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

Patrick Walter


Other FacultyPh.D., 2012, English, University at Buffalo, SUNY

Assistant Professor of Instruction, African and African Diaspora Studies
Patrick Walter

Contact

Interests


African American Literature and Popular Culture; Film and Visual Studies; Marxism; Psychoanalysis

Courses


AFR 370 • Black Cops Afr Am Pop Cultr

31055 • Spring 2022
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GEA 127
CDWr

Please check back for updates.

AFR 370 • Black Horror/Psychoanalysis

31060 • Spring 2022
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 308
CDEWr

Please check back for updates.

UGS 303 • African American Music

60465-60475 • Spring 2022
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM SZB 2.802
ID

The Signature Course (UGS 302 and 303) introduces first-year students to the university’s academic community through the exploration of new interests. The Signature Course is your opportunity to engage in college-level thinking and learning.

AFR 330O • Black Film At The Oscars

31420 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM RLP 0.106
CDWr

In 1939, at the height of Jim Crow, the first black person to win an Oscar, Hatie McDaniel, did so for playing a stereotypical black mammie. In 2018, in the wake of the Ferguson Uprising and the emergence of Black Lives Matter, Jordan Peele took home a Best Screenplay Oscar for Get Out!, his horrifying satire of American anti-blackness. Each year, when we sit down to watch the Academy Awards, we are not only witnessing the celebration of the supposed best that cinema has to offer, we are also encountering a barometer for mainstream American culture’s ideas about blackness. In this course, we will be “reading the Oscars” as this ongoing weather report on American racism. To “read the Oscars” we will closely view work by black filmmakers and actors that has been both lauded and snubbed by the Academy. What do these films and performances say about blackness and whiteness and why has the Academy either embraced or rejected certain cinematic messages about race at certain historical moments. What does Halle Berry’s 2002 Oscar for her performance in Monsters Ball say about mainstream notions of black femininity? Why did the Academy recognize the version of black queerness presented in Barry Jenkin’s Moonlight? Why have Spike Lee’s incisive cinematic meditations on American racism never received the attention of the Academy? Questions such as these will guide our inquiry. This class then introduces key ideas about film criticism, black studies, and cultural studies more generally while also providing a space to work on academic writing skills.

AFR 370 • Drugs In Afr Am Lit/Culture

31515 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BIO 301
CDWr

From our current, seemingly perpetual “war on drugs”; to the Black Panthers’ drug treatment programs; to Ralph Ellison’s “invisible man” smoking refer while listening to Louis Armstrong in an underground hideout; to mythic stories of heroin-addicted jazz musicians such as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Billie Holliday; drug addiction and intoxication have a complicated and contested history within African American politics and popular culture. Sometimes denounced as a white supremacist conspiracy and sometimes championed as a vector for black artistic vision and existential liberation, drug use is often a touchstone for debates about black subjecthood, empowerment, citizenship, community, and life itself. Through careful study of African American literatary, filmic and musical texts dealing with drug use, this course will think through these debates. How does the iconography of lean in Trap music relate to blackness in the late capitalist world of the 21st Century? What does Dave Chapelle’s character Tyrone Biggums suggest about the place of the “crackhead” within African American communities? How does drug use figure into the modernisms of James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison? How does the Black Panthers’ condemnation of drug use relate to the gritty realism Donald Goines’s fiction and blaxploitation cinema. How does addiction and drug dealing intersect with blackness, femininity and queerness in Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight? Such questions will guide our study of some of the key aesthetic and political movements in contemporary African American culture. This course will provide an introduction to important theories of black studies and philosophical formulations of addiction, as well as an overview of key works of 20th Century African American literature, film and popular culture. It will also provide a space for students to develop critical reading and writing skills.

UGS 303 • Cinema Of Black Protest

62530-62545 • Fall 2021
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:00PM WAG 420
CDWr ID

The Signature Course (UGS 302 and 303) introduces first-year students to the university’s academic community through the exploration of new interests. The Signature Course is your opportunity to engage in college-level thinking and learning.

AFR 310 • Blackness And Comics-Wb

31010 • Spring 2021
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
CDGCWr

Please check back for updates.

AFR 370 • Black Cops Afr Am Pop Cultr-Wb

31200 • Spring 2021
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
CDWr

Please check back for updates.

UGS 303 • Cinema Of Black Protest-Wb

61795-61805 • Spring 2021
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM
Internet; Synchronous
ID

The Signature Course (UGS 302 and 303) introduces first-year students to the university’s academic community through the exploration of new interests. The Signature Course is your opportunity to engage in college-level thinking and learning.

AFR 301 • African American Culture-Wb

29965 • Fall 2020
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM
Internet; Synchronous
CDEWr (also listed as AMS 315, ANT 310L)

This course surveys African American cultural production from the 1600s to the present. Topics cover the circumstances and responses of blacks during North American enslavement, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Great Migration, The Harlem Renaissance, The Civil Rights Movement, and in contemporary contexts. Class sessions will reflect our reading of primary and secondary texts that embody a wide range of African American religious, political, social and artistic thought and production. The class will fill gaps in students’ knowledge about African American culture and history and provide a foundation for future Black Studies course work.

 

AFR 370 • Black Horror/Psychoanalysis-Wb

30195 • Fall 2020
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
CDEWr

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.

 

Readings/Films:

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.”

 

UGS 303 • Blackness/Mass Incarceratn-Wb

60485-60499 • Fall 2020
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
CDEWr ID

The Signature Course (UGS 302 and 303) introduces first-year students to the university’s academic community through the exploration of new interests. The Signature Course is your opportunity to engage in college-level thinking and learning.

AFR 301 • African American Culture

30505 • Spring 2020
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM GEA 114
CD (also listed as AMS 315, ANT 310L)

This course surveys African American cultural production from the 1600s to the present. Topics cover the circumstances and responses of blacks during North American enslavement, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Great Migration, The Harlem Renaissance, The Civil Rights Movement, and in contemporary contexts. Class sessions will reflect our reading of primary and secondary texts that embody a wide range of African American religious, political, social and artistic thought and production. The class will fill gaps in students’ knowledge about African American culture and history and provide a foundation for future Black Studies course work.

 

AFR 374D • Black Film At The Oscars

30714 • Spring 2020
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM PMA 7.112
CDWr

Please check back for updates.

UGS 303 • Cinema Of Black Protest

59735-59745 • Spring 2020
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM SZB 296
CD ID

This course considers Black histories of protest in conjunction with the history of Black representation in film. We will analyze historical documents, newspaper stories, legal documents and historical accounts of the major moments in Black resistance in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and other points in the African Diaspora. We will begin with the protests against lynching in the early twentieth century and the Civil Rights and Black power era of the 1970s Blaxploitation film genre through contemporary? independent films. We will discuss issues of race and racism, sexuality and homophobia as well as misogyny and sexism in Black representation. Students will be expected to watch and discuss films as well as read scholarly articles on race theory, feminist theory and cultural criticism.

AFR 301 • African American Culture

29985 • Fall 2019
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM RLP 0.128
CD (also listed as AMS 315)

This course surveys African American cultural production from the 1600s to the present. Topics cover the circumstances and responses of blacks during North American enslavement, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Great Migration, The Harlem Renaissance, The Civil Rights Movement, and in contemporary contexts. Class sessions will reflect our reading of primary and secondary texts that embody a wide range of African American religious, political, social and artistic thought and production. The class will fill gaps in students’ knowledge about African American culture and history and provide a foundation for future Black Studies course work.

 

AFR 317F • African American Lit And Cul

30045 • Fall 2019
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM GWB 1.130
CDWr

Please check back for updates.

UGS 303 • Blackness & Mass Incarceration

60730-60740 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SZB 296
CD ID

The Signature Course (UGS 302 and 303) introduces first-year students to the university’s academic community through the exploration of new interests. The Signature Course is your opportunity to engage in college-level thinking and learning.

UGS 303 • Cinema Of Black Protest

61440-61465 • Spring 2019
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM WAG 101
ID

The Signature Course (UGS 302 and 303) introduces first-year students to the university’s academic community through the exploration of new interests. The Signature Course is your opportunity to engage in college-level thinking and learning.

UGS 303 • Worlds Of Hip Hop

64155-64165 • Fall 2018
Meets MW 12:00PM-1:00PM BUR 134
ID

The Signature Course (UGS 302 and 303) introduces first-year students to the university’s academic community through the exploration of new interests. The Signature Course is your opportunity to engage in college-level thinking and learning.

Curriculum Vitae


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