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

Los Angeles Domestic Study Program

Want to spend Spring 2018 in Los Angeles studying gentrification and Black out-migration through ethnographic methodologies? Students will travel around the city working in activist and artistic organizations, conducting oral histories, and learning how cities make development decisions with Dr. Omi Jones. 


Application Deadline: October 10, 2017

Program Begins: January 16, 2018

Program Ends: May 11, 2018

Application Requirements and Program Details for Spring 2018:

First, email Dr. Jones to hold your spot on the trip at

She will then give you application instructions (including the ones below):

  1. Students must be nominated by University of Texas professor in 250-words or less. Professors should email their nominations to Miranda Badgett
  2. Students must submit an essay addressing how you imagine the program in Los Angeles contributing to your personal and/or career aspirations. Be as specific as possible. (250 Words)
  3. Current resume
  4. Deadline to apply is October 10, 2017

Note: All materials should be uploaded via the submission box below or submitted to Interviews with Dr. Jones will be scheduled upon receipt of application. For details regarding the 2018 trip, contact Dr. Omi Jones at or Miranda Badgett, the Los Angeles Domestic Study Program contact, at

Course Descriptions

Introduction to Ethnographic Methods, LA - Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones 

Flag:  Independent Inquiry?

Using observant participation, interviewing, oral histories, and self-reflexive analysis, students will conduct ethnographic research to better understand gentrification in Los Angeles.  Particular emphasis will be given to Leimert Park, Inglewood, and the Crenshaw District as students investigate the shifting demographics in those neighborhoods.  Serving as assistants to community organizations such as the Southern California Library, Eso Wan Bookstore, and Strategic Action for a Just Economy, students will work with communities to generate community-centered responses to the ongoing displacement of people from their homes and neighborhoods.  This course provides students with skills in critical ethnography by foregrounding the racial politics that shape community-building and policy-making.

AFR 372E Performance Ethnography, LA - Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones

Flag: ?

Students will study and participate in a range of activist art practices, including Theatre of the Oppressed, Everyday Life Performance, and Solo Personal Narratives.  Using the format of a Block Party, the students share their ethnographic and dramaturgical research with their communities from Leimert Park, Inglewood and the Crenshaw District.  Students will generate a series of exercises that explicate the struggles for housing autonomy their community members face. 

AFR 374F A Blueprint for Art and Activism – Professor Sharon Bridgforth

This course uses the tools of artists—collaboration, innovation, performance research, improvisation—to develop a manual that establishes how art can address social issues.  Particular attention will be given to gentrification in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.  Students will work in groups to conduct research on predominantly Black neighborhoods, specifically Leimert Park, Crenshaw District, and Inglewood.

AFR 374F Producing Activist Art – Professor Sharon Bridgforth

This course introduces students to the rigors of creating and mounting art for social change through community engagement.  Students will investigate their family histories to examine migration patterns, land ownership, birth and death rituals, cross-ethnic marriages, Queer possibilities, and spiritual traditions.  They will also facilitate a series of activities around family, land, and home with Los Angeles community organizations such as Strategic Action for a Just Community, Eso Wan Bookstore, the Southern California Library, and the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America.  The course will culminate in solo performances that blend each student’s family history with the discoveries they make through facilitating community experiences.  These performances will occur in the community centers where the facilitation was conducted.  The course rests on the premise that telling our stories is a necessary component to activist engagement.

2018 Approximate Fees 

University of Texas Program Fees (access to the 24-hour UTLA Center facilities, wireless high-speed internet, microwave oven and kitchen supplies, and the UTLA library) $2500

 Students will be housed through The Wofford Denius UTLA Center for Entertainment and Media Studies/The Moody College of Communication.

Housing (2 bed/2 bath suite) $6041

Additional program expenses (e.g. transportation, museum visits, group meals, etc.) $2,465

TOTAL $11,006*

*In addition, students will pay UT tuition, airfare, and local transportation in Los Angeles.


Class of 2014

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