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

AFR 301 • African American Culture

30365 • Jones, Omi
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM CAL 100
(also listed as AMS 315, ANT 310L)
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This course is an exploration of African American culture that provides students with analytical tools to critically examine and consciously participate in the ongoing construction of African American culture. Particular attention is given to key terms such as race, culture, Blackness, hegemony, aesthetics, and politics. Emphasis is placed on Black agency as demonstrated through the social, political, and representational choices made by African Americans.

AFR 304 • Intro To The Study Of Africa

30370 • Adelakun, Abimbola
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM PAR 304
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This introductory course on African Studies reflects on the social, cultural, political and economic diversity of the African continent. It introduces students to major currents in African Studies through an interdisciplinary lens. By engaging disciplines such as history, politics, and economies alongside studies on culture, gender, and religion students gain a wider perspective on Africa and its people. This study will equip students with foundational tools to navigate more complex issues in an increasingly global world that range from international politics to artistic production. Additionally, it exposes students to the history of the field formation in an effort to contextualize dominant western narratives about the African continent. It’s aim is to prepare students to critically engage Africa and some of the most pressing concerns facing Africa(ns) at home or abroad.

AFR 310L • Intro To Traditional Africa

30375 • Falola, Oloruntoyin
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CLA 1.104
(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

30385 • Nethercut, William
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM 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

30380 • Falola, Oloruntoyin
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CLA 0.126
(also listed as HIS 317L, WGS 301)
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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. 

Toobtain 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 • Black Integration At Ut

30405 • Burt, Brenda
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GWB 2.206
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This course will explore the Black integration of The University of Texas at Austin by examining the history of integrating the 40 acres including the two Supreme Court cases Sweatt v. Painter and Fisher v. University of Texas. The course will incorporate the use of lectures, guest speakers, readings, and class discussions as they learn the impact of Black student involvement in UT's integration process.


AFR 317D • Mlk Jr: A Moral Obligation

30415 • Burt, Brenda
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CMA 3.114
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This course will explore the Civil Rights Movement focusing on the specific work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The selected readings will help the student to explore the history of Blacks from slavery to the present, using Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work as a lens.  The history of the MLK statue on the UT campus will be a main unit of the course, with the anticipation of a Black Studies History tour to Memphis, TN or Atlanta, GA as a “study abroad” opportunity. The course will incorporate the use of lectures, readings, video, simulation exercises, research, and extensive class discussions to assist students as they explore the impact of the Civil Rights Movement, using The University of Texas as one case study among many.

AFR 317D • Rights In Modern America

30400 • Green, Laurie
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM UTC 3.110
(also listed as AMS 315, HIS 317L, WGS 301)
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This course explores the history of social movements for rights in twentieth-century America. Whether they used a language of equality, justice, freedom or liberation, an array of social groups in modern America forged struggles and organizations that advocated for recognition of their rights. And yet there was no unanimity about the meaning of rights; the course examines changing and often conflicting interpretations, focusing on Blacks, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, women, working-class people, and gay men and lesbians. Instead of isolating them from each other, we use both comparative and relational approaches to the history of these movements. We strive not only to make sense of similarities and differences, but how they influenced each other. It what ways, for instance, did the Civil Rights Movement of the early 1960s inspire the Women’s Liberation Movement? 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. A goal is for students to get a sense of how historians approach their work, thus readings include original historical documents and memoirs in addition to scholarly analyzes. This is primarily a lecture course, but some classes are devoted to group projects.



4 unit exams of equal weight (15% each)                                                     60%

4 short quizzes on lecture terms (5% each)                                                  20%

3 historical documents analyses (5% each)                                                   15%

Participation (pertaining to contributions to class projects)                           5%

Extra credit opportunities are available.

Attendance is required. Two points will be deducted from final grade for each unexcused absence over the allowed 3 unexcused absences.



Selected historical documents and articles will be posted on CANVAS.

Melba Pattillo Beals, Warriors Don’t Cry:  A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High

Carlos Bulosan, American is in the Heart: A Personal History

Sal Castro and Mario T. García, Blowout: Sal Castro & the Chicano Struggle for Educational Justice

Charles Denby, Indignant Heart: A Black Worker’s Journal

            NOTE: Use 1989 edition. The bookstore is producing copies for students.

Wilma Mankiller, Mankiller: A Chief and Her People

AFR 317D • The Black Power Movement

30410 • 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 five weeks and the group project is due at the end of the semester.

Exam 1: 25%

Exam 2: 25%

Exam 3: 25%

Group Project: 25%


AFR 317E • Afro-Brazilian Diaspora

30420 • Afolabi, Omoniyi
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM WEL 3.402
(also listed as C L 305, LAS 310)
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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 317E • Black Queer Art Worlds

30425 • Gill, Lyndon
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM GWB 1.130
(also listed as ANT 310L, WGS 301)
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Exploration of over two decades of work produced by and about black queer subjects throughout the circum-Atlantic world. Provides an introduction to various artists and intellectuals of the black queer diaspora, as well as an examination of the viability of black queer aesthetic practice as a form of theorizing.

AFR 317F • African American Lit And Cul

30430 • Maner, Sequoia
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM BEN 1.122
(also listed as E 314V)
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E 314V  l  1-African American Literature and Culture


Instructor:  Maner, S

Unique #:  34975

Semester:  Fall 2017

Cross-lists:  AFR 317F

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No


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


Description:  This course explores the richness of African American literary and cultural traditions.  We will read novels, poetry, and essays that explore the construction and expression of black identity from chattel slavery through our contemporary #BlackLivesMatter era.  Additionally, music and film will help us think through how race, gender, and class have been negotiated in African American culture.


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:  Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son; Alice Walker’s The Color Purple.


Requirements & Grading:  There will be a series of 3 short essays, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted.  Subsequent essays may also be revised and resubmitted by arrangement with the Instructor (70% of the final grade).  There will also be short reading quizzes and weekly blog posts (30% of the final grade).

AFR 317F • African American Lit And Cul

30435 • Callahan, Clare
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM PAR 204
(also listed as E 314V)
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E 314V  l  1-African American Literature and Culture


Instructor:  Sirenko, V

Unique #:  34980

Semester:  Fall 2017

Cross-lists:  AFR 317F

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No


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


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


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


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


Tentative Texts:  Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Charles Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition; and Toni Morrison, Beloved.


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

AFR 317F • Music Of African Americans

30440-30455 • Carson, Charles
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM MRH 2.608
(also listed as MUS 307)
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Course Description:

This course is an introduction to the musical, social, cultural, and political elements of Hip Hop culture in the US, as interpreted through the development of its musical style.

Course Aims and Objectives:

Beyond increasing familiarity with African American music and culture, a major goal of this course is to provide you with the tools to coexist--and indeed thrive--in a global context.

Specific Learning Objectives:

By the end of this course, students will:

  • Be able to recognize and describe general elements of African American cultural practices, including instruments/media, performance practice, and aesthetics.
  • Discuss the ways in which these elements have influenced (and continue to influence) contemporary American and global cultures, especially with respect to hip hop and related genres.
  • Critically assess expressions and representations of African American culture in music and media.
  • Be able to apply these critical thinking skills in the context of other cultures, both historical and contemporary.

AFR 322 • Intro To African Prehistory

30457 • Denbow, James
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM SAC 5.118
(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.

download syllabus

AFR 357C • African American Hist To 1860

30460 • Walker, Juliet
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM GAR 1.126
(also listed as AMS 321E, HIS 357C)
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This upper division course examines the history of Blacks in the United States from the West African Heritage to the Civil War and provides a critical examination on central issues under scholarly debate in the reconstruction of the Black experience in America. The course thus engages the debate on the evolution of African-American slavery as a social, economic and political institution, with a special focus on antebellum slavery, including plantation slavery, industrial slavery, and urban slavery in addition to slave culture.

Also, the course assesses the institutional development of the free black community, during the age of slavery, with emphasis on free black protest activities, organizations, and leaders. Equally important, information is provided on the business and entrepreneurial activities of both slave and free blacks before the Civil War to underscore the long historic tradition of black economic self-help. Invariably, those slaves who purchased their freedom were slaves involved in various business enterprises. Also emphasized in the course are the various ways in which slave and free black women responded to slavery and racism before the Civil War, giving consideration to gender issues within the intersection of the dynamics of race, class, and sex.

The course format is primarily lecture, with informal class discussion, utilizing in part the Socratic method of teaching/pedagogy (especially useful for students who are pre-law), as we examine topics that broaden historical consciousness and critical thinking skills, such as: the role Africans played in the Atlantic slave trade; the historical forces that contributed to the origin of racism in Colonial America; the anomaly of black plantation slave owners in a race-based slave society; how white economic disparities and hegemonic masculinities were played out in class subordination and racial oppression; why race takes precedence over class in assessing the black historical experience; the extent to which judicial cases provide a pragmatic assessment of the realities of slave life; the extent to which American law supported the racial subordination of slave and free blacks; whether or not the economic and political imperatives that prompted antebellum African American settlement in West Africa can be considered colonialist in design and intent.

These and other questions will bring to the forefront the central issue of the agency of African Americans in their attempts to survive racism and slavery in attempts forge their own political and economic liberation. This course, consequently, emphasizes both the deconstruction of prevailing assessments and interpretations of the African American experience as well as provides information for a new reconstruction of the Black Experience from slavery to freedom. In each instance, emphasis will be on exploring different historical interpretations of the Black Experience.

African American slaves did not lead a monolithic slave experience. They shared life-time, hereditary, involuntary servitude, racial oppression and subordination. But many manipulated the institution and slave codes in attempts to mitigate that oppression. Others, such as Nat Turner and Dred Scott used other means to bring about an end to their servitude, while free blacks also fought to end slavery as well as improve their economic, societal and legal status.

The primary purposes of this course, then, are 1) to develop an understanding of the nature of historical inquiry and 2). to heighten historical consciousness 3), encourage critical thinking and analysis of historical material and 4) to recognizing the difference between what might have happened and what actually happened to blacks, both slave and free blacks during the age of slavery to the Civil War.

Franklin, John H. and Alfred Moss, FROM SLAVERY TO FREEDOM, 9th ed



Tyler, Ron and Lawrence, R. Murphy, The Slave Narratives of Texas




MID-TERM EXAM                         35%

RESEARCH PAPER                        30%

EXAM 2 (TAKE-HOME)                 35%

AFR 372C • Race/Gender/Surveillance

30465 • Browne, Simone
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CLA 0.102
(also listed as SOC 322V, WGS 322)
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Drawing from social science readings, science fiction (Gattaca, THX-1138, Ex-Machina, Grounded), documentaries, and popular media (24, South Park, Orange is the New Black, The Bachelor, Cheaters), this course introduces students to the emerging field of Surveillance Studies.

We examine: slavery, reality TV, sports, Google, trolling + social media, borders, airports, biometric technology, whistleblowers, drones, wearables + fashion, among other topics.

Assignments: Film Review, In-class Quizzes, Current Event Analysis, Take-Home Final Exam, and Research Teams produce a digital magazine on “Surveillance”. This course is cross-listed with Women and Gender Studies, and Sociology. Cultural Diversity Flag. Ethics and Leadership Flag.

AFR 372D • Psychology Of Race/Racism

30475 • Awad, Germine
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SZB 370
(also listed as EDP 354J)
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This course reviews the history and evolution of the construct of race as a psychological and social phenomenon. While  the course will be largely social psychological in nature, the insidiousness of race in practically every sphere of life  necessitates a multidisciplinary approach. As such, in addition to readings from psychology, students will also be exposed to ideas in the areas of anthropology, sociology, and biology. The course will emphasize a theoretical and  conceptual approach toward understanding the psychology of racial thinking.

Grades will be based on the cumulative number of points earned in the class from the following elements:

Exams: 300 points total

Pop Quizzes: 70 points total

Journals: 60 points total

Critique papers: 50 points total

Personal reflection paper: 50 points

Participation: 50 points total

Total Points = 580

AFR 372D • Sociocul Influences On Learn

30480 • Brown, Keffrelyn
Meets T 1:00PM-4:00PM SZB 411
(also listed as ALD 327)
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The purpose of this course is to explore and become familiar with the vital role sociocultural factors play in the  learning process. These factors, which are embedded both in historic ways of constructing what it means to be “normal,” and in institutional practices and social inequalities, fundamentally shape how individuals understand themselves, their place in the world, as well as others around them. In particular, this course will consider how issues related to race, class, gender, culture and sexuality operate in and exert an influence on the teaching and learning process. Focus will be placed on the experiences faced by student populations that have historically experienced challenges and marginalization in U.S. educational systems.  It is expected that at the conclusion of the course, you will have a more comprehensive and complex understanding of the role sociocultural factors have played and continue to play in learning; as well as the perspectives necessary to embark on working effectively with children and youth from all backgrounds.

PLEASE NOTE: This course includes a 12-hour service learning component. You will need to locate an appropriate location to engage in nine (9) hours of volunteer service learning. We will talk about some options for fulfilling this requirement during the first two weeks of class. I will provide in class time for you to discuss experiences in the service learning site.  You will also reflect on these experiences in your final paper reflection.

AFR 372D • Sociocul Influences On Learn

30485 • Echternach, Julia
Meets TH 1:00PM-4:00PM SZB 278
(also listed as MAS 374)
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Please check back for updates.

AFR 372D • Sociocul Influences On Learn

30490 • Cook, Courtney
Meets T 4:00PM-7:00PM SZB 240
(also listed as ALD 327)
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What does it mean to be a teacher and a learner in today’s world? In what ways do society, culture, and politics impact schooling? How does sociocultural knowledge, deeply rooted in historic ways of constructing what it means to be “normal,” inform institutional practices and social inequalities? How do sociocultural influences fundamentally shape how individuals understand themselves, their place in the world, and others around them?

This course is devoted to exploring these questions by examining relationships between education, culture, and society. It will focus on: structures of social and educational inequality, in particular as they relate to race, class and gender; processes of power and control in education, as they are expressed in curriculum, policy, and pedagogy; education as a process of social and cultural reproduction; and teaching as a form of intervention in these processes.  The course will give special attention to the experiences and educational conditions of those who have been marginalized within U.S. schools. It is expected that in this course students will become familiar with the sociological, cultural, and political contexts and dimensions of education in U.S. society, will come to understand relationships of power within society and as they are expressed in schooling, and will develop the foundational knowledge necessary for working with children and youth from diverse backgrounds. Throughout the course, everyone will be encouraged to question their own and others’ beliefs, and to do so in a respectful manner that puts listening at the forefront of our practice. If you are not comfortable dialoguing about issues of race, gender, class, privilege, and sexual orientation, this may not be the right class for you.

PLEASE NOTE: This course includes a 15-hour service learning component. You will need to locate an appropriate location to engage in 15 hours of volunteer service learning.

AFR 372E • Afr Am Lit Snc Harlm Renais

30510 • Dechavez, Yvette
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 204
(also listed as E 376S)
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E 376S  l  African American Literature Since the Harlem Renaissance


Instructor:  DeChavez, Y

Unique #:  35725

Semester:  Fall 2017

Cross-lists:  AFR 372E

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No


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


Description:  Is the problem of the 21st century still the color line—as W.E.B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folks) termed it a century ago?  Or have we reached a so-called “post racial” or racially transcendent phase or era in which race has significantly declined—ideas foregrounded in writings by Julius Wilson and Paul Gilroy, among others?  How is the color line implicated in a postmodernist framework differently than in a modernist one? For example, writers like the late Claudia Tate argue that because of the continuation of racial oppression and “the demand for black literature to identify and militate against it, black literature evolves so as to prove that racism exists in the real world and is not a figment of the black imagination.”  Such a view resists psychoanalytical readings that center the individual’s primary nurturing environment, rather than the external circumstances that precondition that environment.  Conversely, psychoanalysis readings of racism risk designating race as pathology.  Enter Epifano San Juan, who observes that race is “an unstable and decentered complex of social meanings constantly being transformed by political struggle….  It is a framework for articulating identity and difference, a process that governs the political and ideological constitution of subjects/agents in history.”  This course engages the eclectic quality of African-American literature since the Harlem Renaissance.


Texts (subject to change):  Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; Ann Petry, The Street; Toni Morrison, Beloved; Jesmyn Ward Salvage the Bones; Beyoncé, Lemonade; Claudia Rankine Citizen


Requirements & Grading:  Two short essays (20% each, 4-5 pages per essay, typed; ds), Rough Draft of Essay I (10%), Final Essay (30%, 6-7 pages), Response papers (10%, 1-2 pages) Attendance and Reading Quizzes (10%)


Attendance:  Regular attendance is required.  You are allowed 3 unexcused absences. After this, your grade will be lowered half a letter for each additional absence (e.g. From an A to A-, A- to B+, etc.) You are responsible for all work covered in your absence, including class discussion.


Grading Scale:  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- (61-63); F (0-60).

AFR 372E • Afr Am Lit Thru Harl Renais

30505 • Dechavez, Yvette
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 208
(also listed as E 376R)
show description

E 376R  l  African American Literature through the Harlem Renaissance


Instructor:  DeChavez, Y.

Unique #:  35720

Semester:  Fall 2017

Cross-lists:  AFR 372E

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 • Gwendolyn Brooks

30495 • Jones, Omi
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM ETC 2.132
(also listed as E 349S, T D 357T, WGS 340)
show description


In this course, students will study the prose and poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks, giving particular attention to her novel, Maud Martha.  Students will analyze texts, develop performance scripts, create criticism, and present readings centered around the work of Gwendolyn Brooks.  Emphasis will be placed on Black Feminist staging strategies, the role of Chamber Theatre in the development of Black art, and the position of Gwendolyn Brooks in the literary world. 



Brooks, Gwendolyn.  Maud Martha.  Chicago:  Third World Press, 1993.

Brooks, Gwendolyn.  “The Rise of Maud Martha,” in Invented Lives: The Narratives of Black Women, 1860-1960, Mary Helen Washington.  Garden City, NY:  Anchor Press, 1987.

Brooks, Gwendolyn.  The World of Gwendolyn Brooks. New York:  Harper and Row, 1971.

Christian, Barbara.  “Nuance and the Novella: A Study of Gwendolyn Brooks's Maud Martha,” in A Life Distilled: Gwendolyn Brooks, Her Poetry and Fiction, eds. Maria K. Mootry and Gary Smith, 1987, pp. 239–253.

Washington, Mary Helen.  “‘Taming All That Anger Down’: Rage and Silence in Gwendolyn

Brooks's Maud Martha,” Massachusetts Review 24 (Summer 1983): 453–466.



Analysis of Maud Martha                                           15 pts.

Comparative Analysis of Two Brooks Poems 15 pts.

Solo Performance of Brooks Chapter                         15 pts.

Chamber Theatre Script                                               10 pts.

Chamber Theatre Production                                       25 pts.

Attendance at Black Studies Performance                   5 pts.

2-Minute in-class essays                                             5 pts.

Class Participation                                                       10 pts.

AFR 372E • Toni Morrison

30500 • Fickling, Teri
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 204
(also listed as E 349S)
show description

E 349S  l  5-Toni Morrison


Instructor:  Fickling, T

Unique #:  35585

Semester:  Fall 2017

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 372F • Politics Of Black Life

30515 • Marshall, Stephen
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CLA 0.104
(also listed as AMS 370)
show description

Black Lives Matter activists have come to occupy center stage within American political life by placing the peculiar vulnerability of Black life before public view. Quite often, this vulnerability and its politicization are framed as novel developments within American political life that are emblematic of contemporary political dysfunction. However, black life has been a central, enduring, and high stakes political matter within US politics since the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Similarly, activism in defense of black life is at least as old as black anti-slavery activity. How then, should we understand the peculiarity of our moment and the distinctiveness of the politics of Black Lives Matter? In this course, we will begin to grapple with these questions by examining the politics of Black life as an operation of American politics and a form of black political thought. Among other questions, we shall ask: how and for which ends has black life been constructed and contested as a vital resource within the life of the American Polity? How have these contests engendered distinctive forms of black vulnerability? Is the contemporary vulnerability of black life to state violence, premature death, and incarceration continuous with older forms of black vulnerability?  If so, what are the implications for contemporary politics? Finally, what is distinctive about the politics of Black Lives Matter as a form of black politics and black political thought? Which traditions of black political theorizing inform this movement and which traditions are consciously and/or implicitly rejected? 

Possible Texts

The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay

Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville

The US Constitution

Black Reconstruction, W.E.B. DuBois

Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehise Coates

Beloved, Toni Morrison

Home, Toni Morrison

The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin

No Name in the Street, James Baldwin

AFR 372F • Urban Unrest

30520 • Tang, Eric
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 203
(also listed as AAS 330, AMS 321, ANT 324L, URB 354)
show description

How and when do cities burn? The modern US city has seen its share of urban unrest, typified by street protests (both organized and spontaneous), the destruction of private property, looting, and fires. Interpretations of urban unrest are varied: some describe it as aimless rioting, others as political insurrection. Most agree that the matter has something to do with the deepening of racism, poverty and violence. This course takes a closer look at the roots of urban unrest, exploring a range of origins: joblessness, state violence, white flight, the backlash against civil rights gains, new immigration and interracial strife. Urban unrest is often cast as an intractable struggle between black and white, yet this course examines the ways in which multiple racial groups have entered the fray. Beyond race and class, the course will also explore unrest as a mode of pushing the normative boundaries of gender and sexuality in public space. Course material will draw from film, literature, history, geography and anthropology.


Required Texts: 

  • The majority of readings will be available as pdf on Blackboard. Students must acquire the following texts:
  • Robert F. Williams, Negroes With Guns
  • Robin D.G. Kelley, Yo Mama’s Dysfunctional: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America
  • Dan Georgakis and Marvin Surkin, Detroit: I Do Mind Dying: A Study in Urban Revolution
  • Robert Gooding Williams eds. Reading Rodney King/Reading Urban Uprising

AFR 372G • African Queer Studies

30530 • Livermon, Xavier
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CLA 0.104
(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

30525 • Livermon, Xavier
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM JES A207A
(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 374C • Egypt Hieroglyphics Cul Ctx

30545 • Nethercut, William
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM 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

30560 • Philpot, Tasha
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 1
(also listed as GOV 370K)
show description

African-American Politics

GOV 370K/AFR 374D





This course focuses upon the evolution, nature, and role of African-American politics within the American Political System. The concern is with African Americans as actors, creators and initiators in the political process. Specifically, this course will examine various political controversies that surround the role of race in American society and how these controversies affect public opinion, political institutions, political behavior, and salient public policy debates. This course will assess and evaluate the contemporary influence of race in each of these domains while also exploring their historical antecedents.


This course carries the flag for Cultural Diversity in the United States. Cultural Diversity courses are designed to increase your familiarity with the variety and richness of the American cultural experience. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one U.S. cultural group that has experienced persistent marginalization.




Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.


Required Text Books


There are two required text books for this course, which are available at the University Co-op:


Walton, Hanes, Jr. and Robert C. Smith. 2014.  American Politics and the African American Quest for Universal Freedom.  7th  Edition. New York: Addison Wesley Longman.


Philpot, Tasha S., and Ismail K. White, eds. 2010. African-American Political Psychology: Identity, Opinion, and Action in the Post-Civil Rights Era. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (This book is available electronically through the library website for free.)




Exam 1                                              20%

3 Critical Essays                                  45%

Exam 2                                              20%

Quizzes and in-class assignments         15% 

AFR 374D • Hist Black Entrepren In US

30550 • Walker, Juliet
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 2.128
(also listed as AMS 370, HIS 350R, URB 353)
show description

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Critical Book Review Analysis                           25%

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

Class Discussion/participation                             25%

Oral Summary of Research Paper                         5%

Seminar Research Paper (15 pages)                    45%

AFR 374E • Hiv/Aids Activism/Heal Arts

30565 • Gill, Lyndon
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM PAR 306
(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

30567 • Jimenez, Monica
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BEN 1.122
(also listed as HIS 363K, MAS 374)
show 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 • Urban Slavery In The Americas

30570 • Canizares, Jorge
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM GAR 0.120
(also listed as AMS 370, HIS 350L, LAS 366)
show description

Slavery was prevailing labor institution in the early modern world. It was not associated with race. When the Iberians arrived in the New World, Southern European had slaves of all colors: Greeks, Turks, Moors, Guanches (the natives of the Canary Islands), and Sub-Saharan Africans. This was also true of all Islamic societies in the Mediterranean. The Ottomans and the Mamelukes held white Christians, Russians, and Sub-Saharan Africans as slaves. The word slave, in fact, is a reference to white Slavic captives. Throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Native Americans became slaves and captives of the Europeans by the hundreds of thousands. Natives themselves enslaved rivals, including Europeans. In this world of generalized, nonracial slavery, however, slaves had some rights to self-manumission and even property.  Many slaves could even become powerful, as in the case of the mameluke troops among the Ottomans. Islam and Christianity  limited the power and sovereignty of masters held over slaves. Religious institutions could intervene and remove slaves from abusive masters.  In the European Mediterranean, blacks were not only considered slaves but also saints, ambassadors, queens, kings, and generals. By the 19th century, this world of slaveries had been completely transformed. Slavery was now associated exclusively with Africans in America. Blacks became chattel with no rights. The constitution of the independent Republic  of Texas in 1841, for example, held that any black who was manumitted could not reside in the Republic. It was illegal for blacks to be anything other than slaves. This course explores how in the 1700s slavery became racialized and industrialized, leading to legal regimes the world had never witnessed before. This transformation of slavery also triggered new resistance movements, including  abolitionism. By the early 1800, abolitionism, resistance, and revolutions led to the dismantling of the first wave of racialized, industrialized slavery in the Americas and to the end of the Atlantic slave trade. Yet a “Second Slavery” emerged in the 19th century that thrived in the Age of Abolitionism and the ending of the African trade. It was a form of racial slavery that was brutal as the previous one but that no longer relied on slaves from Africa, but from the displacement of salves within the American continent. This slavery powered the industrial revolution and the transformation of the US into a global power. This course explores this massive changes in the history of slaveries in the Americas and focuses particularly in the racialization and industrialization of slavery.


Andres Resendez, The Other Slavery
 Robin Blackburn The Making of New World Slavery

Robin Blackburn, The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776-1848

Ira BerlinGenerations of Captivity: A History of African-American Slaves

John Thornton Africa and Africans in the Making of the New World

James H. Sweet. Domingos Alvares, African Healing, and the Intellectual History of the Atlantic World 

Linda M. Heywood Njinga of Angola Africa’s Warrior Queen

Laurent Dubois, Avengers of the New World


Weekly papers: 60 % grade
Participation-attendance: 10 % grade
Final paper: 30 % grade

AFR 374F • Africana Women's Art

30600 • Okediji, Moyosore
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CBA 4.344
(also listed as ARH 346L, WGS 340)
show description

Can we adopt the criteria used for the analysis and presentation of western art and artists for the analysis and presentation of works by Africana women artists? How do we define Africana women’s art and artists? Who are the most influential Africana women artists, and in which mediums do they work? What tasks do they tackle and what challenges face them? What are the stylistic diversities that define and distinguish their contributions? What are the technological tools available to them, and how have they manipulated and fashioned these tools? How have they shaped the past and present trends in art history, and what are their aspirations and hopes for the future? These are some of the questions that this course will investigate with the use of art historical and critical theories that draw on oral and written literatures, music, films, and other formal and informal documents. 

AFR 374F • Caribbean Literature

30580 • Wilks, Jennifer
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM PAR 105
(also listed as C L 323, E 360L)
show description

E 360L  l  2-Caribbean Literature


Instructor:  Wilks, J

Unique #:  35640

Semester:  Fall 2017

Cross-lists:  AFR 374F, C L 323

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No


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


Description:  Through a survey of “classic” texts from English-, French-, and Spanish-speaking islands, this course seeks to address the complexity of the Caribbean as a geographic construct, that is, the chain of islands stretching from North to South America, and as an imagined site, that is, the tropical destination marketed to North American and European tourists.  To do so we will supplement our reading of literary texts from the region with the examination of travel-related texts about the region.  Throughout the semester, we will consider how the dynamics of slavery and colonialism differed from island to island and explore the multiple manifestations of “postcolonial” life that have emerged across the archipelago since the 1960s.  The course will conclude with an examination of the migration of Caribbean authors and texts to the United States and of the resulting development of hyphenated Caribbean-American identities.  All texts will be read in English, and the list of proposed texts is subject to change.


Texts:  Derek Walcott, “The Antilles: Fragments of Epic Memory,” What the Twilight Says; Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of This World (Cuba, 1949); Aimé Césaire, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land (Martinique, 1939); Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (Dominica, 1966); Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place (Antigua, 1988); Maryse Condé, Crossing the Mangrove (Guadeloupe, 1995);


Requirements & Grading:  Two short papers (4 pages each), 40%; Final critical essay (8-10 pages), 35%; Reading journal, 15%; Rough draft, 10%.

AFR 374F • Cinema Of African Diaspora

30575 • Chambers, Edward
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM SZB 426
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AFR 374F • Contemp Art Afr Diaspora

30605 • Chambers, Edward
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GDC 1.406
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AFR 374F • Music Of African Diaspora

30585-30595 • Moore, Robin
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MRH 2.634
(also listed as LAS 326, MUS 334, MUS 380)
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The musical legacy of the African slave trade in the Americas, the social contexts in which black musical forms have developed, and their varied forms. Subjects include the shifting meanings of "black music" in various contexts; the notion of hybridity; the uses of African influenced music as a political or oppositional tool; and African ethnic groups represented prominently in the New World, the traditions they brought with them, and the ways they have been adapted to new ends.