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Edmund T. Gordon, Chair 210 W. 24th Street , Mailcode E3400, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4362

Course Descriptions

AFR 303 • Introduction To Black Studies

29635 • Gordon, Edmund T.
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CLA 0.130
(also listed as ANT 310D)
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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.

AFR 317C • Intro To The Study Of Africa

29645 • Masango Chéry, Tshepo
Meets TTH 930am-1100am MEZ 1.210
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Who speaks for Africa and, by extension, African Studies? What has the emergence of new African diasporas meant for the study of Africa in the Western academy? And to what extent has those diasporic formations altered the relationship between African and African-American Studies? This course seeks to provide students with a deeper understanding of the complex histories, intellectual entanglements, and enduring hierarchies of these fields. Students will explore the evolution of African Studies (both intellectually and institutionally), particularly in regards to the emergence of Black Studies.



AFR 317C • Peoples/Cultures Of Africa

29650 • Mosadomi, Fehintola (Tola)
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 105
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Exploration of indigenous and contemporary societies of Africa south of the Sahara, designed to provide students with an understanding of the diversity of the societies and cultures of Africa. Focuses on the precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial historical, political, economic, and sociocultural issues that have determined and shaped the lives of the people.

AFR 317D • Street Justice:morals/The Wire

29655 • Marshall, Stephen H
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WRW 102
(also listed as AMS 315, CTI 310, GOV 314)
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This lower-division large lecture course will examine the moral and philosophical dilemmas behind the concept of “justice” for Black, inner city communities in the United States, using Baltimore, MD in the popular TV program “The Wire” as a case study. Students will be expected to define the ethical subjects in real-world moral dilemmas surrounding justice, using introductions to political science, philosophy, and intellectual history as a structural guide (with special considerations of Critical Race Theory and Black Studies in their analyses).

Students will be asked to think critically about the complicated concepts of justice in inner-city communities, as exemplified in “The Wire”. Students will be invited to apply their understandings of morality and justice to not only the fictional situations in this case study, but also to ethical decisions in historical, race-related cases in Black United States history, such as Jim Crow, the Civil Rights movement, and modern-day Drug Wars. It is hoped that this course helps to parse out what is considered “right” and what is considered “wrong” when analyzing the concept of justice.

AFR 317D • Intro To African Amer Hist

29660 • Berry, Daina Ramey
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as HIS 317L)
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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.

Course Objectives:

Students will have the opportunity to write essays and take multiple-choice and short answer exams in this course.  Using this combination of testing strategies, one goal of the class is to facilitate students’ LEARNING of African American history rather than the memorization of relevant names, dates, and events.  The professor recognizes the importance of knowing key figures and events; however, the primary objective is to help students develop a solid understanding of the political, social, economic, and personal lives of African Americans from their arrival through today. 

This course carries the flag for Cultural Diversity in the United States


Potential Reading List:


Fikenbine, Ray ed. Sources of the African American Past: Primary Sources in American History  (2nd Edition), 2003.


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 Policy:

Response Papers                                  20%

Mid-Term Examination                                   25%

Historical Movement Assignment        20%

Final Exam                                          35%

AFR 317D • Mlk Jr: A Moral Obligation

29665 • Burt, Brenda
Meets TTH 930am-1100am BLS 2.206
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This course will explore the Civil Rights Movement focusing on the specific work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The selected readings will help the student to explore the history of Blacks from slavery to the present, using Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work as a lens.  The history of the MLK statue on the UT campus will be a main unit of the course, with the anticipation of a Black Studies History tour to Memphis, TN or Atlanta, GA as a “study abroad” opportunity. The course will incorporate the use of lectures, readings, video, simulation exercises, research, and extensive class discussions to assist students as they explore the impact of the Civil Rights Movement, using The University of Texas as one case study among many.

AFR 317E • Black Queer Diaspora Aesths

29670 • Gill, Lyndon K.
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm CLA 1.102
(also listed as ANT 310L, WGS 301)
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Exploration of over two decades of work produced by and about black queer subjects throughout the circum-Atlantic world. Provides an introduction to various artists and intellectuals of the black queer diaspora, as well as an examination of the viability of black queer aesthetic practice as a form of theorizing.

AFR 317F • African American Lit And Cul

Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ 1.102
(also listed as E 314V)
show description

E 314V  l  1-African American Literature and Culture

Instructor:  DeChavez, Y

Unique #:  34135

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  AFR 317F

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

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

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.

Description: This course touches on many facets of African American literature and culture. We will begin with a discussion of slavery and the Middle Passage and move toward the present, focusing on the ways in which the past continues to inform the present moment. We will examine a variety of texts, including novels, performances, and musical pieces. This course will address topics such as gender and sexuality, racism, and the potential for political and social change in America.

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; W.E.B. DuBois, selections from The Souls of Black Folk; Toni Morrison, Beloved; Michelle Alexander, selections from The New Jim Crow.

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 may also be short quizzes, reaction papers, and/or in-class presentations (30% of the final grade).

AFR 321L • Sociology Of Education

29678 • Fulton, Kelly
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CLA 0.118
(also listed as SOC 321L, WGS 345)
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Course Description

This course examines education in the United States from a sociological perspective. We will use various sociological concepts, methods and theories to explore the institution of education, going beyond our own individual experiences with education. Specific topics include public education; standardized testing; charter schools; and stratification within and between schools with a focus on race, class and gender.

This course carries the Writing Flag. Writing Flag courses are designed to give students experience with writing in an academic discipline. In this class, you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you will be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work.

Required Texts

* Arum, Richard and Irenee R. Beattie, The Structure of Schooling: Readings in the Sociology of Education, Second Edition, Sage Publications, 2011.

* Lareau, Annette, Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, 2nd Edition, University of California Press, 2011.

* Ravitch, Diane, Reign of Error, Knopf, 2013.

* A collection of readings available on the Canvas course site.


There will be in-class tests, short papers, a group project, and a literature review for this writing flag course.  Class participation is a component of the final grade.

AFR 321L • Sociology Of Education

29679 • Fulton, Kelly
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CLA 0.102
(also listed as SOC 321L, WGS 345)
show description

Course Description

This course examines education in the United States from a sociological perspective. We will use various sociological concepts, methods and theories to explore the institution of education, going beyond our own individual experiences with education. Specific topics include public education; standardized testing; charter schools; and stratification within and between schools with a focus on race, class and gender.

Required Texts

* Arum, Richard and Irenee R. Beattie, The Structure of Schooling: Readings in the Sociology of Education, Second Edition, Sage Publications, 2011.

* Lareau, Annette, Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, 2nd Edition, University of California Press, 2011.

* Ravitch, Diane, Reign of Error, Knopf, 2013.

* A collection of readings available on the Canvas course site.


There will be in-class tests, short papers, a group project, and a literature review for this writing flag course.  Class participation is a component of the final grade.

AFR 322D • Race And The Digital

29680 • Browne, Simone A.
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm CLA 1.404
(also listed as SOC 322D, WGS 322)
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Review of theoretical developments in the sociological study of "race," including an examination of processes of racialization and cultural texts, in order to better understand the ways in which identities are socially produced. Attention will be placed on forms of popular culture, black cultural production, and political action to question how such practices are shaped by migrations within the African diaspora.

AFR 372C • Activist Research Practicum

29689 • Hale, Charles R.
Meets MW 300pm-430pm SRH 1.320
(also listed as ANT 324L, LAS 324L)
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From this upper-division seminar, designed especially for anthropology majors, students will learn the basics of anthropological research methods, and gain hands-on experience doing “activist research” with an Austin-based organization.  Coursework will consider the politics of anthropological research, tracing the evolution from its colonial beginnings, through upheaval and critique in the 1960s and 1970s, to various “post-colonial” responses to these criticisms.  After working through conventional research methods, we will focus on “activist anthropology,” as one means to confront the problems associated with anthropology’s colonial legacy. Together we will explore the complexities of activist research methods, while each student conceives and carries out an activist research project in conjunction with an organization in the Austin area.  Once this “practicum” portion of the course begins (roughly February 4), the seminar will meet once rather than twice a week.  From February 4 on, students are expected to devote an average of 6 to 8 hours a week to their activist research project. 

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AFR 372C • Beyonce Femnsm/Rihanna Womnsm

29690 • Tinsley, Omise'eke
Meets TTH 930am-1100am GDC 2.216
(also listed as WGS 335)
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In her single “Flawless,” released in December 2013, Beyoncé Knowles samples a speech by Nigerian writer Chimananda Ngozi which includes her definition of “feminist”: a “person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.” As Beyoncé then continues to sing about what it means for “ladies” to “post up, flawless,” she literally inserts her music into African Diaspora conversations about what black feminism is, means, and does. In this course, we also enter this black feminist conversation—by engaging the music of recording artists Beyoncé and Rihanna as popular, accessible expressions of African American and Caribbean feminisms that reach worldwide audiences. Beginning with close analysis of these artists’ songs and videos, we read their oeuvre in conversation with black feminist theoretical works that engage issues of violence, economic opportunity, sexuality, standards of beauty, and creative self-expression. The course aims to provide students with an introduction to media studies methodology as well as black feminist theory, and to challenge us to close the gap between popular and academic expressions of black women’s concerns.



Beyoncé, Beyoncé

Rihanna, Seven

Jack Halberstam, Gaga Feminism

Diane Rialton, Music Video and the Politics of Representation

Patricia Hill Collins, From Black Power to Hip Hop

Beverly Guy Sheftall, Words of Fire

bell hooks, ain’t i a woman

Faith Smith, Sex and the Citizen

Kemala Kempadoo, Sexing the Caribbean

AFR 372C • Black Freedom Movement

29695 • Makalani, Minkah
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm BLS 2.204
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The election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States to many signaled the culmination of the mid-century American Civil Rights Movement. Making sense of such a claim, however, begs the question, what were CRM’s goals. This course will focus on what scholars are now calling the Black Freedom Movement — the Civil Rights and the Black Power Movement — to understand precisely what the goals and objectives were, that would help explain the sense that this movement has finally realized its goal with the election of the nation’s first black president. It also brings into question whether the Black Freedom Movement’s impulse was toward mere integration, or a more fundamental interrogation and critique of the American democratic experiment.

Among the topics covered in this course, we will consider what motivated black people, in the face of extreme violence and often the certainty of death, to mount a movement to reshape society. Along with exploring their motivations, this course will consider the forms of activism they pursued, what the various groups of people envisioned as the socially just and free society; in other words, what kind of world did they hope to bring into existence? Was it merely a world free of racism? Was it a new world entirely? We will approach these questions by looking at political struggles around culture, aesthetics, and identity. In addition, we will give attention to the international, how Civil Rights and Black Power activists worked to link their struggles to African and non-African liberation movements, with special attention to their efforts to build linkages with the liberation struggles of other oppressed groups (e.g., Puerto Ricans, Chicanas/os, Asian Americans, women, students, etc.), and how these movements themselves had international dimensions (organizations and activism in Africa, the Caribbean, and Europe).

Sample Texts:

Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt.

Peniel Joseph, Waiting Till the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America.

Manning Marable, Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction in Black America.

Kimberly Springer, Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations.

AFR 372C • Black Studies & Social Media

29700 • Foster, Kevin
Meets MW 500pm-630pm GEA 114
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Course participants will collect and discuss the intellectual work of Black Studies thinkers and professors, and use that material as the basis for a comprehensive new media analysis in the United States. Students will discuss their individual approaches to and understandings of social media. The course is focused on action research and professional development as students develop and implement a personalized philosophy of social media engagement as it relates to the field of Black Studies.

AFR 372D • Medicine In African History

29704 • Osseo-Asare, Abena Dove
Meets W 300pm-600pm GAR 0.128
(also listed as HIS 350L)
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How do societies understand illness, and how do they restore good health? In this course, we explore how communities have confronted disease throughout Africa’s history.  During the first six weeks, we read about the changing role of specialist healers since the 1700s, including shamans, malams, nurses, and drug peddlers. The second half of the course turns to the history of specific diseases including malaria, AIDS, sleeping sickness, and kwashiorkor through regional case studies. Particular emphasis is placed on pre-colonial healing, medical education, colonial therapeutics, and the impact of environmental change.

This course offers participants a nuanced, historical perspective on the current health crisis in Africa. Staggering figures place the burden of global disease in Africa; not only AIDS and malaria, but also pneumonia, diarrhea and mental illness significantly affect the lives of everyday people. Studying the history of illness and healing in African societies provides a framework with which to interpret the social, political, and environmental factors shaping international health today.


Timothy Burke

Lifebuoy Men, Lux Women: Commodification, Consumption and Cleanliness in Modern Zimbabwe (Duke, 1996)

Steven Feierman, John M. Janzen

The Social Basis of Health and Healing in Africa (California, 1992)


Nancy Rose Hunt

A colonial lexicon: Birth Ritual, Medicalization, and Mobility in the Congo

(Duke, 1999)

 John Illiffe

The African AIDS Epidemic: A History

(Ohio, 2006)

 Maryinez Lyons,

The Colonial Disease: A Social History of Sleeping Sickness in Northern Zaire, 1900-1940

(Cambridge, 2002)

 Malidoma Patrice Some

Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman (Penguin Books, 1995)


Course participants will make two oral and written reports on weekly assignments. There will also be one longer research paper (12-15 pages) on the history of a particular health concern.

AFR 372D • Politics Of Black Education

29705 • Foster, Kevin
Meets MW 330pm-500pm PHR 2.114
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Issues surrounding the schooling of Black folks in this country have been central to the civil rights struggle. In this course, students will explore the history of Black education philosophies, alongside contemporary issues and outcomes of implemented policy. Students will then be asked to consider political and practical strategies for the improvement of the educational outcomes of Black students.  Focus will be on ideologies driving local, state, and federal education policy, policies that have emerged, and their impacts.


Building upon the Black epistemological context established through students’ reading of primary sources, we will explore how school policies, practices, and curriculum, as well as socialization, cultural background, peer groupings, race, class, and gender, impact students’ academic aspirations, development, performance, and outcomes.


Students will look at education-related interests in the political world, the efforts and organizing of marginalized groups in society, and how (or sometimes whether) their interests translate into policy, programs, and actions related to teaching, learning and schooling opportunities in the United States.

AFR 372E • Afr Am Lit Snc Harlm Renais

29725 • Woodard, Helena
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm PAR 310
(also listed as E 376S)
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E 376S  l  African American Literature Since the Harlem Renaissance

Instructor:  Woodard, H

Unique #:  34950

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  AFR 372E

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Cultural Diversity, Writing

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 372E • Self-Revlatn Women's Wrtg

29730 • Hillmann, Michael Craig
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm MEZ 1.102
(also listed as C L 323, MES 342, WGS 340)
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American prose fiction and Persian lyric poetry constitute two of the most vital literary traditions in world literature. This course deals with one prominent figure in each, the American fiction writer Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) and the Iranian lyric poet Forugh Farrokhzad (1935-1967). A three-fold rationale accounts for the comparative pairing and study of these two writers and their works in the course. First, both writers have special and similar relationships to the literary traditions in which they wrote both because of their gender and because of Farrokhzad's lack of participation in Muslim culture, on the one hand, and Hurston's African ancestry, on the other. Second, Farrokhzad and Hurston exhibit similar subject matter interests and points of view, presumably in part because of their modernist perspectives and similar removes from mainstream cultural and social power bases. Third, they use prose fiction and lyric poetry, respectively, as vehicles for self-revelation and self-realization. Such self- revelation has particular significance both because of its cultural unexpectedness in their respective traditions and because of mixed consequent mainstream reaction to it.

The core course activities are close readings and group discussion of the chief writings of Hurston and Farrokhzad in the contexts of the crafts of prose fiction and lyric verse, the practice of autobiography, American culture, Iranian culture, and women’s participation in American and Persian/ Iranian literatures. Students leave the course well acquainted with the lives and works of two prominent writers and with literary modernism and are better prepared thereafter to read and analyze works of prose fiction and lyric verse in vacuo and in their cultural contexts.


The required course texts are: (1) Joanna Russ, How to Suppress Women’s Writing (1983); (2) Zora Neale Hurston, Jonah’s Gourd Vine (1934; (3) Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937); (4) Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road (1942); (5) Zora Neale Hurston, Seraph on the Suwanee (1948); (6) Michael Hillmann, A Lonely Woman: Forugh Farrokhzad and Her Poetry (1987, available online at Hillmann; (7) Forugh Farrokhzad, Sounds That Remain: Forty Poems by Forugh Farrokhzad in English Translation (2015, available on the course Blackboard); and (7) “Self-Revelation in Women’s Writing: A Course Packet” (on the course Blackboard) containing a course schedule and calendar, chronologies, biographical sketches, a handful of critical essays, Hurston’s short story called “Drenched in Light” (1924), and the course bibliography.


Course grades are based on: (1) class participation, e.g., discussion of assigned readings [20% of the course grade]; (2) two oral presentations, one a report on an assigned primary course (i.e., a poem or a short story or a discrete part of a novel) and the second a report on an assigned secondary source (i.e., a biography or literary critical study) [15% of the course grade each]; (3) a review test on the third to the last day of the course [25% of the course grade]; and (4) a term paper [25% of the course grade], a draft due two weeks before the end of the course and a revised version due on the last day of class. The course has no final examination. The grading scale is: A (93–100), A- (90–92), B+ (87–89), B (83–86), B- (80– 82), C+ (77–79), C (73–76), C- (70–72), D+ (67–69), D (63-66), D- (60–62), and F (0-59).

AFR 372E • Black Queer Literature/Film

29735 • Richardson, Matt
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm GEA 127
(also listed as E 376M, WGS 340)
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E 376M  l  8-Black Queer Literature and Film

Instructor:  Richardson, M

Unique #:  34945

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  AFR 372E; WGS 340

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Writing

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

Description: In recent years the term “queer” has emerged as an identity and an analytical framework that focuses on non-normative ways of being. This seminar will combine elements of critical race theory to investigate the particular experiences and cultural production of Black people who are determined to be gender variant and different sexualities. We will analyze written works and films/videos by and about lesbians, bisexual, transgender and gay Black people. Emphasis will be on understanding the historical and theoretical construction of sexual and gender identities and sexual/cultural practices in Black communities. Special attention will be paid to the construction of race, gender and sexual identities in North America, the Caribbean and the United Kingdom.

Required Texts: Audre Lorde, Sister/Outsider; Jackie Kay, Trumpet; Melvin Dixon, Vanishing Rooms; Sharon Bridgforth, Love, Conjure, Blues; Films of Marlon Riggs, Isaac Julien and Cheryl Dunye.

Films: Even though these are films and not paper reading material, all films are required texts for the class.

Requirements & Grading: Attendance, 10%; Midterm, 20%; In-class Writing & Participation, 20%; Presentation/Paper, 20%; Final Paper, 30%.

AFR 372E • African Amer Concert Dance

29740 • Anderson, Charles O.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CLA 0.122
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Examines dance by and for African Americans and its relation to politics of race, gender, sexuality, class, and power in relation to evolving social and historical contexts. Explores the ways the concept of "blackness" has been embodied, challenged, and intersected with the development of evolution of American concert dance since the turn of the twentieth century.

AFR 372F • Intl Development In Africa

29743 • Faria, Caroline
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm CLA 1.108
(also listed as GRG 356T)
show description

How are popular representations of Africa reflected in development policy?

What are the historical and globalized roots of ‘underdevelopment’ in Africa?

What were the outcomes of big dam and fishing projects in Ghana and Tanzania?

Is global warming the cause of the conflict in Darfur, Sudan?

What are the ethics around diamond mining in Sierra Leone and oil drilling in Nigeria?

How have women combined feminist and environmentalist efforts in Kenya?

How has the ‘War on Terror’ reshaped African geopolitics?

How are African innovators rethinking development on their continent?


Welcome to 356T: Geographies of International Development in Africa! This course critically examines the major approaches to development on the African continent with a focus on a range of African resources. We will review how these approaches are connected to and underpinned by historically persistent representations, policies and political inequalities and the ways in which they have changed over time. Using a case study approach we will consider one major resource each week, from water to wildlife, forests to farms, airways to rangelands, and including a consideration of African bodies themselves as resources and sites of development. Through these examples we will explore, discuss and debate the ideological foundations of varied development approaches and their political, social and economic outcomes for African people and places. In doing so we will also examine the ways in which African people and places are linked to broader international process. Finally we will pay attention each week to the ways in which dominant development practices have been taken up, resisted and reworked by Africans in varied ways.


Intellectual Goals

At the end of the course students will be able to:

  • To critically examine changing ideas of development in Africa in the context of a range of resources
  • To historicize the construction of varied contemporary environments in Africa and related ecological and development issues
  • To examine the links between representations of Africa and African bodies and historical and contemporary forms of extraction, exploitation, and development
  • To consider the ecological, social and political outcomes of oil and mineral resource extraction, water, forest and rangeland management projects, conservation efforts and agricultural development in Africa
  • To explore how ecological challenges are being addressed across a range of scales; from the global to the local


Learning Goals

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Describe and critique the dominant approaches to development in Africa
  • Connect key problems around ecology and development in Africa to histories, ideologies, policies, and resistances within and beyond the continent
  • Participate in key debates about the role of the environment in African ‘development’ and ‘underdevelopment’


Write-to-learn Goals

  • Critically evaluate geographical arguments presented in a range of media (visual, oral and textual) through the use of writing exercises.
  • Learn, understand and communicate key geographical concepts by writing for a range of audiences, including peers, the geographical scholarly community, and the public.
  • Practice writing in a range of formats: abstracts, thesis statements and full research papers written for a geographical academic audience, write-to-learn reflective pieces, short films/presentations. 
  • Collect, critically evaluate and utilize geographical academic research in order to make a strong argument/ answer a carefully crafted research question.
  • Strengthen skills of peer-review in a variety of forms


Global Cultures Course Flag:

This course carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.

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AFR 372F • Race, Empire, And Modernity

29744 • Makalani, Minkah
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GEA 114
(also listed as LAS 322)
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Modernity is generally seen to involve a narrative of historical progress away from periods of human development characterized by the entanglements of tradition, myth, despotism, oppressive governments, and religious dogma. It reflects a web of assumed cultural, political, philosophical, and technological discoveries and advancements that have benefited humanity. Yet this story takes on a different narrative arc when we consider that race and racial oppression only emerged as social categories and systems of domination, with the dawn of modernity. What does it mean to study modernity from the perspective of the colonization of the Americas, the rise of plantation slavery, genocide against native peoples, and the systems of racial domination that have persisted since slavery? Why has empire been the dominant mode of world organizations from the dawn of modernity until the mid-20th century? What are we to make of such notions of liberty, justice, and democracy, when those terms were explicitly denied enslaved Africans and their descendants?

This course will examine race and empire as central features of modernity and enlightenment thought, with particular attention to how the enslaved, colonized, and those others, often explicitly excluded from dominant conceptions of the nation-state, engaged with modernist thought and political structures, often expanding its core concepts, and at times moving beyond those terms of order to articulate alternative notions of freedom and liberation. We will examine how empire, race and racial oppression, and the structures of colonialism have been central to modernity, and how those caught within this web of cultural, political, philosophical, and scientific advancements have challenged those structures.


Anthony Bogues, Empire of Liberty: Power, Desire, and Freedom.

Walter Johnson, River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom.

Sylvia Wynter, Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis. 

AFR 372F • Black Women/Transnatl State

29750 • Smith, Christen
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm GEA 127
(also listed as ANT 324L, LAS 324L, WGS 340)
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This course surveys black women’s experiences living with and confronting state

oppression around the world. From the United States to Brazil, black women experience

similar patterns of political, social and economic inequality. Transnationally, racism,

sexism, patriarchy, homophobia, and classism affect the quality of life of black women,

particularly within nation-states with legacies of slavery and colonialism. This course

takes an historical, social and theoretical look at the roots of this inequality and how

black women have chosen to respond to it locally and globally. How have interlocking

forms of oppression affected black women’s citizenship within the modern nation-state?

How have black women, in turn, sought to organize themselves in response to this


Objectives 1) To think critically about the multiple forms of oppression that affect black women’s

lives globally; 2) To consider how black women’s political identity has been defined by

experiences with oppression transnationally; 3) To define and articulate black women’s agency in

response to oppression

Key Topics: Racism, sexism, patriarchy, homophobia, classism, transnationalism,

representation, agency, black feminism.

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AFR 372G • Cuba In Question-Cub

29755 • Salgado, César A.
(also listed as C L 323, HIS 363K, LAS 328, SPC 320C)
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Concurrent enrollment required in L A 119. Restricted to students in the Maymester Abroad Program; contact Study Abroad Office for permission to register for this class. Class meets May 30-June 27. Taught in Havana, Cuba. Students must consult with Study Abroad Program Coordinator as tra vel and orientation dates may be in addition to these dates.

AFR 372G • Gndr In North & West Africa

29760 • Mosadomi, Fehintola (Tola)
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 103
(also listed as MEL 321, MES 342, WGS 340)
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This course seeks to develop in students an understanding and appreciation of African gender theories through an examination of the variables between the realities of African gender perspectives and current gender theories. Students should engage in effective and meaningful dialogue that not only affects Africa but also the West, thus increasing an awareness in cross-cultural gender issues.


Akinwumi Isola. Efu nseta n Ani wu ra, Iya lo de Ibadan and Tinu ubu ,Iya lo de Egba : Two Yoruba  Historical Dramas. Trans. Pamela Olubunmi Smith. Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press Inc., 2005. - Ba , Mariama. So Long a Letter. Trans. Modupe Bode-Thomas. London and Nairobi: Heinemann, 1981. - Djebar, Assia. Fantasia: An Algerian Calvacade. Trans. Dorothy Blair. London: Quartet Books, 1989. Trans of L'Amour, la fantasia. -Oyo no-Mbia, Guillaume. "Three Suitors, One Husband" in Faces of African Independence: Three Plays. Charlottesville, 1988.


Attendance and Participation: 10% Individual Term Paper 40% Individual Oral Presentation 15% Group Term Paper 20% Group Oral Presentation 15%

AFR 372G • African Hist In Films & Photos

29765 • Falola, Toyin
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm UTC 3.122
(also listed as HIS 364G, WGS 340)
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Western exposure to Sub-Saharan Africa has primarily been through stylized Hollywood films which rarely speak to the historical backgrounds of past and present conflicts.  These films can have detrimental effects on popular conceptions of Africa, its peoples, and its plights.  Furthermore, these films can lead to an overwhelming lack of understanding for the complexities of the events in Africa’s recent history.  This course seeks to increase understanding of the social, economic, and political challenges present in the past fifty years of Africa’s history through an examination of several poular films.  Each film will serve a twofold purpose.  First, they will act as a case study used to speak to an issue central to the history of Africa, and second, aid in dispelling many of the misconceptions present in popular portrayals of Africa.  Each film will be accompanied by a text that corresponds with the respective subject matter.  It is the intention of these texts to offer greater analysis and generate critical discussions of the films, their subjects, depictions of characters, and events.  The ultimate goal of these discussions is to enhance students’ knowledge and perceptions of Africa, its societies, cultures, governments, and histories.


    Ukadike, N. Frank.  “Western Film Images of Africa:  Genealogy of an Ideological Formulation.” Black Scholar 21 n. 2 (March-May 1990): 30-48

    Price, Robert M.  The Apartheid State in Crisis:  Political Transformation in South Africa, 1975-1990.  New York and Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 1991.

    Brantley, Cynthia.  The Giriama and Colonial Resistance in Kenya, 1800-1920. Berkeley: The University of California Press, 1981.

    Mamdani, Mahmod. When victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nationalism, and the Genocide in Rwanda. Princeton Unversity Press, 2001.

    Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.


Two book reviews of 4-5 pages.

Research paper of 15-20 pages.

Regular class attendance and participation.

Texts (subject to change)

AFR 372G • Sex & Power In Afr Diaspora

29770 • Gill, Lyndon K.
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm SAC 5.102
(also listed as ANT 324L, WGS 340)
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Exploration of various experiences and theories of sex, intimacy, and desire alongside intellectual and artistic engagements with power hierarchies and spirituality across transnational black communities. Subjects include the concept of "erotic subjectivity" from various theoretical and methodological angles, principally within African diasporic contexts.

AFR 374D • Community Research & Analysis

29786 • Irizarry, Yasmiyn
Meets T 200pm-330pm JES A303A
(also listed as MAS 374)
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Course Description:

Regardless of the sector, students pursuing careers in community leadership and program development related careers will be tasked with making important decisions that can have huge implications for the populations they serve. Now that we are in the age of big data, students and professionals alike are bombarded with a constant stream of information from a wide variety of sources (e.g., television, the Internet, newspapers, and magazines), which make these decisions all the more challenging. Much of the information we receive comes in the form of or is rooted in statistics, and we are often confronted with contradictory claims based on this statistical information. Knowing how to understand and sort through all of this information---or even better, knowing how to gather and analyze our own information-requires a level of methodological and statistical literacy that many individuals lack. As a result, we tend to either become skeptical of all statistics or only incorporate and utilize statistics that fit our worldview, both of which can lead to poor decision making.

This course is a formal introduction to quantitative methodology and statistical analysis for Latino and Black serving professionals pursuing private, nonprofit, and public sector careers in community and/or organizational leadership. This is also an experiential learning course. In addition to learning about the nuts and bolts of applied quantitative research, including techniques for collecting (or finding), preparing, analyzing, and interpreting quantitative data, we will collectively (as a class) undertake a quantitative research study for a Texas-based organization or community agency. Although no prior knowledge of statistics is assumed, you should have a good understanding of basic algebraic concepts. If you have never had a course in algebra at the high school level or above, you should consider taking one before enrolling in this course.


Proposed Readings: 

1) Nardi, Peter. 2006. Doing Survey Research: A Guide to Quantitative Methods. 2nd ed.

Boston: Pearson.

2) Nardi, Peter. 2006. Interpreting Data (with Research Navigator). Boston: Pearson.


Proposed Grading Policy: 

Problem Sets: 25%   250 points

Academic Reviews:     15%    150 points

Assignments:            30%   300 points

Applied Project:         30%    300 points

AFR 374D • Civil Rts Mov From Comp Persp

29787 • Green, Laurie B.
Meets W 300pm-600pm GAR 0.120
(also listed as AMS 370, HIS 350R, MAS 374)
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This writing intensive seminar allows students who already have some familiarity with the history of the civil rights movements of the mid-twentieth century to more deeply explore themes that can be addressed only briefly in a broader lecture course. Readings and class discussions will concentrate primarily on African American and Mexican American struggles for civil rights, but also address the Asian American and Native American movements. Likewise, we compare rural and urban movements, and northern and southern ones. Using a comparative approach will allow unique insights that are usually missing in courses on the Civil Rights Movement. In this rethinking, students will consider the distinctiveness of each of these struggles while also viewing them in relation to each other, which participants frequently did at the time. In doing so, we explore how historical understandings of race, gender and class impacted these movements in distinct and shared ways. Just as importantly, this comparative perspective encourages students to gain new understandings of mid-twentieth century U.S..

This course has a substantial writing component. Students will deepen their understandings of the civil rights era by researching and writing a 5,000 word research paper using archival collections at the University of Texas or elsewhere in Austin. Papers also rely on published scholarly works and other published sources such as newspapers. Students I work closely with students to identify topics and sources. The project is broken down into a series of shorter assignments that will bring you to your final paper. At the end of the course you will have the opportunity to present your paper in a conference-like format. This presentation will not be graded, but will allow you to share your work with other students, not just me!


Maeda, Daryl J. Chains of Babylon: The Rise of Asian America.

Moody, Anne. Coming of Age in Mississippi.

Nelson, Alondra. Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination.

Orleck, Annelise and Lisa Gayle Hazirjian, eds. The War on Poverty: A New Grassroots History, 1964-1980.

Oropeza, Lorena. ¡Raza Si! ¡Guerra No! Chicano Protest and Patriotism during the Viet Nam War Era.

Phillips, Kimberley L. War! What is it Good For? Black Freedom Struggles and the U.S. Military from World War II to Iraq.


25%     Attendance and class participation, to be broken down as follows:

15%     participation (attendance, completion of readings, participation in class discussion)

75%     Research project. This is a cumulative grade based on a series of assignments that take the student from the initial planning stages to the final submission of their papers.

10%     15-minute oral presentation on research project

AFR 374C • Daily Life In Ancient Egypt

29788 • Nethercut, William R
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm WAG 201
(also listed as C C 348, MEL 321, MES 342)
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The emphasis of this course, rather than the famous kings and historical narrative of Egypt, lies especially upon what we have learned about the work, lives, entertainment, experiences, families, dress, food, festivals, and religion of this people.  This makes a good follow-up for students who have already taken the Introduction to Ancient Egypt, CC 304 C  (Fall 2014), but can also serve to bring first timers into the main stream of Egyptian culture. The many sources available to illustrate our subject make of CC 348 a rich survey of Egyptian art.

This course carries a Global Cultures flag.

AFR 374D • Hist Black Entrepren In US

29790 • Walker, Juliet E. K.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm GAR 2.128
(also listed as HIS 350R)
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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 374E • Afro-Caribbean Diasporas

29805 • Arroyo-Martínez, Jossianna
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm BEN 1.122
(also listed as LAS 322)
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This course examines themes such as gender, sexuality, and identity politics, socio-political agency, resistance, and negotiation in the islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Haiti.

AFR 374F • Writing Slavery

29810 • Woodard, Helena
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 310
(also listed as E 376M, WGS 340)
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E 376M  l  3-Writing Slavery

Instructor:  Woodard, H

Unique #:  34935

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  AFR 374F; WGS 340

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

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

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 • Vis Arts Of The Caribbean

29825 • Chambers, Eddie
Meets MWF 300pm-400pm DFA 2.204
(also listed as LAS 327)
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A look at a wide range of artists from the countries of the Caribbean, including examples of cinema and reggae music packaging.

AFR 375 • Community Internship

29835 • Tang, Eric
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BLS 2.204
show description

Internship in a community organization that facilitates the economic, political, and social development of Austin's African American community. Students participate in research projects under the supervision of a faculty member.

AFR 376 • Senior Seminar

29840 • Vargas, João H. Costa
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm BLS 1.130
show description

A capstone course fpr AFR majors focusing on black intellectual traditions.

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