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, Sociology, 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. The Sociology minor is designed to provide students with a detailed knowledge of the complex historical and contemporary social conditions that determine how we live together in a society. Courses consider the social facts of human existence, addressing issues such as housing, education, employment, and health.


  • McKnight, Utz
Associate professors
  • Green, Hilary
  • Purvis, Jennifer
Assistant professors
  • Gallagher, Megan
  • Sorentino, Sara-Maria
  • Austin, Gregory
  • Black, Juan
  • Foster, Bill
  • Franklin, Dot
  • McKnight, Elizabeth


Intro African Amer Study

A basic outline of the diversity and complexity of the African-American experience in the United States: the early academic and social concerns of Black Studies advocates; the changes in the field's objectives that arise from its connections to contemporary social movements for Black Power, women's liberation and multiculturalism; and its major theoretical and critical debates.

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Intro To Sociology

Introduction to the scientific study of human social behavior.

Social and Behavioral Sciences
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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