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Cherise Smith, Ph.D, Director JES A232A, Mailcode D7200, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-1784

Kali Gross

Associate Professor Ph.D., 1999, University of Pennsylvania

Associate Chair and Associate Professor African & African Diaspora Studies Department
Kali Gross

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Biography

Kali Nicole Gross is associate chair and associate professor of the African and African Diaspora Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin. 

She holds a B.A. in Africana Studies from Cornell University and an M.A. in American Civilization and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Pennsylvania.  She has received numerous awards and fellowships including two residencies at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, and an NSF grant to explore science, technology, and the historical influence of race.  Her book, Colored Amazons: Crime, Violence, and Black Women in the City of Brotherly Love, 1880-1910 (Duke University Press, 2006) received the John Hope Franklin Center manuscript prize in 2005 and the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize from the Association of Black Women Historians in 2006.  She served as an OAH Distinguished Lecturer (2009-2012) and recently completed her second manuscript, Murderess: A Tale of Illicit Intimacy, Efficacious Violence, and Racialized Justice.  Currently, she is co-editing a special edition of the Journal of African American History entitled: “Gendering the Carceral State: African American Women, History, and Criminal Justice.” 

AFR 317D • Intro To Black Women's Studies

30590 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am JES A218A
(also listed as WGS 301 )
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This course examines the complexities of Black womanhood in America. In doing so it will investigate history, identity, popular culture, and Black Feminism/Womanism as well as social and political activism. Our investigation will be interdisciplinary, specifically reading across History, Sociology, Women's Studies, and Black Studies. We will contemplate how Black womanhood has changes over time, what it means to have a Black woman as the First Lady of the United States, and what have been (and remain to be) pressing issues and/or social concerns.

AFR 372C • Women Behaving Badly

30355 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CPE 2.206
(also listed as AMS 321, WGS 340 )
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This course focuses “women behaving badly” in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in America.  We are especially interested in exploring the histories of female murderers and criminals as well as examining the experiences of women who transgressed racial, gendered, and sexual mores; ultimately, we will investigate the tension between accepted social norms and the struggle for female autonomy.

Texts:

Lisa Duggan, Sapphic Slashers: Sex, Violence, and American Modernity (Duke, 2001)

Kali Gross, Colored Amazons: Black Women, Crime, and Violence in the City of Brotherly Love, 1880-1910 (Duke, 2006)

Mary Odem, Delinquent Daughters: Protecting and Policing Adolescent Female Sexuality in the United States, 1885-1920 (UNC, 1995)

 

Grading breakdown:

Engaged, critical participation 25%

Weekly writing responses 25%

Midterm Exam 25%

Final Paper 25%

AFR 317D • Intro To Black Women's Studies

30275 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm JES A218A
(also listed as WGS 301 )
show description

This course examines the complexities of Black womanhood in America. In doing so it will investigate history, identity, popular culture, and Black Feminism/Womanism as well as social and political activism. Our investigation will be interdisciplinary, specifically reading across History, Sociology, Women's Studies, and Black Studies. We will contemplate how Black womanhood has changes over time, what it means to have a Black woman as the First Lady of the United States, and what have been (and remain to be) pressing issues and/or social concerns.

Texts may include:

Paula Giddings. When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America.

Beverly Guy-Sheftall. Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-American Feminist Thought.

bell hooks. We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity.

Audre Lorde. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches.

Joy James. Shadowboxing: Representations of Black Feminist Politics.

Ntozake Shange. for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is not enuf.

 

Assignments may include:

Participation/Leading Discussion: 40%

Written Reading Responses: 30%

Final Group Project: 30%

AFR 388 • Race, Gender, And Justice

30450 • Fall 2012
Meets TH 200pm-500pm BEL 232
(also listed as WGS 393 )
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This course will explore the impact of race and gender on criminal justice in US history.  Although the bulk of our texts will be historical monographs, we will also use books that investigate similar themes from sociology, criminology, and anthropology.  Likewise, we will be reading broadly with respect to time period and location, moving from the colonial period to the modern era and between the North, South, and West regionally.

 

 

Grading:

Participation/Leading Discussion                           40%

Weekly Reading Response   1-2 pages                   30%

Final Assignment                                                       30%

 

(Possible) Required Texts:

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow (2010)

Douglas Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name (2009)

Anne M. Butler, Gendered Justice in the American West (1997)

Mary Ellen Curtin, Black Prisoners and Their World (2000)

Cheryl Hicks, “Talk with You Like a Woman” (2010)

Jack Marietta and G.S. Rowe, Troubled Experiment (2006)

Khalil Muhammad, The Condemnation of Blackness (2010)

Robert Perkinson, Texas Tough (2010)

Nicole Hahn Rafter, Partial Justice (1990)

Nicole Hahn Rafter (ed.), Cesare Lombroso, The Criminal Woman (1893/2004)

Beth Richie, Arrested Justice (2012)

Allen Steinberg, The Transformation of Criminal Justice (1989)

AFR 381 • New Readgs Afr-Am Women's Hist

30594 • Spring 2012
Meets T 1100am-200pm CAL 21
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In the past three decades African-American Women's History has grown exponentially, moving from relative obscurity to a thriving field of study. Historians have explored enslavement, black women's resistance and activism as well as charting labor movements and mapping the lives of everyday African-American women. Yet, as a number of recent works demonstrate, there is more to be written--LGBT history, research on crime and justice, and studies on violence and vice are only beginning to hit the presses. This course is an examination into newer works that focus on these themes in the lives of working-class black women. In doing so, we consider how African-American women have both participated in and contested violence and vice. 

Black Studies Faculty Highlight

Posted April 3, 2012

Faculty Highlight: Dr. Kali Gross, Associate Professor of AADS

shadylady

The African and African Diaspora Studies Department (AADS) and the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies (WCAAAS) is happy to welcome the newest addition to Black Studies at UT, Dr. Kali Gross. Dr. Gross comes to UT from Drexel University in Philadelphia, where she was an Associate Professor of History and Politics and the Director of Drexel’s Africana Studies Program. Dr. Gross’s work focuses on African American women’s history, including those women who are incarcerated in U.S. prisons; women’s studies; gender studies; comparative theories of race, gender, and sexuality, and violence in the Americas and the African Diaspora; intersections of race, science, and technology; and criminal justice, North and South, between 1880 and 1945.

Dr. Gross received her B.A. in Africana Studies, magna cum laude, from Cornell University, and her M.A. in American Civilization and Ph.D. in History from the University of Pennsylvania. The recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, Dr. Gross has served a scholar-in-residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture as well as a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University.  In 2006, Dr. Gross won the Letitia Woods Brown Book Prize from the Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH) for Colored Amazons: Crime, Violence, and Black Women in the City of Brotherly Love, 1880-1910 (Duke University Press, 2006).  She was also appointed by the Organization of American Historians’ president-elect to serve as an OAH Distinguished Lecturer in 2009.  Dr. Gross is currently a full faculty member in the AADS department, as well as an affiliate of WCAAAS. 

This spring, Dr. Gross is teaching the graduate course “Violence and Vice: New Readings in African American Women’s History.”

Black Studies asked Dr. Gross to discuss her scholarship and her new position at UT.

AADS: Welcome to Austin! What are your thoughts about a Texas winter, in comparison with east coast storms?

Dr. Gross: Austin will clearly have the East Coast beat when it comes to winter, but summer is a toss-up.

 

AADS: Can you describe your Spring 2012 course “Violence and Vice”? What do you hope that students will take away from this course?

Dr. Gross:  The course is designed to explore new works that examine otherwise underserved aspects of sexuality and violence in African American Women’s History.  We will examine the newer texts against the historiography of black women’s history so that students can get a sense of how the field has evolved.  It may also help some students better situate their own work.

 

AADS: How do you think your scholarship will add to and complement other AADS, Center, and UT faculty’s work?

Dr. Gross: I am very excited about having my research and critical analyses challenged and sharpened by the interdisciplinary exchanges with my AADS colleagues.  Plus, with so many wonderful scholars engaged in historical work on race, gender, and justice, I expect to benefit from and contribute to the work being produced—particularly because my work concentrates on violence and increasingly on contemplating the historical impact of trauma as a result of racial discrimination.  I think this focus will expand and complement the terrific work already being done at UT.

 

AADS: You have done a lot of work on black history in the Philadelphia area. Is there anything about Austin’s black history that strikes you as important for the community to be aware of?

Dr. Gross: I am in a frenzy to finish my second book project on Philadelphia because I am dying to delve into the sources here in Austin on black women and the Texas criminal justice system.  Moreover, as the point person on the AADS new initiative to reclaim the history of black women in Texas, I am hoping to continue to build upon scholarly research in this area.

 

AADS: You took part in the October 20th Warfield Center roundtable talk on The Help, and your insights on the book and film added much to the discussion. How does the prominence of this work in popular media confront your scholarship? Does it change anything or speak to any truths for black scholarship in the current day?

Dr. Gross: Both my participation in the discussion as well as the ABWH Statement about the film and book, for me, are less about my own research and more about having a responsibility to safeguard African American Women’s History.  The Help does a tremendous disservice to the historical experiences of black domestics.  The only good to come out it, as far as I am concerned, are the discussions about the historical realities so that the abuses and exploitation that black women suffered at the hands of racist whites in the South in the1960s is more thoroughly explicated.

 

AADS: What are you looking to most about teaching at UT this spring?

Dr. Gross: I am looking forward to working with vibrant students, who will bring fresh insights to the texts that we study.

 

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