Black Studies News & Upcoming Events

January 21st – May 16th:

AGBS Spring 2020 Exhibitions: “In Their Own Form” 

Christian Green Gallery (201 E. 21st Street) and The Idea Lab (210 W. 24th Street)

In Their Own Form presents a collection of works that illuminate blackness as distinct from the oppression, racism, and stereotypes ever-present in Western cultures—mediated through Afrofuturist themes, including time travel and escapism. Through Afrofuturism—a cross-disciplinary genre that combines science fiction, Afrocentrism, fantasy, technology, and non-Western mythologies—the photographs and videos presented here deploy an intellectual and artistic strategy to reimagine and repurpose the fraught past, present, and future of the transnational black experience.

Curated by Sheridan Tucker Anderson, Former Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Arts at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago

January 30 – February 2nd

Growing Our Roots: The Inaugural African American Genealogy Conference

This is a FREE 4-day conference for scholars, students, genealogy historians and gurus where they will focus on African American history, research, and discovery, hosted in the capital of Texas by the Austin History Center, Austin Public Library. Program keynote speakers include Dr. Edmund T. Gordon, Vice-Provost of Diversity and Founding Chair of African and African Diaspora Studies at UT Austin and internationally acclaimed photographer Kris Graves.

February 4th:

“Sisters in the Struggle” Screening & Talk, Film Platform Series

5:30pm-7:30 pm, Perry-Castañeda Library, 101 E 21st St, Austin, TX 78712

In conjunction with Black History Month and the Exploring Black Futures book display on PCL’s 3rd floor, UT Libraries is hosting a film screening and faculty talk on the documentary Sisters in the Struggle. This documentary focuses on historical issues of discrimination against the black community with an emphasis on political activism and social justice. Dr. Bedour Alagraa from the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies will discuss the trajectory from the activism of black women in the past and present to black visions of the future.

February 5th:

Ethnic Studies Faculty on “Cancel Culture” in Higher Ed

5pm – 6:30pm, Gordon-White Building (210 W 24th St, Austin, Texas 78705), Multi-Purpose Room 2.206

Navigating “cancel culture” is one thing on Twitter, but proves to be even more treacherous terrain in the college classroom, for both students and faculty.  We often don’t hear from faculty on the matter until they’re in defense mode, but they know, more than most, that it’s a reality of academic life in 2020 that’s impossible to ignore, whether you’ve been cancelled or not. So how exactly do professors navigate around (or through) “cancel culture?” We’ll hear straight from the source, as a panel of faculty from both Latino Studies and Black Studies weigh in on the topic, and additionally consider the role ethnic studies plays and the responsibility we have to control it.  Panelists included Dr. Laura Gutierrez (MALS), Dr. Lilia Rosas (MALS), Dr. Traci-Ann Wint (AADS), and Dr. Bedour Alagraa (AADS).

February 6th:

Controversy & Conversation Film Screening: “I Am Not Your Negro” 

6:30pm – 9pm, Terrazas Branch, Austin Public Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX 78702

Directed by Raoul Peck and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, I am Not Your Negro was nominated for Best Documentary Feature in 2017.  The screening will begin at 6:30 PM, to be followed by a dialogue led by Jennifer Wilks, PhD, Associate Professor in English and in African and African Diaspora Studies and affiliate of the Program in Comparative Literature at UT Austin.

February 10th:

AGBS: “Supper Club” Book-Signing & Artist Talk w/ Elia Alba

3:30pm – 5pm, Christian Green Gallery (201 E 21st St, Austin, Texas 78705)

Join the Art Galleries at Black Studies (AGBS) for an artist talk and book-signing featuring Elia Alba. Alba will be in conversation with Dr. Cherise Smith, Executive Director of AGBS, about herlatest book, “The Supper Club.”About the bookElia Alba began photographing artists like LaToya Ruby Frazier and Mickalene Thomas in 2012. To give voice to her community, Alba hosted dinners for US-based artists of color, with themes like Baltimore, Race, and Identity (in honor of Freddy Gray) and Racial Subjugation in Latin America. Her photographic series “The Supper Club” captures portraits and conversations from these socially engaged dinners, which addressed issues ranging from sanctuary, policing, and post-black identity to the intersectional entanglements of gender, race, and privilege. Inspired by Vanity Fair’s “Hollywood Issue,” Alba’s portraits capture each artist’s unique voice, transforming them into iconic images.

February 11th:

Racial Geography Tour Launch

3pm, Gordon-White Building (210 W 24th St, Austin, Texas 78705), Multi-Purpose Room 2.206

Join us for the launch event of the new virtual Racial Geography Tour, followed by a conversation with creator Dr. Edmund T. Gordon (AADS Founding Chair and Vice Provost for Diversity) and Dr. Kevin Foster (AADS Professor).Through interactive videos, photos and essays, individuals can take a self-guided exploration across The Forty Acres with Dr. Edmund T. Gordon. Please visit to learn more about how ideas of race and gender are sedimented in the University of Texas at Austin architecture, landscape, and layout of the campus.

Author Speaking and Signing: Helena Woodard (Slave Sites on Display) 

7pm, BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd  Austin, TX 78703

February 12th:

AADS Queer Studies Lecture Series

“I Think You Changed the World: Audre Lorde, Pat Parker, and the Queer Poetics of Black Feminist Belonging” by Dr. Mecca Jamilah Sullivan (Bryn Mawr )

12pm – 2pm, Gordon-White Building (210 W 24th St, Austin, Texas 78705), Multi-Purpose Room 2.206

February 13th:

This Southwest Moment Speakers Series: “School Closures and Black Depopulation in Austin, Texas” 

Brazos Hall, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX

Texas State University is hosting IUPRA Research Associate Ricardo Lowe, MS for their This Southwest Moment Speakers Series. Ricardo will discuss the role of local public policy –particularly, school closing decisions –in displacing Austin African Americans from their homes and neighborhoods. Click here for more details.

February 13th – 29th

Ground Floor Theatre presents Single Black Female

Single Black Female is a two-woman show with rapid-fire comic vignettes that explore the lives of thirty-something African American middle-class women in urban America as they search for love, clothes, and dignity in a world that fails to recognize them amongst a parade of stereotypical images. Written by Dr. Lisa B. Thompson (AADS Professor) and directed by Matrex Kilgore.

Purchase tickets:

February 19th:

W.E.B. DuBois Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture: Dr. Edmund W. Gordon 

2:30pm – 4pm, Gordon-White Building (210 W 24th St, Austin, Texas 78705), Multi-Purpose Room 2.206


Black Studies is excited to welcome Dr. Edmund W. Gordon, the 2019-20 W.E.B. Du Bois Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Black Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, back to campus to deliver his second lecture of the appointment, in conversation with Dr. Kevin Cokley, Director, Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis and College of Education and African and African Diaspora Studies Professor. The lecture is titled, Resource Distribution and the Academic Achievement Gap. Light refreshments will be provided.

Blackademics TV: Season 8 Recording 

6:30pm, KLRU Studio 6A, 2504 Whitis Ave B, Austin, Texas 78705


Please join Austin PBS for this year’s taping of Blackademics TV in the legendary Austin PBS Studio 6A. We’ll be featuring presenters from a wide range of academic, entrepreneurial and creative backgrounds. This year’s talks address a range of burning issues facing the Black community and the nation today, including homelessness, creating healthy environments for students and integrity in government.

February 20th:

Book Talk: Race for Profit by Dr. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (Princeton University)  

4pm, Gordon-White Building (210 W. 24th St, Austin, Texas 78705), Multi-Purpose Room 2.206

February 20th – 21st:

2020 Lozano Long Conference: “Black Women’s Intellectual Contributions in the Americas” 

Conference Organizers: Drs. Christen Smith, Lorraine Leu, and Daina Ramey Berry

SRH 1, Second-Floor Conference Room , LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections, 2300 Red River Street, Austin, TX 78713

Black women from Latin America have made significant theoretical and philosophical interventions across the region from the Conquest period forward. Employing a multi-disciplinary, transnational perspective, this conference will rethink the role that Black women’s thought and praxis have played in defining the socio-political and cultural landscape of the Americas for the past four hundred years, centering the experiences of Black women in Latin America and the movement of Black women throughout the Americas: migration, transit, and cultural flows. In this way, this conference will critically engage with Black women’s transnationalism, movement, cosmopolitanism, and agency through migration and language. By locating Black women as agents of theory, movement, politics, and culture, this two-day conversation will re-cast Black women as theorizers and transnational agents of change.

February 21st:

Author Speaking and Signing: Daina Ramey Berry (A Black Women’s History of the United States) 

7pm, BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd  Austin, TX 78703

February 26th:

Warfield Center Diaspora Talk Series: William Maxwell (Washington University in St. Louis) 

3pm – 5pm, Patton Hall (RLP) 1.302E, 305 E. 23rd St, Austin, TX 78712

Sexism/Cinema Film Series: Set it Off

6:45pm – 9pm, Alamo Drafthouse – Mueller, 1911 Aldrich St. #120, Austin, TX 78723

Purchase tickets:

The Sexism in Cinema series was founded at Texas Tech University with the Alamo Drafthouse Lubbock to host public discussions of films from an intersectional feminist perspective. We recognize the significant role media plays in shaping cultural attitudes, beliefs, and social scripts with regard to gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, nationalities, and socio-economic status, and we provide a fun and inviting atmosphere in which to discuss complicated issues. With this screening of Set it Off, we are bringing Sexism in Cinema to Austin, and we will have a panel of experts from the University of Texas leading the discussion after the film. Moderated by Dr. Christen Smith (AAD Professor and Director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies).