Department of Gender and Race Studies

African American studies at The University of Alabama has a three-fold objective: to examine, produce, and teach research and scholarship that illuminate the complexity of race and African American social, literary, performative, political, and economic dimensions; to reflect, offer, and contribute multiple perspectives and voices to the intellectual communities of Alabama as well as national and international communities; and to engage and serve African American communities regarding racial imperatives on cultural, social, political, and economic issues.

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The Department of Gender and Race Studies offers the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in African American studies as well as minors in African American studies and in Women's Studies. The major and minor in African American studies are interdisciplinary and address the history, politics, and culture of the African American community, as an issue of democracy and in a transnational perspective. The courses in the major and minor encourage students to use a variety of approaches to study the complex issues that arise in connection to the lives of African Americans. The Women's Studies minor is also interdisciplinary and is designed to provide knowledge of the roles and status of women in historical and contemporary society, to conduct and encourage research and writing by and about women, and to offer skills and information for increasing employment opportunities for women.


  • McKnight, Utz
Associate professor
  • Purvis, Jennifer
Assistant professors
  • Fishel, Stefanie
  • Green, Hilary
  • Jones, Jennifer
  • Shoaff, Jennifer
  • Austin, Gregory
  • Black, Juan
  • Foster, Bill
  • Franklin, Dot
  • McKnight, Elizabeth


“Call and Response”

This course is designed to generate student interest and excitement in African American Studies by giving students opportunities to explore facets of African American cultural experiences. Following an interdisciplinary approach, this course will allow students to discover the rich diversity of African American cultural practices such as music, visual arts, literature, storytelling, dance, and religious practice. This course allows students at UA and UAB to experience the expertise of faculty from both institutions. It is also web-enhanced and has components on both UA’s and UAB’s BlackBoard systems for which UA and UAB students will access.

Intro To Women Studies

An interdisciplinary course examining the roles of women in patriarchal society, with emphasis on how factors such as race, class, gender, and sexuality contribute to the oppression of women and ways they can be challenged through feminist critical practices.


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