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

AFR 301 • African American Culture

29530 • Foster, Kevin
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm GEA 105
(also listed as AMS 315, ANT 310L)
show description

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.

Required Texts:

Kindred (Octavia Butler)

Souls of Black Folk (W.E.B. Du Bois)

Why We Can’t Wait (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Price of the Ticket (Frederick Harris)

Good Ole’ Fashioned Composition Notebook

Graded Assessments (100 points available):

Unannounced (10) Quiz #1 Kindred, lectures & other readings Unannounced

(10) Quiz #2 Souls of Black Folk, lectures & other readings

10/9/14: (30) Mid-term Test

Unannounced (10) Quiz #3 Why We Can’t Wait, lectures & other readings

Unannounced (10) Quiz #4 (Price of the Ticket; lectures & other readings

12/5/14: (30) Final Test 

AFR 302M • Numbering Race

29535 • Irizarry, Yasmiyn
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CLA 1.402
show description

Although most students see learning about race and learning about statistics as two very separate matters, what most don’t know is that the development of race (as we know it) and statistics are inextricably linked. In this course, you will learn about the biological myth and social reality of race through the lens of quantitative methodology and statistics. To accomplish this goal, we will start by exploring the origins of the concept race, including the actors and actions that brought it into being. Next, we will review the historical science and statistics used to justify racial thinking. We will also examine how these efforts to justify race and racism historically impact our current collective and individual understandings of what race is and why it continues to matter (or not matter). You will also have the opportunity to examine, analyze, and critique real-world data, quantitative research, and public discourse concerning race in America. Some empirical and quantitative skills you will learn this semester include (1) conceptualization and operationalization in quantitative measurement, (2) the calculation and interpretation of descriptive statistics and statistical relationships, (3) the application of statistical techniques to understand social phenomenon, and (4) techniques for presenting results from quantitative analysis. In addition to connecting our racial past with present research on race, you will also be introduced to more contemporaneous statistical concepts and techniques informed by critical race and feminist methodologies. 

Required Texts:

Roberts, Dorothy. 2011. Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business ReCreate Race in the Twenty-First Century. New York: The New Press.

Nardi, Peter M. 2006. Interpreting Data: A Guide to Understanding Research. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

Prewitt, Kenneth. 2013. What is Your Race? The Census and Our Flawed Efforts to Classify Americans. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Zuberi, Tukufu. 2003. Thicker Than Blood: How Racial Statistics Lie. University of Minnesota Press.

Grading Breakdown:

Journal entries 10%

Essays 30% 

In-class assignments & class participation 10% 

 Lab assignments 30% 

The final research paper 20%

AFR 304 • Intro To The Study Of Africa

Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm GWB 1.130
show description

This course is an introduction to African Studies, which reflects the social, cultural, political and economic diversity of the African continent. You will become familiar with a wide range of disciplinary perspectives and approaches to the study of historical and contemporary Africa. It will engage the disciplines of history, economies, cultural studies, gender studies, and religious studies. It strives to provide a foundation to the study of Africa whether it be global health or economic strategy

AFR 317C • Intro To Ancient Egypt

29544 • Nethercut, William R
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm GAR 0.102
(also listed as C C 304C)
show description

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 13% 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 • United States And Africa

29545 • Falola, Toyin
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GAR 0.102
(also listed as HIS 317L, WGS 301)
show description

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.

To obtain 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 317C • Civilizatns Of Afr To 1800

29550 • Charumbira, Ruramisai
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm GAR 1.126
(also listed as HIS 317N, WGS 301)
show description

This introductory course exposes students to ancient Africa, it’s peoples, cultures, and landscapes – and their connection within the continent and global history. Often students wonder, is Timbuktu a real place? Is Africa north of the Sahara part of Africa? When did the changes happen such that the two parts of Africa are conceptualized as separate entities inhabiting the same landmass? These and other everyday and/or not so everyday questions will be the subjects of our course in the study of the Civilizations of Africa to 1800. The major objective is to facilitate your learning about early Africa so you can speak intelligently about that often maligned continent. The study of the ancient civilizations of Africa also aims to sharpen students’ analytical and critical thinking skills so students are equipped to be engaged citizens in our diverse society and globalized world. Due to the enormity of Africa, and the vastness of the time period under study, we will not cover everything in the course of a semester, or an academic year for that matter! However, through the use of particular case studies, the course is designed to explore – among other issues – change over time in the political, social, economic, and cultural history of the African continent.

Texts may include some of the following: • Christopher Ehret, The Civilizations of Africa: A History to 1880  • D.T. Niane, Sundiata an Epic of Old Mali • John Thornton, The Kongolese Saint Anthony

Grading: • Class attendance and participation (20%) • Two (2), reflections papers (3-4 pages max) (20%)  • Four (4) in class map quizzes (20%)  • Readings-based quizzes (25%)  • Final Take Home Exam (15%) 

AFR 317D • Intro East Austin Ethnography

29554 • Jones, Omi Osun Joni L.
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm SAC 4.174
(also listed as AMS 315, ANT 310L)
show description

In this course, students will study ethnographic methods including fieldwork, observant participation, interviewing, and oral histories. Archival research will also be conducted. Students will conduct fieldwork at specific sites in Austin with an emphasis on East Austin communitites. This course provides students with skills in critical ethnography by foregrounding the racial politics that shape policy-making and community-building.

Grading breakdown:

Project Focus 10%

Interview 10%

Oral History 10%

Observant Participation Notebook 30%

Research Project 30%

Participation 10%

AFR 317D • Intro To African Amer Hist

29555 • Berry, Daina Ramey
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm GSB 2.124
(also listed as HIS 317L)
show description

This course is largely designed to introduce students to the major themes, issues, and debates in African American history from its African origins until today. It serves as a general introduction to the historical literature by providing lower division undergraduate students with an overview of the African American experience through readings, lectures, film, and music. Some of the specific topics covered include African antecedents, colonial and antebellum slavery, the abolition movement, the free black experience, the Civil War, emancipation, Jim Crow segregation, racial violence, black culture, the modern freedom struggle, popular culture, political movements, and the contemporary experience. Ultimately, students should gain an understanding of how enslaved and free African Americans lived, worked, socialized, and defined themselves in American society. 

Required Texts:

Fikenbine, Ray ed. Sources of the African American Past: Primary Sources in American History

Moody, Anne. Coming of Age in Mississippi. New York: Random House, 1968.

Painter, Nell Irvin. Creating Black Americans: African American History and Its Meanings 1619- Present. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

White, Deborah Gray. Ar’n’t I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South (2nd Edition). New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1999.

Grading Breakdown:

Response Papers 20% Due 3/13/15 and 4/24/15

Mid-Term Examination 25% Due 2/20/15

Historical Movement Assignment 20% 5/4/15 and 5/6/15

Final Exam 35% Tuesday, 5/19/15 from 9:00am-12:00pm

download syllabus

AFR 317D • The Black Power Movement

29560 • Moore, Leonard N.
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 106
(also listed as HIS 317L)
show description

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.



Negroes with Guns by Robert F. Williams  (read: weeks 1-2)

Little X: Growing Up in the Nation of Islam by Tate (weeks 3-5)

Die, Nigger, Die by H. Rap Brown (weeks 6-8)

Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur (weeks 9-11)

Carl Stokes and the Rise of Black Political Power by Leonard Moore (weeks 12-14)

Under the Influence by Erin Patton (week 15)




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 317F • Revolution Will Be Dramatized

29570 • Thompson, Lisa B.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 203
(also listed as AMS 315, WGS 301)
show description

This course will examine the representations of black political protest in film and theatre from the 1960s to the present. We will discuss fictional and documentary films as well as plays. The class will also consider the performative aspects of black protest movements for social justice. Texts under consideration include plays such Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, Robert O’Hara’s Insurrection, and films such as Free Angela and all Political Prisoners, The Butler, The Untold Story of Emmett Till, Night Catches Us and Panther.


The Mountaintop – Katori Hall

Insurrection – Robert O’Hara

Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (film, director – Shola Lynch)

The Butler (film, director – Lee Daniels)

The Untold Story of Emmett Hill (film, director – Keith Beauchamp)

Night Catches Us (film, director- Tanya Hamilton)

Grading breakdown (percentages):

Performance review journal – 25%

Attendance – 15%

Class presentation – 30%

Three response papers – 30%

AFR 317F • African American Lit And Cul

29575 • Wilks, Jennifer M.
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm MEZ B0.302
(also listed as E 314V)
show description

E 314V  l  1-African American Literature and Culture

Instructor:  Wilks, J

Unique #:  33890

Semester:  Fall 2015

Cross-lists:  AFR 317F

Flags:  Cultural Diversity in the U.S.; Writing

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: This course will survey the importance of place and community in African American literature from the Harlem Renaissance to the present. We will consider how the community in which characters live or move—from neighborhood to island—influences their conceptions of race, gender, and identity. As this is a writing-intensive course, we will pay particular attention to the form as well as the content of our texts. Discussion will also play an integral role in the course.

Texts: Readings may include the following: Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son; Toni Morrison, Sula; Colson Whitehead, Zone One.

Requirements & Grading: Two short papers (4 pages each): 40%; Final critical essay (5-7 pages): 25%; Rough draft (4 pages): 10%; Presentation: 10%; Reading responses and class participation: 15%.

Attendance is mandatory. More than three unexcused absences will result in a significant reduction of your grade.

AFR 317F • African American Lit And Cul

29580 • Maner, Sequoia
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 105
(also listed as E 314V)
show description

E 314V  l  1-African American Literature and Culture

Instructor:  Maner, S

Unique #:  33885

Semester:  Fall 2015

Cross-lists:  AFR 317F

Flags:  Cultural Diversity in the U.S.; Writing

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: This course covers the rich traditions and pressing concerns of African American literature and culture through several eras including slavery and Reconstruction, the New Negro Renaissance and the Civil Rights era. We’ll study notions of historical progress, repetition, and futurism through the voices of black women who have worked to push the black American experience from margin to center.

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 (1861); Ann Petry’s The Street (1946); Sister Souljah’s The Coldest Winter Ever (1991).

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, reaction blog posts, and in-class presentations (30% of the final grade).

AFR 321L • Sociology Of Education

29590 • Irizarry, Yasmiyn
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CLA 1.106
(also listed as SOC 321L, WGS 345)
show description

This course is an introduction to current issues in the sociology of education. The goal of this course is to ask some fundamental questions about the relationship between education and society. To answer these questions, we will take an in depth look at the structures, practices, content, and outcomes of schooling, in light of their relationships to the wider society in which schools are situated. We will identify the role(s) of schools and schooling, note the link between schools and social stratification, discuss the outcomes of schooling and how these outcomes are produced, and consider sociological perspectives on contemporary educational inequality and reform. Throughout the course, you will have opportunities to reflect upon your own educational experience and worldview, while also thinking critically about how various social forces have come to shape your own schooling experiences, as well as those of others around you.

Required Texts:

Schools and Society: A Sociological Approach to Education 5th Edition, edited by Jeanne H. Ballantine and Joan Z. Spade.

Additional readings are available on Canvas. 

Grading Breakdown:

Reflection Papers 30% 

Current Events Essay 15%

 Quizzes 10%

 Exams 45% 

AFR 322 • Intro To African Prehistory

29595 • Denbow, James R.
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm SAC 4.174
(also listed as ANT 324L)
show description

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. The

earliest materials will be discussed briefly so that we can focus on the last 200,000 years

when modern humans developed and diversified in the modern communities of today.

This is still an enormous task when one considers that human history in the New world

only began around 17,000 years ago and that the African continent is more than three

times the size of the continental United States! Today there are more than a thousand

different languages spoken in Africa and cultural, as well as ecological, diversity is great.

Apart from Egypt, Ethiopia, the Swahili coast and North Africa, however, written sources

only document the last few centuries of this long history, and most were written from

non-African perspectives.

Because Africa is so large and diverse, and much of it only cursorily explored

from an archaeological perspective, the main archaeological text for the course will focus

on Africa south of the Kunene/Okavango/Zambezi watershed where the most extensive

archaeological work has so far been conducted. The lectures will expand on this

background to bring material up to date and include discussion of other areas of East,

Central, West and North Africa when pertinent. 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


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 348C • Minority Stu Ldrshp Issues

29605 • Burt, Brenda
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm BUR 136
show description

This course will explore racial identity development by discussing innovative ways to think and talk about race. The course incorporates the use of lectures, readings, simulation exercises, group research project and extensive class discussion to assist students as they explore the psychological impact of racism on all students, regardless of ethnicity. 

Required Texts:

Almetris M. Duren, Overcoming: A History of Black Integration at the University of Texas at Austin, 1979, University Printing Division "

Our Stories: The Experiences of Black Professionals on Predominantly White Campuses, by The John D. O’Bryant National Think Tank for Black Professionals in Higher Education on Predominantly White Campuses, 2002. "

Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., 1997, “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” 1997, Basics Books, Perseus Books Group 

Grading Breakdown:

Class participation 100 points

Attendance 100 points

Test(s) (total of 2) 200 points

Discussion questions 100 points

Individual class objectives & personal leadership philosophy paper 100 points

Self Analysis Paper 100 points

Book Report 100 points

Final Project (in class presentations) 100 points

Campus Life Experience (4@25 pts each) 100 points

AFR 356D • Afr Am Thtr Hist: 1950-Pres

29610 • Jones, Omi Osun Joni L.
Meets M 330pm-630pm BUR 220
show description

This course is a chronological examination of African-American theatre history through the study of productions, performance theory, play texts, essays, reviews, and manifestos.  This course examines theatrical work of African Americans from the 1950s to the present.  Upon completion of this course the students should be familiar with major written works of African-American theatre, have a more complete understanding of U.S. history, and know the position of African-American Theatre within the context of major U.S. theatrical movements.

Required Texts:

Bean, Annemarie, ed. A Sourcebook of African-American Performance.  NY:  Routledge, 1999.

Hatch, James V. and Ted Shine, eds.  Black Theatre USA:  The Recent Period 1935-Today.  NY:  Free Press,


Grading Breakdown:

Critical Analysis Presentation 15%                                        

Performance 15%                                        

Exhibit 15%

Dramaturgical Notebook 25%

Attendance 10% (5 points for play attendance, 5 points for in-class attendance)

Class Discussion 5%

Quizzes (4) 20% (5 pts each)

AFR 372C • Rethinking Blackness

29620 • Thompson, Lisa B.
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CLA 1.104
(also listed as AMS 321, E 376M, WGS 340)
show description

Cultural critic Wahneema Lubiano argues that “postmodernism offers a site for African American cultural critics and producers to utilize a discursive space that foregrounds the possibility of rethinking history, political positionality in the cultural domain, the relationship between cultural politics and subjectivity, and the politics of narrative aesthetics.” Other scholars such as Cornel West conclude that the black experience in America is fundamentally absurd. Henry Louis Gates Jr. suggests that, “only a black person alienated from black language-use could fail to understand that we have been deconstructing white people's languages and discourses since that dreadful day in 1619 when we were marched off the boat in Virginia. Derrida did not invent deconstruction, we did!” If postmodernism is characterized by a de-centered human subjectivity then the black condition in the Americas is fundamentally postmodern. Although many writers render the outsider status of African Americans with somberness this course examines texts that re-imagine black subjectivity beyond traditional narratives of suffering and oppression. The authors that we will read present topics sacred to many African Americans such as the Civil Rights movement, slavery, family and blackness, but do so outside traditional African American literary paradigms. We will consider how their treatment of such sensitive issues expands notions of black identity and re-writes assumptions about the African American experience. During the term we will explore texts—some non-canonical others more familiar—from the late 20th century to the present. Class participants will become acquainted with artists working in a variety of genres such as literary satire, rock musical, faux documentary and speculative fiction.

Required Texts:

1. Octavia Butler, Kindred (1979)

2. Katori Hall, The Mountaintop (2011)

3. Andrea Lee, Sarah Phillips (1984)

4. Robert O'Hara, Insurrection: Holding History (1999)

5. Stew, Passing Strange (2008)

6. Lisa B. Thompson, Single Black Female (2012)

7. Baratunde Thurston, How to Be Black (2012)

8. Touré, Whose Afraid of Post Blackness? (2011)

Grading breakdown (percentages):

Essay One (5-7 pages) 15%

Midterm Exam 25%

Group Presentation 10%

Presentation 10%

Essay Two (7-10 pages) 30%

Participation 10%

AFR 372C • Race/Gender/Surveillance

29625 • Browne, Simone A.
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CLA 0.102
(also listed as SOC 322V, WGS 322)
show description

Race, Gender and Surveillance will provide an overview of theories in the emerging field of Surveillance Studies, with a focus on race and gender. We will examine transformations in social control and the distributions of power in U.S. and global contexts, with a focus on populations within the African diaspora. As such, this is a Black Studies course. Course topics include: the Trans-Atlantic slave trade; prisons and punishment; the gaze, voyeurism and reality television; social media; sports; airports; biometrics and drones. Students will be encouraged to develop critical reading and analytical skills. Through the use of films, videos and other visual media students will be challenged to better understand how surveillance practices inform modern life. 

Required Texts:

John Gilliom and Torin Monahan. 2013. SuperVision: An Introduction to the Surveillance Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Dave Eggers. 2013. The Circle. New York: Random House

A course packet of all other required readings will be available for purchase at Speedway Printers. 

Grading Breakdown:

Participation, In-class Assignments and Quizzes: 10%

Film Review 10%

Mid-Term Test: 25%

Current Event Analysis: 10%

Research Project: 20%

Final Test: 25%

AFR 372D • Global History Of Disease

29630 • Osseo-Asare, Abena Dove
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 301
(also listed as HIS 366N)
show description

This course introduces major themes in the history of medicine through the lens of disease. It focuses on two questions: How have people defined well-being? How have they responded to illness? The course considers major diseases to understand their multiple meanings across time and space including: Ebola, AIDS, malaria, plague, cholera, influenza, sleeping sickness, Chagas Disease, and PTSD. Themes to be considered include changing theories of disease causality, the development of international public health policy, social understandings of the body, and the growth of the pharmaceutical industry. The course emphasizes the roles governments, medical practitioners, and patients play in the social construction of disease and health. Case studies from India, Brazil, South Africa and the United States will be analyzed through readings, lectures and films.

Course Goals:

Primarily, this course aims to equip participants with tools for reading and researching about the past. Further, it provides a useful introduction to medical history across cultures for those considering a career in medicine or public health. It shows how people define illness according to particular social and cultural categories overtime. Through specific case studies, the course provides participants with an historical framework to interpret current debates in health policy and disease management.

Mary J. Dobson, Disease: The Extraordinary Stories Behind History’s Deadliest Killers

Charles Rosenberg, The Cholera Years: The United States in 1832, 1849, and 1866

Michel Cochrane, When AIDS Began: San Francisco and the Making of an Epidemic

Randall Packard, The Making of a Tropical Disease: A Short History of Malaria

Additional Course Readings available online

Course participants will write two short papers (20%), take a midterm (15%) and a final (35%). Response papers, attendance and participation in class discussions contributes towards 30% of final grade. Late papers are not accepted. Plagarism and sloppy citations result in a failing grade.

AFR 372D • Sociocul Influences On Learn

29645 • De Lissovoy, Noah
Meets T 400pm-700pm SZB 424
(also listed as MAS 374)
show description


AFR 372E • Gwendolyn Brooks

29660 • Jones, Omi Osun Joni L.
Meets T 330pm-630pm GEA 127
(also listed as E 349S, 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.

Grading breakdown (percentages):

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 • Afr Am Lit Thru Harl Renais

29665 • Richardson, Matt
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 302
(also listed as E 376R)
show description

E 376R  l  African American Literature through the Harlem Renaissance

Instructor:  Richardson, M

Unique #:  34655

Semester:  Fall 2015

Cross-lists:  AFR 372E

Flags:  Cultural diversity in the U.S.; Writing

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: This course is a survey of major black writers in the context of slavery and its immediate aftermath from the eighteenth century and ending in the beginning of the twentieth century. 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. Throughout the course, we will view films and documentaries that illuminate this period of African American culture and history. 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.

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 • Afr Am Lit Snc Harlm Renais

29670 • Woodard, Helena
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 308
(also listed as E 376S)
show description

E 376S  l  African American Literature Since the Harlem Renaissance

Instructor:  Woodard, H

Unique #:  34660

Semester:  Fall 2015

Cross-lists:  AFR 372E

Flags:  Cultural Diversity, Writing

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: Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; Ann Petry, The Street; Toni Morrison, Beloved; August Wilson, The Piano Lesson; Harryette Mullen, Sleeping with the Dictionary; John Edgar Wideman, Cattle Killing; Van Jordan, Macnolia: Poems.

Requirements & Grading: .75, Three critical essays (25% each; 4-5 pages per essay, typed; ds)--one major rewrite of essay I or II (includes peer reading; see revision handout); .15, Response papers (1-2 pages), reading quizzes, class participation; .10, Oral group presentations, accompanied by one-page written report.

Attendance: Regular attendance is required. More than four absences will be sufficient grounds for failure in the course. 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.

Papers: Papers are due at the beginning of class on the date assigned. Late papers will not be accepted. Do not slide papers under my door. Use the MLA (Modern Language Association Stylebook for all papers. Type papers on white, 8.5" x 11" paper, using one side only. Bind pages with a paper clip.

Grading Scale: A (94-95; 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 372G • African Travel Narratives

29675 • Osseo-Asare, Abena Dove
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm WEL 4.224
(also listed as HIS 350L)
show description

This course examines histories of Africa and travel through eyewitness accounts. Course participants will study journeys Africans have made within and from the continent alongside accounts of travelers visiting Africa from elsewhere. These travelers included migrant laborers, market women, Peace Corps volunteers, enslaved individuals, soldiers, political activists, adopted children, and religious evangelists since the 18th century.


The course readings and films focus on different groups of travelers in a number of time periods.


Some of the guiding questions we will consider:


How did people experience the movement of their bodies from one location to another?


How has ‘Africa’ taken on different meanings for our travelers?


What do their narratives indicate about changing conceptions of ethnicity, migration, tourism, citizenship, and the environment in different time periods?


And how did shifts in medical, transportation, and communication technologies shape their journeys?


AFR 372G • African Women's History

29680 • Charumbira, Ruramisai
Meets W 400pm-700pm WEL 3.260
(also listed as HIS 364G, WGS 340)
show description

Hatshepsut, Nzinga, Nehanda, Sara Bartmann, Huda Shaarawi, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Wangari Maathai…. Recognize any of these names? Some or none at all? Well, do not worry, you will be an “expert” by the end of this course designed to introduce students to the historical and contemporary lives of women on the African continent. The course will cover both the breadth and depth of African women’s history. Breadth will be considered through lectures, while depth will be studied through the readings of historiographical and autobiographical texts by and about African women’s lives on major themes likes: politics, economics, religion, the environment, and culture. Welcome! Texts may include some of the following:

  • Oyeronke Oyewumi, African Gender Studies: A Reader
  • Wangari Maathai, Unbowed Huda Shaarawi, Harem Years: Memoirs of an Egyptian Feminist
  • Mariam Ba, So Long a Letter
  • Nwando Achebe, The Female King of Colonial Nigeria
  • Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions 

Grading: Two Map Quizzes (10%)

Attendance and Participation (20%) Reflection Essays 50% Final Paper (20%) 

AFR 374D • Black Male Crisis

29687 • Gordon, Edmund T.
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm CLA 1.104
(also listed as ANT 324L, WGS 340)
show description

This course focuses on the “Crisis” of African American males in the U.S. In doing so it explores patriarchy, gender relations, and stereotypes as they affect black women and men. The course will use black culture as a means of exploring the different ways in which black men and women encounter anti-black racism in this society, the ways in which they resist, and the impact this has on their everyday experiences and cultural practices. The emphasis on patriarchy in the black communities is a theoretical stance that understands gender as a social construction that orders power inequalities in human societies in articulation with processes of race and class. The course shows how this frames black everyday cultural practices, the interactions between black men and women, and the ways that black men and women are perceived by the larger society.

Grading breakdown:

Take Home Exam 1 – 25%

Take Home Exam 2 – 25%

Essays (5-10 pages, 2) – 40%

Attendance and Participation – 10%

AFR 374D • Black Lives Matter Mvmt

29688 • Burt, Brenda
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm BUR 136
show description

This course will explore the UT Student Movement focusing on the history of student activism on the UT campus including the role and contributions of faculty and staff as the main unit of the course.  The course will incorporate the use of lectures, readings, video, research and extensive class discussions to assist students as they explore the impact of the UT Student Movement, using The University of Texas at Austin as its case study.   

In this course, students will developing an understanding about Black identity, an in-depth view of the UT Student Movement, skills including research, public speaking, ethical and moral decision-making, and the concept of personal empowerment. 

Grading breakdown:

Midterm exam - 25%

Final exam - 25%

In-Class Presentation - 20%

Reading Journals (10) - 20%

Attendance - 10%

AFR 374C • Egypt Hieroglyphics Cul Ctx

29689 • Nethercut, William R
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am WAG 112
(also listed as C C 348)
show description

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.

AFR 374D • Hist Black Entrepren In US

29690 • Walker, Juliet E. K.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm GAR 1.122
(also listed as AMS 370, HIS 350R)
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?



Boyd, Todd,      Young, Black, Rich and Famous:  The Rise of the NBA, The Hip Hop Invasion and the Transformation of American Culture

Curry, Mark,         Dancing With the Devil: How Puff Burned the Bad Boys of Hip Hop

Daniels, Cora,     Black Power, Inc: The New Voice of Black Success

Johnson,  Magic,    32  Ways to Be a Champion in Business

Kitwana, Bakari,   Why White Kids Love Hip Hop: Wangstas, Wiggers, Wannabes, and the New Reality                             of Race in America

Lafeber, Walter, Michael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism, New Expanded Edition

Oliver, Richard, Tim Leffel, Hip-Hop, Inc. : Success Strategies of the Rap Moguls   

Pulley, Brett, The Billion Dollar BET: Robert Johnson and the Inside Story of BET

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

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

Chaps, 6-11; Course Packet “The Commodification of Black Culture”   


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 374D • African American Politics

29694 • Philpot, Tasha
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GAR 0.132
(also listed as GOV 370K)
show description


African-American Politics

GOV 370K




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.





Exam 1                                              20%

Discussion Papers                               40%

Exam 2                                              20%

Quizzes and in-class assignments         20%


AFR 374D • US In The Civil Rights Era

29695 • Green, Laurie B.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm UTC 3.102
(also listed as AMS 321, HIS 356P, MAS 374)
show description

FLAGS:   CD  |  EL

AFR 374F • Music Of Latin America

29712-29714 • CARDOSO, LEONARDO
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MRH 2.634
(also listed as LAS 326)
show description

Studies of both indigenous and borrowed traditions in the popular, folk, and art music of the Americas from the colonial period to the present

AFR 374F • Writing Slavery

29715 • Woodard, Helena
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 204
(also listed as E 376M, WGS 340)
show description

E 376M  l  3-Writing Slavery

Instructor:  Woodard, H

Unique #:  34650

Semester:  Fall 2015

Cross-lists:  AFR 374F; WGS 340

Flags:  Cultural Diversity in the U.S.; Writing

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: This course proposes two primary objectives rooted in past and present literary representations of slavery. Thematizing “the trope of the talking book,” (Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s The Signifying Monkey), the course first examines seminal slave narratives, e.g. the literature of the enslaved as discursive strategies, from self-actualization and resistance to early formations of a black literary discourse. The course then explores how slavery is (re)written, controversially in a presentist context by contemporary authors, particularly in historical fiction or neo-slave narratives that seek to restore agency and reclaim subjectivity for enslaved individuals. Ultimately, the course engages larger issues about the different venues that writings about slavery offer for academic disciplines, literary instruction and/or pedagogy.

Required Readings (subject to change): Elizabeth Alexander, The Venus Hottentot: Poems; Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother; Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Classic Slave Narratives; Charles Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition; Suzan-Lori Parks, The America Play and Other Works; Marlene Nourbise Philip, Zong!; Fred D’Aguiar, Feeding the Ghosts; Edward P. Jones, The Known World; Course Pak (Speedway on Dobie).

Requirements & Grading: .75: Three critical essays (25% each; 4-5 pages per essay, typed, double spaced) and one major rewrite of essay I or II (includes peer evaluation; see revision instruction handout); .15: Response papers based on course reading (1-2 pages), reading quizzes, class participation; .10: Oral group presentations, accompanied by one-page written report.

Attendance: Regular attendance is required. More than four absences will be sufficient grounds for failure in the course. 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.

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 374F • Caribbean Literature

29720 • Wilks, Jennifer M.
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 304
(also listed as E 360L)
show description

E 360L  l  2-Caribbean Literature

Instructor:  Wilks, J

Unique #:  34560

Semester:  Fall 2015

Cross-lists:  AFR 374F, C L 323

Flags:  Global Cultures; Writing

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: Through a survey of 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; Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place; Caryl Phillips, Cambridge;Cristina García, Monkey Hunting;Edwidge Danticat, The Farming of Bones; Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

Requirements & Grading: Two short papers (4 pages each), 40%; Final critical essay (8-10 pages), 25%; Reading journal, 15%; Rough draft, 10%, Class presentation, 10%.

AFR 374F • Historcl Images Afr In Film

29735 • Falola, Toyin
Meets T 330pm-630pm MEZ 1.210
(also listed as HIS 350L, WGS 340)
show description

Since the late 1980s, the African film industry has undergone radical changes that reflect an increasingly globalized economy and the impact of structural adjustment policies. This revolution is characterized by the low-budget, direct to video films commonly referred to as Nollywood. While these films have come under criticism for their low production values and popularization of negative cultural stereotypes, the Nigerian video industry has risen to colossal proportions, sweeping across the continent and throughout the global diaspora. The purpose of this course is to examine the rise of Nollywood and the genesis of a popular African art form. Through a combination of films and readings, students will explore how Nollywood, in comparison with the established FESPACO film industry and Hollywood, depicts the society and culture of Nigeria, and Africa as a whole. Additionally, this course seeks to engage students in a debate about how popular films affect historical imaginations and memory. While these images have previously been the product of Hollywood and Francophone films, this course will introduce Nollywood as an alternative to how Nigerians and Africa as a whole understand their history.


Haynes, Jonathan, ed. Nigerian Video Films. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2000.

Rosenstone, Robert A. Visions of the Past: The Challenge of Film to Our Idea of History.

Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995.

Saul, Mahir and Ralph A. Austen, eds. Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-First Century:

Art Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2010.

 *There will also be several journal articles assigned throughout the semester. These will be available through the university library’s online databases and posted to the course documents section of the class Blackboard page.



Assignment Due Points

Attendance Every class session 50

Book/Film Review Week 6 100

Conference Report Week 10 50

Final Paper Week 15 200

Discussion Posts See syllabus for deadlines 100