wanuri Kahiu (Film)
  8. The Fits directed by Anna Rose Holmer (Film)
  9.    (website of artist)
  10. Performances by Nelisiwe Xaba, Nora Chipaumire,Wura Natasha-Ogunji and Faka



  1. Attendance and participation are crucial. More than two unexcused absences will be penalized. I will be asking for volunteers to look up information throughout the semester and this can boost your participation grade. If you keep up with the reading, you should do well in this class.  However even if you haven’t read, be sure to come to class. Every student will have at least one question or point prepared for discussion each class. (10%)
  2. Every student must sign up for one performance based on the reading. Further information will be given during class about what this entails.  (15%)
  3.  Students will be given three short assignments and/or quizzes. (20%)
  4. 4-page minimum paper.  I will be handing out topics later in the semester but students are welcome to come up with their own topics, provided I approve them during office hours. Students with late papers will be penalized.  (20%)
  5. 5-7 page final comparative paper.  Topics will be distributed later in the semester.  There will be no final exam for this class.  I do not grade late final papers.  (35%)

AFR 374E • Atlantic Slavery: Hist/Mem

30758 • Thompson, Shirley
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM BUR 436A
(also listed as AMS 370)
show description

Please check back for updates.

AFR 374E • Hiv/Aids Activism/Heal Arts

30750 • Gill, Lyndon
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 203
(also listed as ANT 324L, WGS 335)
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 374E • Puerto Rico In Crisis

30755 • Jimenez, Monica
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 304
(also listed as AMS 370, HIS 363K, MAS 374)
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.  



Grade breakdown (subject to change): 

  • Attendance and class participation (20%) 

  • News Journal (20%): Given that the history of Puerto Rico in crises is quite literally being written daily, an essential part of this course will be to keep track of the events on the island as they relate to the topics of our course. Students will explore the ways in which media sources report on and interpret contemporary issues and events in Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican community in the United States. Each week you will read a minimum of two articles about PR and Puerto Ricans and craft a brief (3-4 sentence) written summary of them in your own words.  

  • One of the articles must explore the relationship between the island and the United States (e.g. through politics, economics, migration); the other article can report any aspect of current life in PR or for mainland based Puerto Ricans. Please note the title, date and source of your newspaper articles and include a web address. 

  • The articles and summaries will be kept in an on-going journal and collected four times during the semester.  

  • Sources should be legitimate media/ news sources and not simply entertainment or opinion blogs or websites. Acceptable examples include NY Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, BBC, Guardian, etc. Sources in Spanish are acceptable. Bring your journals to each class. We will begin each meeting with a brief news update. 

  • Please come to class prepared to discuss the current events on the island as these will feature prominently in our course.  


  • Short Paper (20%) – One 4-5 page paper 


  • In-class examination (20%) or 2nd short paper (will depend on size of class)  


  • Final examination (20%)

AFR 374E • Race Against Empire: Americas

30759 • Jimenez, Monica
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM RLP 0.130
(also listed as HIS 366N, LAS 366)
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 374E • Urban Slavery In The Americas

30757 • Canizares, Jorge
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM PAR 208
(also listed as AMS 370, HIS 350L, LAS 366)
show description

Black slavery in the American South was just one type of slavery. It resembled forms of slavery in the integrated sugar plantations of the early- modern and nineteenth-century Caribbean and Brazil. Yet in the American South, plantation slavery did not rely on the Atlantic slave trade. Urban slavery differed from plantation slavery. In Spanish America, for example, Africans were brought as slaves only to become within a generation “settlers” of city-ports (merchants, stevedores, shipbuilders, tailors) and citizens of towns. The first settlers of North America were not Puritans and Pilgrims but Afro American manumitted slaves in places like Florida.  Not all slaves were black Africans. The colonial states of Carolina and Georgia, for example, captured and exported tens of thousands of Native American into the Caribbean as slaves.  In the wake of the epidemiological devastation brought about by European diseases, Native Americans created new communities often by raiding neighboring enemy groups and incorporating outsiders as slaves (or family).  This course will examine the history of the many slave trades in the Americas. We will rely on readings that are primarily biographical in nature.
This is a reading and writing intensive seminar.  You will receive training on how to identify the argument of books and chapters within books. You will improve basic writing skills and develop new ones, particularly on how to organize and justify a research proposal. You will also learn how to use citations appropriately to back up your arguments.
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 374F • Africana Women's Art

30765 • Okediji, Moyosore
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM DFA 2.204
(also listed as WGS 340)
show description

Please check back for updates.

AFR 374F • Harlem Renaissance

30760 • Wilks, Jennifer
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM RLP 0.118
(also listed as E 376M)
show description

E 376M  l  The Harlem Renaissance


Instructor:  Wilks, J

Unique #:  35865

Semester:  Fall 2018

Cross-lists:  AFR 374F

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No


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


Description:  Long before the arrival of Red Rooster, Whole Foods, and other hip spots, there was another Harlem Renaissance, a time during the 1920s and 1930s when African American artistic and cultural life flourished with Harlem as its epicenter.  In this course we will draw upon nonfiction, fiction, and poetry not only to remember the Renaissance as traditionally portrayed in literary history, but also to re-member the movement, to piece together our own impressions of its people, places, and passions.  Who were the leading figures of the Renaissance?  What are the forgotten but no less important names?  How did the movement’s influence extend beyond the confines of upper Manhattan?  In addition to these questions, we will also address how literary production complemented and contrasted with the politics, music, and fine art of the period.  Our ultimate goal is not only to emerge with a broader picture of the Harlem Renaissance, but also to understand the period’s significance as a pivotal transition in African American literary expression, one bridging the gap between Reconstruction literature of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries and urban literature of the mid-twentieth century.


Texts:  Nella Larsen, Passing; George Samuel Schuyler, Black No More; Jean Toomer, Cane; Course packet with short readings.


Requirements & Grading:  Two short papers (4 pages each), 40%; Final critical essay (5-7 pages), 35%; Reading responses, 15%; Rough draft of first short paper (4 pages), 10%.


Attendance is mandatory.  More than three unexcused absences will result in a significant reduction of your grade.


AFR 374F • Lit Of Black Politics

30770 • Marshall, Stephen
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM GAR 3.116
(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 374F • Music Of Mexico & Caribbean

30775-30780 • Moore, Robin
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MRH 2.634
(also listed as LAS 326)
show description

Please check back for updates.