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

AFR 303 • Intro To Black Studies-Wb

30905 • Colon Pizzini, Bethzabeth • Internet; Asynchronous
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This course provides students with an introduction to Black Studies. The first section of the course is devoted to a history of Black Studies in the U.S. using the integration and development of Black Studies here at the University of Texas, Austin as a case study. We will then turn to considerations of the historical construction of Africa, the Black Diaspora and the idea of Blackness. Building on this foundation the course provides students with the analytical tools to critically explore canonical Black Studies literature, themes, and theories. This section of the course interrogates race, gender, class, sexuality, and their intersections as well as culture, power and politics. The second section of the course will focus in on the expression and use of Black Studies in the areas of: Critical Black Studies; Education, Psychology, and Mental Health; Government, Law and Public Policy; Expressive Culture, Arts, Music, Sports; and Africa and its Diasporic Cultures.

AFR 310K • Introduction To Modern Africa

30910 • Falola, Oloruntoyin
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM UTC 3.132
GC (also listed as HIS 310)
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AFR 315I • Intro Afr Amer Women's Hist

30915 • Farmer, Ashley
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SZB 2.802
CD HI (also listed as HIS 317L, WGS 301)
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This course is largely designed to introduce students to the major themes, issues, and debates in African American history from its African origins until today. It serves as a general introduction to the historical literature by providing lower division undergraduate students with an overview of the African American experience through readings, lectures, film, and music. Some of the specific topics covered include African antecedents, colonial and antebellum slavery, the abolition movement, the free black experience, the Civil War, emancipation, Jim Crow segregation, racial violence, black culture, the modern freedom struggle, popular culture, political movements, and the contemporary experience. Ultimately, students should gain an understanding of how enslaved and free African Americans lived, worked, socialized, and defined themselves in American society. 

Course Objectives:
Students will have the opportunity to write essays and take multiple-choice and short answer exams in this course. Using this combination of testing strategies, one goal of the class is to facilitate students’ LEARNING of African American history rather than the memorization of relevant names, dates, and events. The professor recognizes the importance of knowing key figures and events; however, the primary objective is to help students develop a solid understanding of the political, social, economic, and personal lives of African Americans from their arrival through today. 

AFR 315K • Intro To African Amer Hist

30918 • Fourmy, Signe
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM UTC 3.124
HI (also listed as HIS 317L)
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This course is a survey of African-American history from the colonial era to the present focusing on the social, economic, political, and cultural history of Black people in the United States. Throughout the semester we will examine major topics and themes in African-American history that include: its beginnings in Africa; the Middle Passage and trans-Atlantic slave trade; colonial and antebellum slavery; the abolition movement; the free black experience; emancipation; “Jim Crow” segregation; racial violence; mass incarceration; mass migrations and the “New Negro”; Black participation in international wars; Civil Rights, Black Power, and Black Feminist Movement(s); popular culture; and ongoing struggles against social, political, and economic inequality. We will pay special attention to the meanings of citizenship, social movements, sexuality, class, and gender.

Course materials will include primary and secondary sources. Students will be required to complete four short (500-words) written assignments and then will have the opportunity to determine how to demonstrate their learning by selecting the other assignments that contribute to their final grade from a pre-determined “menu” of options. At the end of the course, students will have developed an understanding of African American history and met specific learning objectives that require students to: 1) Critically examine historical documents (primary sources) and scholarly interpretations (secondary sources) concerning key elements of African-American history; 2) Analyze the impact of enslavement and discrimination, as well as ideologies of race, gender, sexuality, status, and white supremacy, on the experiences of African-Americans; 3) Explain the causes and ramifications of mass migrations of African-Americans from rural to urban areas, as well as from southern to northern and western sites; 4) Analyze the effects of significant events on African-Americans (e.g., the Great Depression and world wars); 5) Identify and compare strategies of organizations and social movements focused on civil rights; and 6) Demonstrate the ability to think and communicate critically and analytically in written work.

AFR 315N • The Black Power Movement

30919 • Moore, Leonard
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WCP 1.402
CD HI (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.

AFR 315P • Intro Black Women's Studies

30920 • Colon Pizzini, Bethzabeth
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM MEZ 1.102
CD (also listed as WGS 301)
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Students will gain a solid foundation in the main themes and theories of Black Women’s Studies. Further, students will learn to think critically about issues of race, gender, sexuality, class, and ability as they impact the lives of Black women globally as well as in scholarship and popular media about them. Using Feminist theory, Black Feminist Theory and Womanist theory as frameworks students will examine the history, development, and importance of Black Women’s Studies as a discipline and taking seriously the feminist statement that the personal is political students will learn to relate these theories to our daily lives. Students will learn to think and read critically and to thoughtfully analyze stereotypes and representations of Black womanhood and their implications. Students will also be exposed to a growing and interdisciplinary body of research, literature and culture material about and by Black women globally.

AFR 315T • African American Lit And Cul

30925 • Jarman, Cody
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM SZB 4.618
CDWr (also listed as E 314V)
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E 314V  l  1-African American Literature and Culture

Instructor:  Jarman, C

Unique #:  35140

Semester:  Spring 2022

Cross-lists:  AFR 315T, 30925


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

Description:  “Revolution is based on land. Land is the basis of all independence. Land is the basis of freedom, justice, and equality.” --Malcolm X

In 1963, Malcolm X outlined a vision for American Black nationalism that centered the importance of land to Black liberation.  However, his observations invite as many questions as they answer:  What is land in the Black American imagination? How does the history of chattel slavery impact the meaning of a land marked by oppression? What kinds of freedom are made possible by land ownership? Are any kinds of freedom made impossible?  In this course, we’ll address these questions as they appear across twentieth and twenty-first century African-American literature and film, focusing particular on the significance of rural and ‘natural’ spaces.  While the class is centered on the topic of land, we will also be exploring histories of racial oppression and black resistance, and we will consider the ways that literary works create meaning.  We will read, analyze, and discuss traditional literary forms such as the novel, poem, and short story as well as essays and works of nonfiction, and we will engage thoughtfully with Critical Race Theory and literary theory.

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

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

Potential Texts:  Cane by Jean Toomer, Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward, and Get Out directed by Jordan Peele.  Supplementary essays and speeches by Ida B. Wells, Malcolm X and others will also be assigned

Requirements & Grading:  Close-Reading Essay (15%); Annotated Bibliography (15%); Reading Responses (15%); Mini-Assignments (20%); Final Essay (10%); Final Essay Revision (15%); Participation (10%)

AFR 315U • Music Of African Americans

30930-30945 • Carson, Charles
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM MRH 2.608
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AFR 316C • Rights In Modern America

30949 • Green, Laurie
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 206
CD HI (also listed as AMS 315J, HIS 317L, WGS 301)
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Whether they used a language of equality, justice, freedom or liberation, an array of social groups in 20th-century America forged struggles and organizations that advocated for recognition of their rights, and yet there was never unanimity about the meaning of rights. This course explores changing and clashing ideas of rights that propelled social movements in different historical periods of working-class people, women, Blacks, Latina/os, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and students, paying close attention to perceptions of race, gender, labor, national identity, sexuality, and place. To better understand these struggles and contested meanings of rights, we also draw on comparative and relational approaches to this history. That is, we strive not only to identify similarities and differences among these groups, but to develop insights into how they influenced each other. Such an approach can lead to surprises; in Austin, for example, African American and Mexican American attorneys filed suit for school desegregation on the same day, with both arguing that the city had violated their rights guaranteed by Brown v. Board of Education.

The last unit of the course turns to such struggles over rights at the University of Texas during the 1960s and 1970s, particularly those involving racial justice. Students will have the opportunity to study documents from UT in time period and to listen to interviews with participants.  

AFR 320C • Power/Place Making Tx Hist-Wb

30950 • Colon Pizzini, Bethzabeth
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM • Internet; Synchronous
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What are the stories told about Texas’ history? Where are the places that help those stories be told? The State Capitol grounds, the Alamo in San Antonio, the South Mall on UT’s campus, and even the Barbara Jordan statuary at the Austin Bergstrom Airport are but a few examples of the commemorative and memorialized sites that convey accounts of Texas history. This course explores places in the Texas landscape as windows into Texas history and the political and social thinking that have formed our understandings of Texas’s past. It does this by teaching students to interpret Texas sites that convey public history. We will read these sites by delving into the makings of the histories behind them, including the historic silences that also form them. At the same time, we will interrogate these places and their meanings for what they reveal about the power relations arrayed along lines of race, culture, gender, and economic status that underlie their creation as memorable and historically meaningful. In this way, students are provided with an understanding of the “facts” of Texas history from a variety of positions, an understanding of the work historical narratives do in the present, and how power operates in the making, telling, and remembering of Texas history.

Drawing on anthropological and historical methods, this course uses places in Austin, Texas such as the Josiah Wilbarger state historical marker, the Texas State Cemetery, the Littlefield Fountain, and the Gold Dollar building to examine the history of the peoples of Texas with attention to their racial and gendered histories. At the same time, we will explore how those who were involved in making these sites and their historical narratives, created shared beliefs about the past and how these narratives translate into ongoing ideas about who is and who is not Texan, American, worthy, civilized, or even human in the present.

AFR 321L • Sociology Of Education

30955 • Irizarry, Yasmiyn
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM RLP 1.108
(also listed as SOC 321L, WGS 345)
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The goal of this course is to ask some fundamental questions about the relationship between education and society. To answer these questions, we will take an in-depth look at the structures, practices, social contexts, and outcomes of schooling. We will examine the purpose and role of schools, explore the linkages between schools and social stratification, discuss how various schooling outcomes are produced, and consider sociological perspectives on contemporary educational inequality and reform. You will have many opportunities to reflect upon your own educational experience and worldview, while also thinking critically about how various social forces have come to shape your schooling experiences, and how these experiences may differ from that of your peers, as well as that of other young adults around the country.


The Structure of Schooling: Readings in the Sociology of Education, 3rd Edition. Both new and used copies, as well as ebook and rental options, are available online.

Additional readings will be available on Canvas.

Performance Assessment

Your final course grade will be determined as follows:

Participation................ 5%

Reading Quizzes.......... 10%

Discussion leader........ 3%

Discussion questions... 2%

Discussion responses.. 10%

Discussion.................... 15%

Reflection paper 1....... 15%

Reflection paper 2....... 15%

Reflection Papers........ 30%

Exam 1......................... 20%

Exam 2......................... 20%

Exams.......................... 40%

Grading Scale




























AFR 330 • Beyonce Fmnsm/Rihanna Wmnsm

30960-30975 • Holm, Charles
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM WAG 214
(also listed as WGS 335)
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Beyoncé’s fifth live album Homecoming chronicled her performance as the first black woman to headline the Coachella festival. As with Lemonade, the film and performance put Beyoncé’s music in conversation with luminaries such as Toni Morrison and W.E.B. DuBois. Beyoncé’s contemporaries Rihanna and Lizzo similarly center black culture in their music and are unapologetic about their work’s engagement with issues specific to black womanhood. By engaging the music and videos of these and other Black femme recording artists as popular, accessible expressions of African American and Caribbean feminisms, this course explores their contribution to black feminist thought and their impact on global audiences. Beginning with close analysis of these artists’ songs and videos, we read their work in conversation with black feminist theoretical works that engage issues of race, location, violence, economic opportunity, sexuality, standards of beauty, and creative self-expression. The course aims to provide students with an introduction to media studies methodology as well as black feminist theory, and to challenge us to close the gap between popular and academic expressions of black women’s concerns.

AFR 330C • Fashion And Desire-Wb

30980 • Gill, Lyndon
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM • Internet; Synchronous
GC (also listed as WGS 340)
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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 330F • Wrtg For Black Performance

30985 • Thompson, Lisa
Meets T 2:00PM-5:00PM RLP 1.102
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This course will require students to write theatrical pieces as well as critical essays about the performance of black identity in America. Participants will also give oral presentations and perform readings of their work using various African-American performance styles. Students will read texts that examine African-American performance, contemporary black identity, and expressive culture. During the semester, we will explore what Lajos Egri describes as “the art of dramatic writing” or, depending on your style and interests, the art of comedic writing. We will consider the magic of theater and learn ways to use words to shape action on the stage. The main objectives of this course are finding or refining your voice, learning how to write a play or performance text and presenting it to an audience. The term will be spent reading theatre, writing plays and talking about plays–and if we are lucky, maybe even seeing a show or two. This class will introduce students to different theatrical formats such as solo performance, the choreopoem, one-acts, and the full-length traditional play. We will discuss character development, dialogue, monologue, conflict and setting. In acknowledgement of some of the difficulties writers face, we will also consider topics such as inspiration, technique and discipline as well as do a variety of writing exercises. We will also devote time performing assigned texts as well as what we write during class. The course will culminate with staged readings of excerpts from your final projects. 

AFR 330T • Diasporic Magic: Lit/Perf

30990 • Young, Hershini
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GWB 1.130
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Course Description:

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


1. Fledgling by Octavia Butler

2. An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

3. Delicious Foods: A Novel by James Hannaham

4. Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

5. The Girl with All the Gifts (Film)

6. Pumzi directed by Wanuri Kahiu (Film)

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

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

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

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

AFR 335G • Diaspora Visions-Wb

30994 • Okediji, Moyosore
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM • Internet; Synchronous
GC (also listed as WGS 340)
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AFR 340N • African Queer Studies

31000 • Young, Hershini
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GWB 1.130
GC (also listed as WGS 335)
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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.

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

31015 • Gill, Lyndon
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM • Internet; Synchronous
GC (also listed as WGS 335)
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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 350Q • African-American Politics

31020 • Philpot, Tasha
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 204
(also listed as GOV 371G)
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AFR 350T • Domestic Slave Trade

31025 • Berry, Daina
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM GAR 1.134
CDWr HI (also listed as HIS 350R)
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In 1846, Archibald McMillin a North Carolina planter wrote to his wife during one of his many sojourns in the domestic slave trade. He informed her that he “could not sell in Darlington or Sumpter, [South Carolina,]” but that he was going to spend the day” in Charleston looking at sales at auction.”  Perhaps Charleston would prove a better market then the other cities, but if not, he would probably go further into the Deep South. Like the invention of the cotton gin was to the expansion of slavery into western territories, the domestic slave trade represented “the lifeblood of the southern slave system” according to historian Steven Deyle.  More than one million African Americans entered the domestic market and found themselves in coffles traveling by foot to various markets or were placed on boats and taken down the Mississippi River. Some traveled by ship along the Atlantic seaboard to port cities with large markets such as Savannah.  


This course will explore the inner-workings of the domestic slave trade from the perspectives of slaveholders, speculators, and the enslaved.  Students will have the opportunity to analyze maps, letters, diaries, newspaper advertisements, and legislation relating to the domestic slave trade.  

AFR 351N • Black Political Thought

31030 • Holm, Charles
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM MEZ 2.124
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Black political reflection is constituted by a distinctive and ongoing preoccupation with freedom. Conceived and practiced in and/or against the political evils of slavery, segregation, racial terror, and mass incarceration, these reflections rank among political theory’s most acute treatments of freedom and domination. In this course, we shall examine some of the some of the most important of these reflections and the multiple traditions of Black political thought they represent. By doing so, this course seeks to provide a substantive engagement and critical assessment of Black Political Thought; illuminate the particular substance and character of our own conceptions of freedom and domination; and facilitate acquisition of conceptual tools necessary for understanding the political legacies of slavery and empire within post-slavery liberal political regimes like the U.S.

AFR 352F • Sociocul Influences On Learn

31035 • Brown, Keffrelyn
Meets T 10:00AM-1:00PM SZB 4.502
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AFR 360 • Race, Law, And US Society

31040 • Thompson, Shirley
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PMA 5.112
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This seminar examines the intersection of racial ideology and legal culture in the United States. We will take a broad historical approach that spans the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but we will also survey a range of contemporary sites where racial discourses permeate American law and conceptions of the rights and responsibilities of citizens. The legal construction of race in America is inextricably bound up with the development and dissolution of the institution of race-based slavery. Therefore, a consideration of laws concerning slavery, segregation, and desegregation will form the backbone of the course. We will pay special attention to Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857); Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)and Brown v. Board of Education (1954), cases that span a crucial century. By considering the long trajectories of race, law, and social transformation, we will begin to see how racial reasoning has informed many aspects of U.S. legal culture for a wide range of ethnic and social groups and how race has influenced the development of property law, family law, immigration law, and civil rights law.

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

AFR 370 • Art, Id, Racial Difference

31050 • Chambers, Edward
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM DFA 2.204
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AFR 370 • Black Cops Afr Am Pop Cultr

31055 • Walter, Patrick
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GEA 127
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From the Fugitive Slave Law to Ferguson, MO, American Law Enforcement has been inseparable from white supremacy.  Judicial rulings, mass incarceration and policing have worked together to assure de jure enslavement of black flesh in the Antebellum period and the de facto enslavement of African Americans in the post-Bellum.  However, as early as the beginning of the twentieth century, images of black police officers began to appear in American film and fiction.  Through a close analysis of crime films such as Anton Fuqua’s Training Day, Gordon Parks’ Shaft, and Richard Donner’s Lethal Weapon as well as crime fiction such as Chester Himes’ The Real Cool Killers; Walter Mosely’s Devil in a Blue Dress and Attica Locke’s Bluebird, Bluebird, we will think about what these black police officers and private eyes tell us about the relationship between race, justice, and the Law.  Along the way, we will learn about the formal structures of the mystery and crime genres, and we will consider the actual history of black law enforcement in America.  Some of our guiding questions will include: How might the emergence of the black police officer relate to complex notion of black citizenship?  What sorts of meanings does the traditional “buddy film” lend to blackness and whiteness.  What do certain figures of African American law enforcement tell us about the intersection of race, masculinity, femininity, sexuality, and class?



Chester Himes:  Real Cool Killers

Walter Mosely: Devil in a Blue Dress

Attica Locke:  Bluebird, Bluebird


Norman Jewison:  In the Heat of the Night

Gordon Parks Gordon:  Shaft

Richard Donner.  Lethal Weapon

Anton Fuqua.  Training Day

Damon Lindelof:  The Watchmen

Criticism and History

Franz Fanon:  “The Fact of Blackness”

  1. Marvin Dulany: Black Police in America

Margaret Hunt:  “Chester Himes and the Capacities of the State”

James Baldwin:  The Devil Finds Work

Jared Sexton:  “The Ruse of Engagement”

Ed Guerrero:  “The Black Image in Protective Custody”

Sharon Willis: “Mutilated Masculinities”

AFR 370 • Black Horror/Psychoanalysis

31060 • Walter, Patrick
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 308
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This course is based on two complicated encounters:  black artists’ engagement with gothic horror and black critical theorists’ confrontations with psychoanalysis. For good reason, both horror and psychoanalysis have often been considered hostile toward the people and cultures of the African Diaspora.  Nonetheless, many key writers and filmmakers such Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, and Jordan Peele have reinvented gothic horror conventions as a way of articulating the legacies of colonization and chattel slavery.  Similarly, some of the most important black political thinkers and activists – including Frantz Fanon, Hortense Spillers, David Marriott, and Frank Wilderson – have developed their conceptual frameworks in part through complex and deeply critical revisions of the ideas of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan.  What can the ghosts, vampires, demons, and witches of African Diasporic fiction tell us about the relevance and limits of psychoanalytic thought to black critical theory and praxis?  How does Jordan Peele’s horrific imaging of the therapist’s couch in Get Out! develop a black critique of Freudian transference in keeping with Wilderson’s notions of Afro-Pessimism?  How might the vampiric death drive in Octavia Butler’s Fledgling help us to understand Fanon’s notion of violence?  This class provides an introduction to gothic horror, African Diasporic aesthetics and theory, and some of the fundamental aspects of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis.


Fiction and Film

Morrison, Toni.  Beloved

Butler, Octavia.  Fledgling

LaValle, Victor.  The Devil in Silver

Peele, Jordon.  Get Out!

---.  Us.

Condé, Maryse.  I Tituba:  Black Witch of Salem

Naylor, Gloria.  Linden Hills

O’Shea, Michel.  The Transfiguration

Gunn, Bill.  Ganja and Hess

Romero, George A.  Night of the Living Dead


Critical Theory

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

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

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

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

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

Cole, Merrill.  “Nat Turner’s Thing.”

Freud, Sigmund.  Beyond the Pleasure Principle (selections)

---.  The Uncanny

---.  “Mourning and Melancholia.”

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

---. Ecrits (selections)

Miller, Jacques-Alain.  Extimité.”

AFR 370 • Blackness In Cont Art Museum

31095 • Townsend, Phillip
Meets W 2:00PM-5:00PM JES A305A
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Art museums are powerful and contested institutions. Most of the structures that underpin the ethics of collecting, conservation, exhibition, and stewardship that art museums follow were established some time ago. As art-making practices and our society change, many of the codes of museum ethics under which institutions operate need re-evaluation. This undergraduate seminar will explore issues such as acquisition and stewardship, cultural property and repatriation, and private and public funding sources in the face of an increasingly virtual art world. We will also investigate many of the logistical aspects of the museum, including the laws and mission statements, which will provide tools for thinking critically about museum practices. This is not a lecture-based course – the emphasis is on class participation and presentations.

AFR 370 • Blk Filmmakrs Blxploitation

31065 • Sebro, Adrien
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM CMA 3.120
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AFR 370 • Interpreting Black Rage

31070 • Jones, Brandon
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM JES A303A
(also listed as LAH 351S)
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AFR 370 • Political Autobiographies

31075 • Alagraa, Bedour
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GEA 114
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Course Description:

In this course we will explore autobiographical writings as an important genre in Black political thought. We will consider how key historical and political conjunctures are theorized and narrated in autobiographical works, in order to discern how this genre opens up possibilities for theorization which other, more traditional works, might not. Readings will include works from Ida B. Wells, Assata Shakur, Jamaica Kincaid, Frederick Douglass, Winnie Mandela, Angela Davis, and others. The goal of this class is to place these thinkers’ autobiographies in conversation with their other works, in order to map an alternate genealogy for political thought, predicated on the relationship between interiority and struggle.


Reading List:

  1. Angela Davis. Angela Davis: An Autobiography. New York: International Publishers, 1974, 1988.
  2. Harriet Jacobs. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 2001.
  3. Jamaica Kincaid. The Autobiography of My Mother. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996.
  4. Winnie Mandela. Part of My Soul Went With Him. Boston: Dover Publications, 2001.
  5. Assata Shakur. Assata: An Autobiography. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1987.
  6. Nina Simone. I Put a Spell on You: The Autobiography of Nina Simone, New York: Da Capo Press,
  7. Ida B Wells. Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells. Chicago: The University of
  8. Chicago Press, 1970.
  9. W.E.B. Du Bois. Darkwater: Voices From Within the Veil. New York: Verso, 2016.
  10. Frederick Douglass. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. New York: Dover, 1995.
  11. Malcolm X and Alex Haley. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. New York: Ballantine Books, 1992.

AFR 370 • Race And US Social Policy

31080 • Thomas, Kevin
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GEA 127
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In this course we will examine how and why the dynamics of social and economic inequality among racial groups influence almost every aspect of life in the US. Part of this will involve examining debates critical for understanding the creation and persistence of these inequalities. Specific attention will be given to the question of how policy decisions contribute to inequality among racial and ethnic groups, and the extent to which ameliorative social policies have been successful in bridging inequality among these groups. Finally, the course will delineate the impacts of the unequal access to opportunity and resources on the perpetuation of poverty and disadvantage among minority groups, as well as the possible pathways available for redressing these consequences.



  • Mann, Robert, Shaun L. Gabbidon, Jackelyn Hwang, Elizabeth Roberto, Jacob S. Rugh, Srivi Ramasubramian, Holley A. Wilkin et al. How Public Policy Impacts Racial Inequality. LSU Press, 2019.
  • Massey, Douglas S. Categorically unequal: The American stratification system. Russell Sage Foundation, 2007.

AFR 370 • Race/Class/Gender In Amer Tv

31085 • Sebro, Adrien
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM CMA 6.170
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AFR 375 • Community Internship

31105 • Irizarry, Yasmiyn
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM RLP 1.108
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Internship in a community organization that facilitates the economic, political, and social development of Austin's African American community. Students participate in research projects under the supervision of a faculty member.

AFR 385C • Identities

31114 • Falola, Oloruntoyin
Meets TH 3:30PM-6:30PM GAR 1.134
(also listed as HIS 381)
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AFR 386C • Black Political Thought

31115 • Marshall, Stephen
Meets T 11:00AM-2:00PM BUR 436B
(also listed as AMS 390)
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AFR 386C • Race In The Americas

31119 • Clealand, Danielle
Meets M 11:00AM-2:00PM CMA 3.108
(also listed as GOV 390L, MAS 392)
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AFR 386C • Racialized Urban Landscapes

31118 • Brown, Todd
Meets TH 5:00PM-8:00PM WMB 5.112
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AFR 387C • Performnc/Race/Violence/Body

31120 • Smith, Christen
Meets W 9:00AM-12:00PM GWB 1.138
(also listed as WGS 393)
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AFR 387C • Religion And The Senses

31124 • Brown, Khytie
Meets TH 3:00PM-6:00PM BUR 554
(also listed as R S 383T, WGS 393)
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Can you smell God? Is it possible to taste race? How do we make sense of the senses?  What do touching, tasting, smelling, hearing, and seeing have to do with social categories like, race, gender, sexuality, and disability? What do we gain from thinking sensorially? Using the works of religious scholars,  cultural anthropologists, cultural historians, disability studies, and queer studies scholars, the course is built on the premise that every domain of sensory experience is also an arena for structuring the social roles and interactions that make up our social world; that is, we learn social divisions, distinctions of gender, class, race, ability and more through our senses. Far from being objective physiological processes, the senses are culturally mediated. The course foregrounds the category of religion as a key site for cultivating the senses in relation to social markers of difference.

AFR 387C • Surveillance: Art/Theory

31125 • Browne, Simone
Meets M 11:00AM-2:00PM RLP 0.124
(also listed as WGS 393)
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AFR 391 • Black Studies Methods

31130 • Vasudevan, Pavithra
Meets W 12:00PM-3:00PM GWB 1.138
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A survey of seminal black studies texts and methods that have transformed the social sciences, humanities, and fine arts in producing a distinct black studies epistemology. Explores what black studies scholars have done to transform traditional methods and disciplines in pursuit of a distinct black studies methodology.

AFR 392 • Black Studies Theory II

31135 • Alagraa, Bedour
Meets T 12:30PM-3:30PM BUR 128
(also listed as WGS 393)
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An in-depth exploration of the innovative, complex, and distinctively African diaspora social structures and cultural traditions, as well as the historical, cultural, political, economic, and social development of people of African descent.