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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Xavier Livermon

Core Faculty Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Assistant Professor

Contact

Biography

Xavier Livermon is currently assistant professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.  His research exists at the intersection of popular culture, gender, and sexuality in post-apartheid South Africa and the African Diaspora. He is currently completing a manuscript tentatively entitled Its About Time: Kwaito and the Performance of Freedom that examines post-apartheid youth culture as a series of performances enacted to test the limits of post-apartheid possibility.  His second project, tentatively entitled Queer(y)ing Freedom: Construction Black Queer Belonging in South Africa has resulted in a number of published essays in GLQ; Gender, Place, and Culture; and Feminist Studies  and examines how black queer South Africans construct forms of cultural and national belonging in a climate where progressive constitutional rights do not always translate in quotidian practice. His research interests include African Cultural Studies, Black Popular Music, Black Performance, Black Queer Studies, HIV/AIDS and African Diaspora Studies. XX

WGS 392 • Rsch Meths Smnr Wom'S/Gend Std

46795 • Spring 2015
Meets M 200pm-500pm CLA 0.124
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This course is designed to prepare graduate students in gender studies and the qualitative social sciences to conduct a research project for their master’s theses or similar projects. We will explore a range of research methods and traditions as well as the epistemological assumptions underlying them. We will consider what it means to conduct “feminist” research, as well as the perils and promise of the more participatory research traditions. Some of the research methods we will explore include interviewing, survey research, case studies, textual analysis, and participant observation.

WGS 301 • Hip Hop Politics

47684 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 301
(also listed as AFR 317F )
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Description:

 

In this course students will examine the rise of rap music and hip-hop culture from its beginning among Black and Brown youth in post-industrial New York to its growth into a global multi billion dollar industry.  We will examine the “politics” of rap music and hip-hop cultures investigating issues of commodification (commercialization, authenticity, “selling out”, consumerism, “keeping it real”), identity (race, nation, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, region), and social change (the use of hip-hop in social movements).  We will also examine the global dimensions of hip –hop culture with reference to its rise and spread in diverse international settings. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical lens for examining one of the most vibrant expressions of youth popular culture to emerge in the contemporary period.

 

Texts:

That’s The Joint!: The Hip Hop Studies Reader by Mark Anthony Neal and Murray Foreman.

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation by Jeff Chang and DJ Kool Herc.

The Hip-Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip-Hop and Why it Matters by Tricia Rose.

It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop: The Rise of the Post-Hip Hop Generation by Molefi K. Asante Jr.

The Hip Hop Generation Fights Back: Youth, Activism and Post-Civil Rights Politics by Andreana Clay.

WGS 305 • Intro To Women's & Gender Stds

47730 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm JES A218A
(also listed as AFR 317E )
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This course explores the complex politics of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nation and other categories of power in relationship to systems of oppression and privilege in a transnational context. Focusing on the experiences of people of African descent, texts examined in this course will range from theoretical to first-person narratives. We will interrogate categories of sex, gender, and sexuality, and explore issues of identity, representation, socio-economic policy and political rights. We will examine African and Black feminist critiques of historical, institutionalized oppression, including poverty, poor working conditions, criminalization, reproductive and sexual control, gendered violence, stigma and stereotypes, homophobia, and xenophobia.  We will explore the relevance of changing understandings of the term "culture" for the study of women, gender, and/or sexuality across Africa and the African Diaspora. Particular attention will be devoted to the ways in which gender as practice, performance, and representation has differed for women and men according to race, class, and other divisions.   Women’s and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field committed to imagining justice through analysis and creation of culture. Part of our work will reveal how African and African Diaspora Feminisms have challenged racism and white supremacy within feminist scholarship and activism. Your work in this course will prepare you for advanced study and to participate in discussions for community and academic advocacy.

WGS 340 • African Queer Studies

47987 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 306
(also listed as AFR 372G )
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This course explores queer gender and sexuality in Africa, with a particular focus on theoretical issues, the colonial encounter, citizenship and activism, media representations.  In the first unit, we will examine some of the theoretical issues that are relevant to studying queer gender and sexuality in Africa and in the African Diaspora more broadly.  In the second unit, we will explore some of the literature on the impact of colonialism on queer African identities and practices, and we will pay particular attention to its lasting impact on queer African lives in our post-colonial moment.  In the third unit, we will read several ethnographic and literary texts on specific communities in order to expand our understanding of the diverse ways in which queer Africans create identities, experience desire, and redefine dominant notions of citizenship. In the final unit of the course, we will examine representations of queer African sexuality in literature, film, and media, focusing especially on representations in relation to recent events in South Africa, Uganda, Malawi, and Senegal. We will pay particular attention to how such representations are shaped by political economy and influenced by the international community.

 

Texts (needs to be specific texts, not “course packet” or “TBA)”:

 

Queer African Reader Sokari Ekine and Hakima Abbas eds.

African Sexualities: A Reader Sylvia Tamale ed.

Heterosexual Africa?: The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS Marc Epprecht

OUT in Africa: LGBT Organizing in Namibia and South Africa Ashley Currier

Allah Made Us: Sexual Outlaws in an Islamic African City Rudolf P. Gaudio

Black Bull, Ancestors, and Me: My Life as a Lesbian Sangoma Nkunzi Zandile Nkabinde

WGS 305 • Intro To Women's & Gender Stds

47720 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm SZB 330
(also listed as AFR 317E )
show description

This course explores the complex politics of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nation and other categories of power in relationship to systems of oppression and privilege in a transnational context. Focusing on the experiences of people of African descent, texts examined in this course will range from theoretical to first-person narratives. We will interrogate categories of sex, gender, and sexuality, and explore issues of identity, representation, socio-economic policy and political rights. We will examine African and Black feminist critiques of historical, institutionalized oppression, including poverty, poor working conditions, criminalization, reproductive and sexual control, gendered violence, stigma and stereotypes, homophobia, and xenophobia.  We will explore the relevance of changing understandings of the term "culture" for the study of women, gender, and/or sexuality across Africa and the African Diaspora. Particular attention will be devoted to the ways in which gender as practice, performance, and representation has differed for women and men according to race, class, and other divisions.   Women’s and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field committed to imagining justice through analysis and creation of culture. Part of our work will reveal how African and African Diaspora Feminisms have challenged racism and white supremacy within feminist scholarship and activism. Your work in this course will prepare you for advanced study and to participate in discussions for community and academic advocacy.

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