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

Simone A. Browne

Assistant Professor Ph.D., University of Toronto

Assistant Professor of Sociology
Simone A. Browne

Contact

Biography

Simone Browne completed her PhD in 2007. She began her faculty position in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin in 2007. She researches and teaches in the areas of Surveillance, Social Media, Social Network Sites, and Black Diaspora Studies. She is a member of the Steering Committee of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory)

Professor Browne's book manuscript, Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness (under contract with Duke University Press) examines surveillance with a focus on slavery, biometric information technology, airports, borders, and creative texts.

Recent publications include:

Simone Browne. 2012. ‘Everybody’s got a little light under the sun’: Black Luminosity and the Visual Culture of Surveillance. Cultural Studies.

Simone Browne. 2010. ‘Digital Epidermalization: Race, Identity and Biometrics.’ Critical Sociology 36.1: 131-150.

Dr. Browne's chapter  ‘Race and Surveillance’ appears in the Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies (2012),  "a collection of over forty essays from the leading names in surveillance studies" edited by Kirstie Ball, Kevin Haggerty and David Lyon.

Dr. Browne was recently quoted in Times Higher Education on Twitter and academic engagement here

Her other research projects include:

We Like to Watch: Race and the Sociology of Surveillance (book, under contract with Routledge)

“Panic Button: A Sociology of Security Theatre” (article-length)

“Walking While Black in New York City: The NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Database (or “I’ve got 99 variables and a #*%! ain’t one”)” (article-length)

"Dark Sousveillance: Wearable Computing Devices as Aesthetic Resistance to Surveillance" (article-length + Dark Hoodie: a sousveillance enabling wearable computing device)

 

Recent Engagements

November 15-16

"99 Problems: The NYPD Stop and Frisk Database"

Workshop on Critical Explorations of Data and Security. University of North Carolina and Chapel Hill

November 21-24

"Branding Blackness: Biometric Technology and the Surveillance of Blackness"

Annual Conference of the American Studies Association. Washington, D.C.

December 9

"Dark Sousveillance: Surveillance, Race and Resistance"
CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative Speaker Series. New York City

December 16-17

"Dark Hoodie: Wearable Computing Devices as Aesthetic Resistance to Surveillance"

(Dis)Embodiment and the Philosophy of Information, Meiji University. Tokyo, Japan.

Upcoming Engagements

March 7

Critical Approaches to Digital Humanities Symposium, Virginia Commenwealth University

April

Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Tampa, Florida

July 10-11

Dear Science And: A Workshop on Black Creative Sciences

AFR 372C • Race/Gender/Surveillance

30515 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CLA 0.102
(also listed as SOC 322V, WGS 322 )
show description

Descripton:

This course will provide an overview of theories in the emerging field of Surveillance Studies, with afocus on race and gender. We will examine transformations in social control and the distributions ofpower 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 andpunishment; the gaze, voyeurism and reality television watching; social media; travel and stateborders; biometrics and the body.

Students will be encouraged to develop critical reading and analytical skills. Through the use of filmsand other visual media students will be challenged to better understand how surveillance practicesinform modern life.

Your participation grade will be based upon your informed participation and not solely on yourattendance. You are expected to contribute informed opinions based on a close reading of the coursematerials and engagement with the themes of the course. Sharing your personal opinions, whileimportant, will not solely constitute informed discussion.

Students who acquire six or more unexcused absences will receive a failing grade.

Grading:

A: 100-94

A-: 93-90

B+: 89-88

B: 87-83

B-: 82-80

C+ 79-78

C: 77-73

C-: 72-70

D+: 69-68

D: 67-63

D-: 62-60

F: 59-0

Your grade in this course will be based on:

Participation, Attendance &In-class Assignments 10%

Everyday Surveillance Assignment 15%

Film Review 15%

Mid-Term Test: 20%

Social Media Project: 20%

Final Test 20%

Final grades will be determined on the basis of the above rubric. To ensure fairness, all numbers are absolute, and will not be rounded up or down at any stage. Thus a B- will be inclusive of all scores of 80.000 through 83.999. The University does not recognize the grade of A+.

Attendance and Informed Participation

Students who acquire six or more unexcused absences will receive a failing grade.

Please note that this is an upper level undergraduate seminar and your success in this course depends on close reading and engagement with the texts (readings, films, audio recordings, videoclips, video games and weblinks posted to Blackboard), as well as active participation in class discussions. You will be responsible for checking the Blackboard course site regularly for additional texts and announcements.

Class participation will be based on attendance and meaningful participation in class discussions.

Meaningful participation is taken to be analytic engagement with the texts, not vague commentary or generalizations. You are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the readings.

Over the course of the semester you will be ask to respond, in writing, to texts discussed during the lecture.

These assignments will form a part of your participation grade.

AFR 381 • Race And The Body

30645 • Fall 2014
Meets T 1200pm-300pm BEL 232
(also listed as SOC 395L, WGS 393 )
show description

Course Description

This course will engage with theories and research methodologies in the sociological study of the body, with a focus on race, racism, gender and sexualities. Emphasis will be placed on close reading of the assigned texts so that discussion can focus on key issues and debates concerning the body in contemporary society, including: the role of space and location; theories of the subject and the meaning of subjectivity; state formation and social control. Objectives

Through the completion of written assignments and active seminar participation and preparation, students will develop an understanding of the language and conceptual tools necessary to interrogate the practices through which we come to be variously raced, gendered and abled. Students will be encouraged to raise their research concerns in the seminar and we will actively contribute to each other’s questions of interest and research design.

Grading and Requirements

Discussion Leading and Class Participation (25%): Twice during the seminar you will be responsible for facilitating a class discussion on the weekly readings (students will work in groups of two). This should take the form of a summary of the major concepts and arguments of the reading, methods, further directions for research, your concerns and critiques or challenges, followed by discussion questions and/or topics for the large group, or break out sessions where the large group is divided into smaller ones with specific questions to answer or exercises to perform. Mid-Term Paper (25%) . You will meet with me on this day during ‘Essay Tutorials’ to discuss your essay. Final Research Paper and Symposium Presentation (50%):

Texts

Frantz Fanon. 1952. Black Skin, White Masks. New York: Grove Pres.

Orlando Patterson. 1998. Rituals of Blood: Consequences of Slavery in Two American Centuries. New York: Basic Books 

Chris Shilling. 2003. The Body and Social Theory. Second Edition. London: Sage Publication

Nirmal Puwar. 2008. Space Invaders: Race, Gender and Bodies Out of Place. London: Berg

Ruth Wilson. 2007. Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California. Los Angeles: University of California Press 

Patricia Hill Collins. (2005) Black Sexual Politics: African-Americans, Gender and the New Racism. New York: Routledge 

Ruth Frankenburg. 1993. White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

Katherine McKittrick. 2006. Demonic Grounds: Black Women and The Cartographies of Struggle. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press 

Jasbir Puar. 2008. Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times.Durham: Duke University Press.

AFR 372C • Race, Gender, And Surveillance

30645 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am CLA 0.130
(also listed as SOC 322V, WGS 322 )
show description

Descripton:

This course will provide an overview of theories in the emerging field of Surveillance Studies, with afocus on race and gender. We will examine transformations in social control and the distributions ofpower 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 andpunishment; the gaze, voyeurism and reality television watching; social media; travel and stateborders; biometrics and the body.

Students will be encouraged to develop critical reading and analytical skills. Through the use of filmsand other visual media students will be challenged to better understand how surveillance practicesinform modern life.

Your participation grade will be based upon your informed participation and not solely on yourattendance. You are expected to contribute informed opinions based on a close reading of the coursematerials and engagement with the themes of the course. Sharing your personal opinions, whileimportant, will not solely constitute informed discussion.

Students who acquire six or more unexcused absences will receive a failing grade.

Grading:

A: 100-94

A-: 93-90

B+: 89-88

B: 87-83

B-: 82-80

C+ 79-78

C: 77-73

C-: 72-70

D+: 69-68

D: 67-63

D-: 62-60

F: 59-0

Your grade in this course will be based on:

Participation, Attendance &In-class Assignments 10%

Everyday Surveillance Assignment 15%

Film Review 15%

Mid-Term Test: 20%

Social Media Project: 20%

Final Test 20%

Final grades will be determined on the basis of the above rubric. To ensure fairness, all numbers are absolute, and will not be rounded up or down at any stage. Thus a B- will be inclusive of all scores of 80.000 through 83.999. The University does not recognize the grade of A+.

Attendance and Informed Participation

Students who acquire six or more unexcused absences will receive a failing grade.

Please note that this is an upper level undergraduate seminar and your success in this course depends on close reading and engagement with the texts (readings, films, audio recordings, videoclips, video games and weblinks posted to Blackboard), as well as active participation in class discussions. You will be responsible for checking the Blackboard course site regularly for additional texts and announcements.

Class participation will be based on attendance and meaningful participation in class discussions.

Meaningful participation is taken to be analytic engagement with the texts, not vague commentary or generalizations. You are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the readings.

Over the course of the semester you will be ask to respond, in writing, to texts discussed during the lecture.

These assignments will form a part of your participation grade.

AFR 374E • Race, Culture, And Migration

30780 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm CLA 0.118
(also listed as SOC 321K, WGS 322 )
show description

This course will provide an overview of theories in the emerging field of Surveillance Studies, with a focus on race, gender, power. 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 watching; the Internet; airports and state borders; biometrics and the body.

AFR 372C • Race, Gender, And Surveillance

30347 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CLA 0.102
(also listed as SOC 322V, WGS 322 )
show description

This course will provide an overview of theories in the emerging field of Surveillance Studies, with afocus on race and gender. We will examine transformations in social control and the distributions ofpower 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 andpunishment; the gaze, voyeurism and reality television watching; social media; travel and stateborders; biometrics and the body.

Students will be encouraged to develop critical reading and analytical skills. Through the use of filmsand other visual media students will be challenged to better understand how surveillance practicesinform modern life.

Your participation grade will be based upon your informed participation and not solely on yourattendance. You are expected to contribute informed opinions based on a close reading of the coursematerials and engagement with the themes of the course. Sharing your personal opinions, whileimportant, will not solely constitute informed discussion.

Students who acquire six or more unexcused absences will receive a failing grade.

GRADING SCHEME

A: 100-94

A-: 93-90

B+: 89-88

B: 87-83

B-: 82-80

C+ 79-78

C: 77-73

C-: 72-70

D+: 69-68

D: 67-63

D-: 62-60

F: 59-0

Your grade in this course will be based on:

Participation, Attendance &In-class Assignments 10%

Everyday Surveillance Assignment 15%

Film Review 15%

Mid-Term Test: 20%

Social Media Project: 20%

Final Test 20%

Final grades will be determined on the basis of the above rubric. To ensure fairness, all numbers are absolute, and will not be rounded up or down at any stage. Thus a B- will be inclusive of all scores of 80.000 through 83.999. The University does not recognize the grade of A+.

Attendance and Informed Participation

Students who acquire six or more unexcused absences will receive a failing grade.

Please note that this is an upper level undergraduate seminar and your success in this course depends on close reading and engagement with the texts (readings, films, audio recordings, videoclips, video games and weblinks posted to Blackboard), as well as active participation in class discussions. You will be responsible for checking the Blackboard course site regularly for additional texts and announcements.

Class participation will be based on attendance and meaningful participation in class discussions.

Meaningful participation is taken to be analytic engagement with the texts, not vague commentary or generalizations. You are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the readings.

Over the course of the semester you will be ask to respond, in writing, to texts discussed during the lecture.

These assignments will form a part of your participation grade.

AFR 381 • Race And The Body

30525 • Fall 2013
Meets TH 1200pm-300pm CLA 3.106
(also listed as SOC 395L, WGS 393 )
show description

Course Description

This course will engage with theories and research methodologies in the sociological study of the body, with a focus on race, racism, gender and sexualities. Emphasis will be placed on close reading of the assigned texts so that discussion can focus on key issues and debates concerning the body in contemporary society, including: the role of space and location; theories of the subject and the meaning of subjectivity; state formation and social control. Objectives

Through the completion of written assignments and active seminar participation and preparation, students will develop an understanding of the language and conceptual tools necessary to interrogate the practices through which we come to be variously raced, gendered and abled. Students will be encouraged to raise their research concerns in the seminar and we will actively contribute to each other’s questions of interest and research design.

Grading and Requirements

Discussion Leading and Class Participation (25%): Twice during the seminar you will be responsible for facilitating a class discussion on the weekly readings (students will work in groups of two). This should take the form of a summary of the major concepts and arguments of the reading, methods, further directions for research, your concerns and critiques or challenges, followed by discussion questions and/or topics for the large group, or break out sessions where the large group is divided into smaller ones with specific questions to answer or exercises to perform. Mid-Term Paper (25%) . You will meet with me on this day during ‘Essay Tutorials’ to discuss your essay. Final Research Paper and Symposium Presentation (50%):

Texts

Frantz Fanon. 1952. Black Skin, White Masks. New York: Grove Press.Orlando Patterson. 1998. Rituals of Blood: Consequences of Slavery in Two American Centuries. New York: Basic Books. Chris Shilling. 2003. The Body and Social Theory. Second Edition. London: Sage Publications.Nirmal Puwar. 2008. Space Invaders: Race, Gender and Bodies Out of Place. London: Berg. Ruth Wilson. 2007. Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California. Los Angeles: University of California Press. Patricia Hill Collins. (2005) Black Sexual Politics: African-Americans, Gender and the New Racism. New York: Routledge. Ruth Frankenburg. 1993. White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Katherine McKittrick. 2006. Demonic Grounds: Black Women and The Cartographies of Struggle. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. Jasbir Puar. 2008. Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times.Durham: Duke University Press.

AFR 372C • Race, Gender, And Surveillance

30307 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am CLA 0.102
(also listed as SOC 322V, WGS 322 )
show description

Course Description

This course is focused on mobility, with immigration being only one such form of movement. We will examine the notion of 'mobility' by exploring historical and contemporary movements of people, capital and ideas. We will review theoretical developments in the sociological study of 'race', examine processes of racialization and cultural texts to better understand the ways in which identities are socially produced. Throughout, attention will be placed on forms of black cultural production and political action to question how such practices are shaped by migrations within the African diaspora.

Grading Policy

Midterm (definitions and essay) 20%

Class participation 10%

Two case studies 20%

Abstract (250 words) with bibliography 10%

Essay (10-12 pages) 30%

Group presentation 10%

Texts

The required text will be a packet of articles. Exerpts will be taken from the following books:

Les Back and John Solomos, editors, Theories of Race and Racism: A Reader, Routledge Readers in Sociology, London: Routledge, 2000

Vivien Burr, An Introduction to Social Construction, London: Routledge, 1995

Stuart Hall, editor, Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, London: Sage Publications, 1997

Barnor Hesse, editor, Un/settled Multiculturalism: Diasporas, Entanglements, Transruptions,London: Zed Books, 2000

Kamari Maxine Clarke and Deborah A. Thomas, editors, Globalization and Race: Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness, Durham: Duke University Press, 2006

Katherine McKittrick, Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006

Michael Parenti, The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America from Slave Passes to the War on Terror, New York: Basic Books, 2003

Rinaldo Walcott, Black Like Who? Writing Black Canada, Toronto: Insomniac Press, 2003

Howard Winant, The New Politics of Race: Globalism, Difference, Justice, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004

 

AFR 374E • Race, Culture, And Migration

30410 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm CLA 0.120
(also listed as SOC 321K, WGS 322 )
show description

Note:  322V and SOC 321K Surveillance and Social Control cannot both be countes.

This course will provide an overview of theories in the emerging field of Surveillance Studies, with a focus on race, gender, power. 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 watching; the Internet; airports and state borders; biometrics and the body.

Students will be encouraged to develop critical reading and analytical skills. Through the use of films, the Internet and other visual media, students will be challenged to better understand how surveillance practices inform modern life.

Students who acquire six or more unexcused absences will receive a failing grade.

Your participation grade will be based upon your informed participation and not solely on your attendance. You are expected to contribute informed opinions based on a close reading of the assigned materials and engagement with the themes of the course. Sharing your personal opinions, while important, will not solely constitute informed discussion.

Required Texts:

Christian Parenti. 2003. The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America From Slave Passes to the War on Terror. New York: Basic Books.

All other required readings will be available for purchase as a course kit.

Grading Policy:

Participation and Journal:       20%

Mid-Term Test:                     25%

Research Project:                  20%

Film Review                          15%

Final Test:                           20%

AFR 372C • Race, Gender, And Surveillance

30270 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 930am-1100am BUR 130
(also listed as SOC 322V, WGS 322 )
show description

Cross listed with AFR 374/WGS 322

Note:  322V and SOC 321K Surveillance and Social Control cannot both be countes.

This course will provide an overview of theories in the emerging field of Surveillance Studies, with a focus on race, gender, power. 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 watching; the Internet; airports and state borders; biometrics and the body.

Students will be encouraged to develop critical reading and analytical skills. Through the use of films, the Internet and other visual media, students will be challenged to better understand how surveillance practices inform modern life.

Students who acquire six or more unexcused absences will receive a failing grade.

Your participation grade will be based upon your informed participation and not solely on your attendance. You are expected to contribute informed opinions based on a close reading of the assigned materials and engagement with the themes of the course. Sharing your personal opinions, while important, will not solely constitute informed discussion.

Required Texts:

Christian Parenti. 2003. The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America From Slave Passes to the War on Terror. New York: Basic Books.

All other required readings will be available for purchase as a course kit.

Grading Policy:

Participation and Journal:       20%

Mid-Term Test:                     25%

Research Project:                   20%

Film Review                           15%

Final Test:                             20%

AFR 381 • Race And The Body

30425 • Fall 2012
Meets TH 1200pm-300pm BUR 214
(also listed as SOC 395L, WGS 393 )
show description

Course Description

This course will engage with theories and research methodologies in the sociological study of the body, with a focus on race, racism, gender and sexualities. Emphasis will be placed on close reading of the assigned texts so that discussion can focus on key issues and debates concerning the body in contemporary society, including: the role of space and location; theories of the subject and the meaning of subjectivity; state formation and social control. Objectives

Through the completion of written assignments and active seminar participation and preparation, students will develop an understanding of the language and conceptual tools necessary to interrogate the practices through which we come to be variously raced, gendered and abled. Students will be encouraged to raise their research concerns in the seminar and we will actively contribute to each other’s questions of interest and research design.Grading and Requirements

Discussion Leading and Class Participation (25%): Twice during the seminar you will be responsible for facilitating a class discussion on the weekly readings (students will work in groups of two). This should take the form of a summary of the major concepts and arguments of the reading, methods, further directions for research, your concerns and critiques or challenges, followed by discussion questions and/or topics for the large group, or break out sessions where the large group is divided into smaller ones with specific questions to answer or exercises to perform. Mid-Term Paper (25%) . You will meet with me on this day during ‘Essay Tutorials’ to discuss your essay. Final Research Paper and Symposium Presentation (50%): TextsFrantz Fanon. 1952. Black Skin, White Masks. New York: Grove Press.Orlando Patterson. 1998. Rituals of Blood: Consequences of Slavery in Two American Centuries. New York: Basic Books. Chris Shilling. 2003. The Body and Social Theory. Second Edition. London: Sage Publications.Nirmal Puwar. 2008. Space Invaders: Race, Gender and Bodies Out of Place. London: Berg. Ruth Wilson. 2007. Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California. Los Angeles: University of California Press. Patricia Hill Collins. (2005) Black Sexual Politics: African-Americans, Gender and the New Racism. New York: Routledge. Ruth Frankenburg. 1993. White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Katherine McKittrick. 2006. Demonic Grounds: Black Women and The Cartographies of Struggle. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. Jasbir Puar. 2008. Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times. Durham: Duke University Press.

AFR 374E • Race, Culture, And Migration

30497 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm BUR 231
(also listed as SOC 321K, WGS 322 )
show description

Contains a Writing Flag

Course Description

This course is focused on mobility, with immigration being only one such form of movement. We will examine the notion of 'mobility' by exploring historical and contemporary movements of people, capital and ideas. We will review theoretical developments in the sociological study of 'race', examine processes of racialization and cultural texts to better understand the ways in which identities are socially produced. Throughout, attention will be placed on forms of black cultural production and political action to question how such practices are shaped by migrations within the African diaspora.

Grading Policy

Midterm (definitions and essay) 20%

Class participation 10%

Two case studies 20%

Abstract (250 words) with bibliography 10%

Essay (10-12 pages) 30%

Group presentation 10%

Texts

The required text will be a packet of articles. Exerpts will be taken from the following books:

Les Back and John Solomos, editors, Theories of Race and Racism: A Reader, Routledge Readers in Sociology, London: Routledge, 2000

Vivien Burr, An Introduction to Social Construction, London: Routledge, 1995

Stuart Hall, editor, Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, London: Sage Publications, 1997

Barnor Hesse, editor, Un/settled Multiculturalism: Diasporas, Entanglements, Transruptions,London: Zed Books, 2000

Kamari Maxine Clarke and Deborah A. Thomas, editors, Globalization and Race: Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness, Durham: Duke University Press, 2006

Katherine McKittrick, Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006

Michael Parenti, The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America from Slave Passes to the War on Terror, New York: Basic Books, 2003

Rinaldo Walcott, Black Like Who? Writing Black Canada, Toronto: Insomniac Press, 2003

Howard Winant, The New Politics of Race: Globalism, Difference, Justice, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004

 

AFR 374D • The Wire: Inequality/City Life

30264 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 930am-1100am BUR 214
(also listed as SOC 321K )
show description

Cross-listed with AFR

Description

In this course the television series The Wire serves as an entry point from which students will engage sociological theory and writings on city life. We will examine the interlocking workings of race, gender, schooling, economic restructuring, surveillance, policing and incarceration in the making of socio-spatial inequalities. Students will be encouraged to develop critical reading, viewing and analytical skills. Throughout the course we will question how popular and visual texts shape perceptions of urban inequalities.

Students are expected to work with peers on in-class and on-line writing activities, lead class discussions and offer informed opinions based on a close reading of the course materials and engagement with the themes of the course.

This course meets the Writing Flag Requirement.

Grading Policy

 Final Essay 40%

 Book Review 20%

 Episode Critical Analysis (2 -10% each) 20%

 Discussion Leader 0%

 Article Reflecrtion (2-10% each) 20%

 

 

 

AFR 374E • Race, Culture, And Migration

30555 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm BUR 231
(also listed as SOC 321K, WGS 322 )
show description

Cross listed with AFR 374E/WGS 322

 

Contains a Writing Flag

Course Description

This course is focused on mobility, with immigration being only one such form of movement. We will examine the notion of 'mobility' by exploring historical and contemporary movements of people, capital and ideas. We will review theoretical developments in the sociological study of 'race', examine processes of racialization and cultural texts to better understand the ways in which identities are socially produced. Throughout, attention will be placed on forms of black cultural production and political action to question how such practices are shaped by migrations within the African diaspora.

Grading Policy

Midterm (definitions and essay) 20%
Class participation 10%
Two case studies 20%
Abstract (250 words) with bibliography 10%
Essay (10-12 pages) 30%
Group presentation 10%

Texts

The required text will be a packet of articles. Exerpts will be taken from the following books:

Les Back and John Solomos, editors, Theories of Race and Racism: A Reader, Routledge Readers in Sociology, London: Routledge, 2000
Vivien Burr, An Introduction to Social Construction, London: Routledge, 1995 
Stuart Hall, editor, Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, London: Sage Publications, 1997
Barnor Hesse, editor, Un/settled Multiculturalism: Diasporas, Entanglements, Transruptions, London: Zed Books, 2000
Kamari Maxine Clarke and Deborah A. Thomas, editors, Globalization and Race: Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness, Durham: Duke University Press, 2006
Katherine McKittrick, Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006
Michael Parenti, The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America from Slave Passes to the War on Terror, New York: Basic Books, 2003 
Rinaldo Walcott, Black Like Who? Writing Black Canada, Toronto: Insomniac Press, 2003
Howard Winant, The New Politics of Race: Globalism, Difference, Justice, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004

 

 

AFR 374E • Surveillance & Social Control

35380 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 930am-1100am UTC 4.124
(also listed as SOC 321K, WGS 322 )
show description

SURVEILLANCE AND SOCIAL CONTROL
           SOC 321K/AFR 374E/WGS 322
Fall 2010
Instructor: Simone Browne

COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course will provide an overview of theories in surveillance studies, with a focus on race, gender, power, ethics and surveillance. We will examine historical transformations in social control and the distributions of power in U.S. and global contexts, with a focus on populations within the African diaspora. Course topics include: the Trans-Atlantic slave trade; prisons and punishment; the gaze, voyeurism and reality television watching; the Internet; travel and state borders; biometrics and the body.

Students will be encouraged to develop critical reading and analytical skills. Through the use of films, the Internet and other visual media, students will be challenged to better understand how surveillance practices inform modern life.

Your participation grade will be based upon your informed participation and not solely on your attendance. You are expected to contribute informed opinions based on a close reading of the course materials and engagement with the themes of the course. Sharing your personal opinions, while important, will not solely constitute informed discussion.

This course is cross-listed with African and African American Studies and Women and Gender Studies.


Possible Texts:

Shoshana Magnet and Kelly Gates (eds.). 2009. The New Media of Surveillance. New York: Routledge

All other required readings can be downloaded from the course Blackboard site or accessed through the UT Libraries e-reserve system.



Black Studies Faculty Highlight

Published February 29, 2012

An Interview with Dr. Simone Browne

Vivian Shaw

I had the opportunity to interview Simone Browne, a member of the Steering Committee at HASTAC. Professor Browne is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, joining in 2007. She is also affiliated with the Department of African & African Diaspora Studies (AADS), the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies (WCAAAS), and the Center for Women's & Gender Studies at UT-Austin. She completed her PhD at the University of Toronto.

Professor Browne's book-length manuscript in preparation, Dark Matters: Surveillance and Black Mobilities examines surveillance with a focus on biometric information technology, airports and borders, slavery, mobile communication, black mobilities, and creative texts. Her article "Everybody's Got a Little Light Under the Sun: Black luminosity and the Visual Culture of Surveillance" is published in the most recent issue of the journal Cultural Studies and is available here.

A vibrant presence within UT-Austin's intellectual community, Professor Browne's work pushes the disciplinary contours of sociology, Black studies, and gender studies. We talked about what inspires her research and the location of technologies within shifting political, academic, and social practices.

simonebrowne

 

What aspect of your current work means the most to you and why?

Cases like that of Jakadrien Turner make the links to my current work on surveillance and Black mobilities plain. I first heard about the case of Jakadrien Turner - the 15-year old African-American girl who was "deported" by ICE last spring to Colombia - through Twitter. That a U.S. born teenager, with reportedly little Spanish language skills, was believed to be a Colombian citizen and rendered through the courts and the removal process is baffling; but in our times of extraordinary rendition, hospital deportations, and the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, among other measures, it must also lead us to ask about the institutional mechanisms that the state and private actors make use of to allow for such a situation: fingerprints, immigration law, banishment, sexism, racism.

Turner's grandmother was able to find her through Facebook, and I find that to be a very important aspect of this case: the agential potential that social network sites allow for.

What makes you interested in the digital or interdisciplinary aspect of your field(s)? How did you get involved with HASTAC?

Just looking at my Twitter timeline shows me the possibilities of the digital and interdisciplinary projects for sociology, Black studies and beyond: @HASTAC, Alondra Nelson (@alondra), Tara McPherson (@tmcphers), Tanya Golash-Boza (@tanyagolashboza), Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan), Jessie Daniels (@JessieNYC), Minkah Makalani (@minkahm), Christina Sharpe (@hystericalblackness), Lisa Nakamura (@lnakamur), Joe Feagin (@JoeFeagin), Cathy N. Davidson (@CathyNDavidson) and even Kanye West's tweets (@kanyewest ).

How do you see your field at large changing?

Sociology "at large" is contending with social networking sites, gaming, mobile technologies and communications, not only for the "data sets" that these new technologies are producing, but also for what such connectivity can tell us about social life. For example, my undergraduate students conduct cyber-ethnographies and breaching experiments in the on-line virtual world Second Life, asking questions about identity formation, the body, sexualities, and access. This semester they'll be video gaming to think about gender, race, violence and community formation.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?

That's a tough question, I could name about twenty people right now. Right now, I really like Nicholas Mirzoeff's ( @nickmirzoeff) The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality and the work he is doing with others around the Occupy movement. Right to Look has, I think, made a really important intervention in theorizing surveillance in plantation economies and what Mirzoeff calls ‘oversight' and ‘revolutionary realism'. A dream collaboration would be to think through some of these concepts with him, making links to biometric technology, airports, CCTV and other surveillance practices. It would also be pretty neat to collaborate with visual artist Wangechi Mutu around some of the media coverage of black women who have been detained at airports, removed from airplanes, or subject to searches beyond the standard x-ray: for instance Laura Adiele who had her hair inspected by a TSA agent or Malinda Knowles who was removed from a plane on the suspicion that she was not wearing any undergarments. She was, incidentally. Mutu has said that "Females carry the marks, language and nuances of their culture more than the male. Anything that is desired or despised is always placed on the female body."

I would probably just hold the adhesive in that collaboration, but I still think it would be neat.


Interviewer Vivian Shaw is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin and a 2011-2012 HASTAC Scholar. Her dissertation research will focus on Asian immigrant identities in US and Japanese cities and the connections between memory with race/gender/class, politics, and popular culture. Shaw is a Column Editor for FlowTV (http://flowtv.org), a Managing Editor of Intersections: Women's and Gender Studies in Review across Disciplines (an interdisciplinary graduate student journal), and co-facilitator for UT's Department of Sociology Race and Ethnicity Group. She previously worked for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in maternal-child health programming and research and earned her B.A. in literary theory and gender studies from New York University. Vivian is a co-investigator for the Connected Learning Research Network, which is an Austin-based ethnographic project headed by S. Craig Watkins of UT's Department of African and African Diaspora Studies and the Department of Radio, Television, and Film. The project is funded by the MacArthur Foundation through its Digital Media and Learning Initiative. It is a 3-year study that examines how young people from diverse communities and their relationships to media. Vivian blogs at HASTAC and at http://veegee.tumblr.com.
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