Department of Anthropology

Edmund T. Gordon

Affiliated FacultyPh.D., Stanford University

Chair and Associate Professor, Department of African and African Diaspora Studies
Edmund T. Gordon



Culture and power in the African Diaspora, gender studies (particularly Black males), critical race theory, race education, and the racial economy of space and resources.


Edmund T. Gordon is chair of the African and African Diaspora Studies Department and Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and Anthropology of the African Diaspora at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Gordon is also the former Associate Vice President of Thematic Initiatives and Community Engagement of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement as well as former Director of the Center for African and African American Studies at The University of Texas. His teaching and research interests include: Culture and power in the African Diaspora, gender studies (particularly Black males), critical race theory, race education, and the racial economy of space and resources. His publications include Disparate Diasporas: Identity and Politics in an African-Nicaraguan Community, 1998 UT Press. Dr. Gordon received his Doctorate in Social Anthropology from Stanford University and his Master's of Arts from Stanford University in Anthropology and Master's degree in Marine Sciences from the University of Miami.

Additional Affiliations:

Warfield Center for African and African American Studies,  Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, Center fro Women and Gender Studies


ANT 324L • Black Male Crisis

30516 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm CLA 1.104
(also listed as AFR 374D, WGS 340)

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%

ANT 391 • Black Diaspora Thry/Ethnogrphy

31655 • Fall 2014
Meets W 1000am-100pm CLA 1.302C
(also listed as AFR 381)
Almost three decades ago, anthropologist and pioneer of African Diaspora Studies, St. Clair Drake, asserted, “the diaspora analogy…needs constant critical analysis if it is to be a useful guide to research as well as a striking metaphor.”  This seminar is designed to introduce students to the variety of ideas that underlie the articulation of the construct of the “BlackDiaspora.”  Although structured through the understanding of the African diaspora as an historical formation, the focus is on the Blackdiaspora as a distinct intellectual project as well as a political one.  As such, we will explore the ways scholars have conceptualized and theorized the “diasporic condition” of Black peoples, and how the community is imagined. These questions have undergirded the contemporary struggle over the meanings of race, place, identity, and consciousness within the African diaspora. Thus, their full examination necessitates intensive discussions and explorations of a number of issues.  In our engagement with theorizations of the African diaspora, we will explore, among other things, global/transnational understandings and articulations of Blackness; the (indispensable?) role of Africa in diasporic identity formations; the relationship between politics and Black cultural production and expression; the interrelationship of race, culture, gender, sexuality and ethnicity; notions of “roots” and “routes” in structuring the diasporic condition; issues of cultural syncretism and hybridity; and the unstable contradiction between notions of “essentialist” origins and social constructions of Black identities.

ANT 310L • Intro Afr/Afr Diaspora Studies

31089 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm JGB 2.218
(also listed as AFR 303)

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.Required Readings include: Karenga (1982), Hobsbawm and Ranger (1983), Fanon (1967), Lorber (1994, Williams (1983) 87-93, Dubois (1973), Moynihan (1965)

ANT 324L • Race, Gender, And Nation

31013 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 930am-1100am SAC 4.118
(also listed as AFR 320)

African American Men and Women in Society.

ANT 391 • El Buen Vivir In The Americas

31495 • Spring 2011
Meets W 200pm-500pm SAC 4.116
(also listed as LAS 391)

Topic: Afro-Indian stuggles for "el buen vivir" in the Americas.

ANT 310L • African American Culture

30040 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm UTC 4.134
(also listed as AFR 301, AMS 315)

This course examines the physical, social and economic dimensions of the urban crises with an emphasis on minority communities in general and African American’s in particular. We will explore the dynamics of race and class in American cities.  An interdisciplinary approach will be used to study contemporary issues such as poverty, education, politics and police brutality.

ANT 391 • Black Diaspora Pro-Colloquy

30305 • Fall 2010
Meets W 900am-1200pm EPS 1.128

This seminar is a Pro-Colloquy in which a series of faculty members in and out of anthropology
interested in issues of Diaspora discuss their work with seminar participants. The course is meant
to give beginning grad students an introduction to Diaspora, critical race, critical gender, and
queer theories as well as to the faculty members on campus who teach in these areas. It is given
as a critical companion course to the Social Anthropology Core Course.

Curriculum Vitae

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