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Edmund T. Gordon, Chair 2109 San Jacinto Blvd , Mailcode E3400, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4362

Lyndon K. Gill

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies

Contact

AFR 372E • Fashion And Desire

30550 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CLA 1.102
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Description:

 

This course explores historical and contemporary style in the African Diaspora. From head to toe, runways to street corners, art installations to music videos, “dandyism” to “swag,” Patrick Kelly to Kanye West, Josephine Baker to Beyoncé, we investigate the sartorial as a wearable art form and a political arena. We unfurl the tapestry of desires that encircles black fashion in the U.S. and globally, combing through the intertwined threads of passionate creativity, sexual fetishization, corporeal autonomy, capitalism consumerism, suffocating conformity and humorous play amongst other topics.

 

Texts:

Gott, Suzanne & Kristyne Loughran

    2010    Contemporary African Fashion. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

 

Miller, Monica

    2009    Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity.

        Durham: Duke University Press.

 

Tamagni, Daniele

    2009    Gentlemen of Bacongo. London: Trolley Books.

 

Tulloch, Carol

    2004    Black Style. London: Victoria & Albert Museum.

 

White, Shane & Graham White

    1999    Stylin’: African American Expressive Culture, from Its Beginnings to the Zoot Suit.

        Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

 

AFR 388 • Erotic Subjectiv Afr Diaspora

30655 • Fall 2014
Meets TH 1000am-100pm UTC 1.136
(also listed as ANT 391, WGS 393 )
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This course will explore the impact of race and gender on criminal justice in US history.  Although the bulk of our texts will be historical monographs, we will also use books that investigate similar themes from sociology, criminology, and anthropology.  Likewise, we will be reading broadly with respect to time period and location, moving from the colonial period to the modern era and between the North, South, and West regionally.

 

 

Grading:

Participation/Leading Discussion                           40%

Weekly Reading Response   1-2 pages                   30%

Final Assignment                                                       30%

 

(Possible) Required Texts:

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow (2010)

Douglas Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name (2009)

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

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

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

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

Khalil Muhammad, The Condemnation of Blackness (2010)

Robert Perkinson, Texas Tough (2010)

Nicole Hahn Rafter, Partial Justice (1990)

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

Beth Richie, Arrested Justice (2012)

Allen Steinberg, The Transformation of Criminal Justice (1989)

AFR 317E • Black Queer Diaspora Aesthet

30605 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 304
(also listed as ANT 310L, WGS 301 )
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This interdisciplinary course explores over two decades of work produced by and about black queer subjects throughout the circum-Atlantic world. While providing an introduction to various artists and intellectuals of the black queer diaspora, this seminar examines the viability of black queer aesthetic practice as a form of theorizing. We will interrogate the transnational and transcultural mobility of specific art forms as well as the concept of “aesthetics” more broadly. Our aim is to use the prism of artistry to highlight the dynamic relationship between Black Diaspora Studies and Queer Studies.

*Please Note: This course deals with aspects of gender and sexuality in a candid and explicit manner at times. Students who do not feel comfortable with this approach should not take the course. If you choose to take this course, you have agreed to respect our classroom as a safe space. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia or xenophobia of any sort will not be tolerated.

AFR 372G • Sex & Power In Afr Diaspora

30720 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm CLA 1.108
(also listed as ANT 324L, WGS 340 )
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This multi-disciplinary course explores various experiences and theories of sex/intimacy/desire alongside intellectual and artistic engagements with power hierarchies and spirituality across black communities within and beyond the borders of the United States. We will consider the concept of “erotic subjectivity” from various theoretical and methodological angles principally within African Diasporic contexts.

AFR 317E • Black Queer Diaspora Aesthet

30295 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 103
(also listed as ANT 310L, WGS 301 )
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Description

This interdisciplinary course explores over two decades of work produced by and about black queer subjects throughout the circum-Atlantic world. While providing an introduction to various artists and intellectuals of the black queer diaspora, this seminar examines the viability of black queer aesthetic practice as a form of theorizing. We will interrogate the transnational and transcultural mobility of specific art forms as well as the concept of “aesthetics” more broadly. Our aim is to use the prism of artistry to highlight the dynamic relationship between Black Diaspora Studies and Queer Studies.

*Please Note: This course deals with aspects of gender and sexuality in a candid and explicit manner at times. Students who do not feel comfortable with this approach should not take the course. If you choose to take this course, you have agreed to respect our classroom as a safe space. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia or xenophobia of any sort will not be tolerated.

AimsThe aims of this course are:1. To introduce the multidisciplinary field of Black Queer Studies2. To explore the artistry and scholarship of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender peoples of African descent throughout the circum-Atlantic world.3. To encourage critical thinking about the links that interconnect experience, art and theory.

ObjectivesOn completion of this course, students should be able to:1. Provide a basic definition of “aesthetics” and interpret various works of art.2. Identify the particular contributions of various artists and scholars to the elaboration ofa transnational Black Queer Studies project.3. Appreciate the variety of terms and concepts used to describe same-sex desire andgender non-conformity in the African Diaspora.4. Articulate how Black Queer Studies enhances both Black Diaspora Studies and Queer Studies.

Requirements & Assignments1. Attendance: Each student is required to attend every class session. Unexcused absences are unacceptable. More than one unexcused absence during the term will result in a reduction of the overall course grade for each session missed (AA-, B+B, etc.).*Note: Laptops, mobile phones and any other portable electronic devices areNOT permitted in the classroom

2. Informed participation: Each student will complete the assigned readings and bring hardcopies of these readings to class. Students will come to class on time and prepared with questions and comments on each reading.

3. Films: As part of the course, I will screen the occasional film during our Friday sessions. Even if time does not permit us to see the film in its entirety, students are still responsible for viewing the film in full. Attendance at these film screenings is NOT optional.

4. Reading responses: One-page reading responses will be posted on Blackboard by 11:59pm on the Sunday before our first class. These responses will discuss at least two of the week’s assigned readings (one or more from Monday and one or more from Wednesday) and comment on at least one other person’s response paper from the week of your choice. Rather than summarize the readings, the responses should focus narrowly on a particular theme or guiding question. These responses will be graded on a credit/no credit basis. Students will receive no credit for late reading responses.

5. Discussion facilitation: Each student will choose two class sessions in which to lead class discussion (two students may co-facilitate together).  Facilitators are expected to draft questions for discussion based on the readings and are required to read all the response papers submitted for that week. Facilitators are not required to write response papers for that week. Students will receive a grade for these facilitations. The inclusion of course-relevant audio/visual material as a way to encourage conversation is highly encouraged.6. Final paper proposal: Each student will write a 2-3 page proposal (12pt. Times New Roman font, double spaced). This proposal will explain the thesis of the final paper and the texts the student will use to make that argument. These texts must include course related readings/films, but may also include outside resources. This proposal will be accompanied by a briefly annotated bibliography (the bibliography does NOT count toward the minimum page limit).

7. Final paper: Each student will write a 8-10 page final paper (12pt. Times New Roman font, double spaced).For the Final paper you may: Compare the lives and work of two black queer artists or intellectuals from different geographical locations. One of these subjects must have been included on the syllabus; the other may or may not have been on the syllabus. Using the works and experiences of the artists/intellectuals you have chosen, develop a theory that might enhance or challenge an idea/opinion/(theoretical/artistic) proposition addressed in class or in the course material. This comparative analysis must directly reference the course readings. Propose a comparable final project in another medium (performance, film, painting, sculpture, photography, literary text, web, etc. or using multiple media) accompanied by a written guide/script/description of at least 5 pages. Students who choose this option will be graded on the script as well as the project; the course material ought to have significantly informed both the project and the script.Note for all written assignments:

* Late papers will be penalized for every day they are late (i.e. A  A- if one day late, A  B+ if two days late, etc.). Students are required to proofread their papers prior to submission (ideally, someone else will also read the paper for grammatical/spelling/flow errors your eyes might miss). Papers that show evidence of not having been proofread will be returned and marked late. Extensions may be considered only under extenuating circumstances and in emergency situations. When possible, advance notice is encouraged and documentation will be required.

* For assistance with cultivating your ideas, outlining your written work and tips on proofreading/editing your polished writing, please make an appointment at the Undergraduate Writing Center: www.uwc.utexas.edu

* Students are expected to comply with the University of Texas at Austin’s Honor Code and its standards of academic integrity:http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/acint_student.phpIt is each student’s responsibility to become familiar with this code and these university-wide standards; ignorance will be unacceptable as an excuse for violations. All written assignments may be scanned for plagiarism.

* Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the University. To determine if you qualify, please contact the coordinating office at 471-6259 (voice), 232-2937 (video phone) or www.utexas.edu/diversity/ddce/ssd.

Course Grade PercentagesReading responses 10%Class participation/ Discussion facilitation 20%Final paper proposal 30%

Final Paper 40%

Required Texts

Brand, Dionne1996 In Another Place, Not Here. New York: Grove Press.Glave, Thomas 2008

Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from The Antilles.Durham: Duke University Press

Johnson, E. Patrick and Mae G. Henderson 2005 Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology. Durham: Duke University Press.

Murray, Stephen O. and Will Roscoe 1998 Boy-Wives and Female Husbands: Studies in African Homosexualities.New York : St. Martin’s Press.

All the above texts are available for purchase at Resistencia Books (an independent bookstore located at 1801-A South 1st Street); I highly recommend purchasing here. Check out www.resistenciabooks.com for details. These texts are also available at the Co-Op and have been put on reserve at the Perry-Castañeda Library.

Additional required readings (book chapters, articles, etc.) are also available as pdf documents on Blackboard.

Films

Camara, Mohamed 1997 Dakan [Destiny]. San Francisco: California Newsreel.

Frilot, Shari1995 Black Nations/Queer Nations: Lesbian and Gay Sexualities in the AfricanDiaspora. New York: Third World Newsreel

Lescot, Anne and Laurence Magloire 2002 Des Hommes et des Dieux [Of Men and Gods]. Watertown: Documentary Educational Resources.

Maccarone, Angelina and Fatimah El-Tayeb 1997 Alles Wird Gut [Everything Will Be Fine].

Most of the above films are available on reserve at the Fine Arts Library.

 

Other Required Reading Text Citations

Part I: The Americas

Aaab-Richards, Dirg et al.1987

Tongues Untied. London: Gay Men’s Press.

Beam, Joseph1986 In the Life: a Black Gay Anthology. Boston: Alyson Publications.

Hemphill, Essex 1991 Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men. Boston: AlysonPublications.

James, G. Winston and Lisa C. Moore 2006 Spirited: Affirming the Soul and Black Gay/Lesbian Identity. WashingtonD.C.: RedBone Press.

Johnson, E. Patrick 2008 Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South. Chapel Hill: University of NorthCarolina Press.

Lorde, Audre 1984 Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Trumansburg: Crossing Press.1997

The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde. New York: Norton.McKinley, Catherine E. and L. Joyce DeLaney1995 Afrekete: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Lesbian Writings. New York: Anchor Books.

Part II: Europe

Fani-Kayode and Alex Hirst 1996 Rotimi Fani-Kayode & Alex Hirst. Paris: Revue Noire.

Mercer, Kobena 1994 Welcome to the Jungle: New Positions in Black Cultural Studies. New York:Routledge.

Squiers, Carol 1999 Over Exposed: Essays on Contemporary Photography. New York: NewPress.

Wekker, Gloria 2006 The Politics of Passion: Women’s Sexual Culture in the Afro-Surinamese Diaspora. New York: Columbia University Press.

Part III: Africa

Muholi, Zanele 2010 Faces and Phases. Munich: Prestel.

Nkabinde, Nkunzi Zandile 2008 Black Bull: Ancestors and Me, My Life as a Lesbian Sangoma. Johannesburg: Jacana.

Nyeck, S.N. and Unoma Azuah 2008 Outliers, Vol.1 No.1. New York: International Resource Network - The Centerfor Lesbian and Gay Studies, City University of New York.

Part IV: The Caribbean

Brand, Dionne 1990 No Language Is Neutral. Toronto: M&S.

Elwin, Rosamund 1997 Tongues on Fire: Caribbean Lesbian Lives and Stories. Toronto: Women’sPress.

Wright, Michelle M. and Antje Schuhmann 2007 Blackness and Sexualities. Forum for European Contributions in African American Studies (FORECAAST). Berlin: Verlag.

Grading Schema(informed by “Grading Standards II” by Maxine Rodburg of the Harvard Writing Center)

The following are the standards I adhere to when I grade essays. Pluses and minuses represent shades of difference, as do split grades (e.g. B-/C+). I assign grades on the evidence of the essay submitted, not on effort or time spent.

A: An excellent piece of writing (this is not the same as perfect). This is an ambitious, perceptive essay that grapples with interesting, complex ideas, responds discerningly to counter-arguments, and explores well-chosen evidence revealingly. The discussion enhances— rather than underscores— the reader’s and writer’s knowledge (it doesn’t simply repeat what has been discussed in class). There is a context for all the ideas; someone outside the class would be enriched, not confused, by reading the essay. Its beginning opens up— rather than flatly announces— its thesis. Its end is something more than a summary. The language is clean, precise, often elegant. As a reader I feel surprised, delighted, changed. There’s something new here for me, something only the essay’s writer could have written and explored in this particular way. The writer’s stake in the material is obvious.

B: This is a piece of writing that reaches high and achieves many of its aims. The ideas are solid and progressively explored but some thin patches require more analysis and/or some stray thoughts do not quite fit together well. The language is generally clear and precise but occasionally not. The evidence is relevant, but there may be too little. The context for the evidence may not be sufficiently explored, so that I have to make some of the connections that the writer should have made clear for me.OR This is a piece of writing that does not reach as high than an ‘A’ essay, but thoroughly achieves its aims. This is a solid essay whose reasoning and argument may nonetheless be rather routine— in this case the limitation is conceptual.

C: This is a piece of writing that has real problems in one of these areas: 1) conception (there is at least one main idea but it is obscure and hard to get to); 2) structure (the logic behind the ordering of the text is far from clear); 3) use of evidence (there is no evidence presented or that which is provided is weak and/or the connections among the ideas are unclear or without context; the text is plagued by generalizations and absent substantial proof); 4) language (the writing is awkward and generally stands in the way of comprehension). Overall, the essay may be repetitive, poorly organized, and/or superficial in its treatment of the subject matter. In addition, punctuation, spelling, grammar, citations, and transitions may be problems as well.OR This is an essay that largely summarizes any given text or other work (of art or analysis), but is written without too many major problemsOR This is an essay that is chiefly a personal reaction to something. This is perhaps well written, but there is scant engagement with course content or other scholarly material; it is mostly opinion.

D: This is an essay that demonstrates very little effort to grapple seriously with the ideas it hopes to explore.OR This is a piece of writing that is extremely problematic in many of the areas mentioned above: conception, structure, use of evidence, language, etc.OR This is writing that does not come close to meeting the expectations of the assignment.

F: This is a piece of writing that should most definitely be re-conceptualized and revised drastically so that it can be re-submitted if that option is available.

Grading ScaleA+ 100A 99 – 95A- 94 – 90B+ 89 – 85B 84 – 80B- 79 – 75C+ 74 – 70C 69 – 65C- 64 – 60D+ 59 – 55D 58 – 54D- 57 – 53F 52 or less

AFR 372G • Sex & Power In Afr Diaspora

30430 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 306
(also listed as ANT 324L, WGS 340 )
show description

This multi-disciplinary course explores various experiences and theories of sex/intimacy/desire alongside intellectual and artistic engagements with power hierarchies and spirituality across black communities within and beyond the borders of the United States. We will consider the concept of “erotic subjectivity” from various theoretical and methodological angles principally within African Diasporic contexts.

 

Texts:

 

Alexander, M. Jacqui

    2005    Pedagogies of Crossing: Meditations on Feminism, Sexual Politics,

        Memory and the Sacred. Durham: Duke University Press.

Allen, Jafari

    2011    ¡Venceremos? The Erotics of Black Self-making in Cuba. Durham: Duke

        University Press.

Holland, Sharon P.

    2012    The Erotic Life of Racism. Durham: Duke University Press.

Hopkinson, Nalo

    2003    The Salt Roads. New York: Warner Books.

Murphy, Joseph and Mei-Mei Sanford

    2001    Osun Across the Waters: A Yoruba Goddess in Africa and the Americas.

        Bloomington: University of Indiana Press.

Tinsley, Omise’eke

    2010    Thiefing Sugar: Eroticism Between Women in Caribbean Literature. Durham:

        Duke University Press.

 

Grading:

Attendance                                                                              10%

Two class discussion facilitations                                                   20%

Five one-pg response papers                                                        30%

2 Quizzes                                                                                10%

Final paper                                                                              30%

 

 

 

AFR 388 • Erotic Subjectiv Afr Diaspora

30505 • Spring 2013
Meets W 300pm-600pm BUR 128
(also listed as ANT 391, WGS 393 )
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Erotic Subjectivity: Spirit, Power, Sex and Selfhood in the African Diaspora   This multi-disciplinary course explores various notions of black ‘selfhood’ through the lens of the erotic. We will consider sex/intimacy/desire alongside political and spiritual consciousness in our assessment of the relationship between subjectivity and Eros.   (While the course is being offered at the graduate level, advanced undergraduates may be admitted at the discretion of the instructor.)   *Please Note: This course deals with aspects of gender and sexuality in a candid and explicit manner at times. Students who do not feel comfortable with this approach should not take the course. If you choose to take this course, you have agreed to respect our classroom as a safe space. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, or- of course- ‘erotophobia’ of any sort will not be tolerated.

AFR 317E • Black Queer Diaspora Aesthet

30220 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm GAR 1.134
(also listed as ANT 310L, WGS 301 )
show description

This interdisciplinary course explores over two decades of work produced by and about queer subjects of African descent throughout the circum-Atlantic world. While providing an introduction to various artists and intellectuals of the black queer diaspora, this seminar examines the distinct socio-cultural, historical and geographical contexts in which same-sex desire and gender variance are embraced or contested in African diasporic communities. We will interrogate the transnational and transcultural mobility of specific aesthetics as well as racial, gender, and sexual identity categories more broadly. Our aim is to use artisitic experession to highlight the dynamic relationship between African Diaspora Studies and Queer Studies.

TEXTS:

Brand, Dionne. In Another Place, Not Here, New York: Grove Press, 1996

Glave, Thomas. Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from The Antilles, Durham: Duke University Press, 2008

Johnson, E. Patrick and Mae G. Henderson, Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology, Durham: Duke University Press, 2005

Morgan, Ruth and Saskia Wieringa. Tommy Boys, Lesbian Men, and Ancestral Wives: Female Same-Sex Practicies in Africa, Johannesburg: Jacana Media, 2005.

Murray, Stephen O. and Will Roscoe. Boy-Wives and Female Husbands: Studies in African Homosexualities, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998.

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