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

Bethzabeth Colon Pizzini


Senior LecturerPh.D., African and African Diaspora Studies, The University of Texas at Austin

Assistant Professor of Instruction, African and African Diaspora Studies
Bethzabeth Colon Pizzini

Contact

Biography


Dr. Beth Colón-Pizzini is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work focuses on Puerto Rican music and street art, along with Afro-Puerto Rican women's decolonial praxes, Pan-Caribbean cultural exchange, and Black diasporic anti-colonial feminist theory. She is the author of "On the Wings: Muralism as Feminist Political Praxis by Afro-Puerto Rican Women" in Black Resistance in the Americas (Routledge, 2018). Other publications include “Despacito” at the Grammys and the New Latin Boom (2018) and Puerto Rico, Political Activism, and Urban Art in 2016, for the online publication Latinx Spaces. She received her MA and PhD in African and African Diaspora Studies from The University of Texas at Austin in 2017 and 2021, respectively, and her BA in Political Science and Latino/a Studies from Northwestern University in 2014. She is originally from Puerto Rico.

Courses


AFR 303 • Intro To Black Studies-Wb

30905 • Spring 2022
Internet; Asynchronous
CDEGC SB

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 315P • Intro Black Women's Studies

30920 • Spring 2022
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM MEZ 1.102
CD (also listed as WGS 301)

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 320C • Power/Place Making Tx Hist-Wb

30950 • Spring 2022
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
CDEII HI

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 303 • Intro To Black Studies-Wb

31345 • Fall 2021
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
CDEGC SB

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 350K • Puerto Rico In Crisis

31455 • Fall 2021
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM PAR 303
GCIIWr

Course Description:  

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

 

Readings (subject to change): 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Curriculum Vitae


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