Founding Members (in alphabetical order):
The current moment both challenges and affords opportunity to do our best thinking and refine our practices related to anti-black racism, and how higher education should transform so as to better address its race related short-comings. African and African American Studies is a vital dimension of that conversation in that it offers creative curriculum, innovative research, and programming that engage the hard questions concerning issues of race and offer productive modes of thought and practice that enhance the transformative potential of higher education. This has been the case since the early inception of African Studies and African American Studies, and it remains a powerful intervention today.
In the context of Texas, the Houston area offers significant potential for productive collaboration through the presence of four highly regarded institutions. And while each institution has done important work, the synergy possible through a partnership between these four universities serves only to expand the range of conversation partners, collaborators and impact of AAAS.
The Southeastern Texas African and African American Studies Consortium is committed to fostering outward facing curriculum, research, and programming that expands and deepens attention to the thoughts and practices of people of African descent.
The Southeastern Texas African and African American Studies Consortium supports its mission through careful and creative attention to, and implementation of, the following goals in ways that advance the reach and impact of AAAS on and beyond our university campuses:
- Create opportunities for curricular exchange across the represented campuses;
- Foster the development of research synergy across our campuses, and encourage the development of outlets for this scholarship (e.g., shared conferences and co-authored/co-edited publications);
- Develop innovative programming that draws on the expertise and networks represented by faculty on the various campuses;
- Collaborate on foundation support through grant writing necessary to enrich collaboration across our campuses;
- Make the intellectual energy and output of Southeastern Texas related to AAAS as well known as the intellectual geography of locations such as North Carolina’s “Research Triangle.”
In relationship to the goals outlined above, we begin with the following objectives as concrete markers of collaboration and advancement of AAAS in the Southeastern region of Texas. In light of current circumstances related to COVID, we assume activities will take place online through Spring 2022:
- Produce four co-sponsored (webinar and zoom based) events each academic year that draw on both national and local expertise;
- Arrange an annual conference that rotates between the schools. The conference would highlight research being done on the four campuses by students and faculty;
- Arrange two colloquium meetings per year highlighting AAAS research taking place on our various campuses—focused on faculty and students from the four institutions—and dealing with research projects under development;
- Arrange guest lectures by faculty from the other institutions as part of the syllabi for our respective required AAAS courses related to our minor/major programs.
- Open particularly relevant meetings/units of courses to student observers from other campuses;
- Sponsor a “Best Undergraduate AAAS Paper” and “Best Graduate Student AAAS Paper” prize;
- Determine and implement a financial contribution from each partner school to support objectives and goals;
- Host an annual (virtual) Spring “Meet and Greet” event—beginning Spring 2021 as the official launch of the Consortium;
- Meet annually with representative development officers from each institution to organize external funding opportunities.
The Southeastern Texas AAAS Consortium will have as its organizational structure a Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will be composed of three representatives from each of the four campus. The representatives should include: (1) the program/center coordinator or director; (2) the coordinator of undergraduate curriculum related to AAAS on the campus; (3) a member of the faculty representing the programmatic interests of the campus.
The Steering Committee will meet four times each academic year, and each university will be responsible for chairing one of these meetings. And, each campus will decide the lead-person for the meeting it is responsible for chairing/hosting. Decisions related to the Consortium will be reached based on consensus. Each member of the Steering Committee will serve for a term of three years, renewable once.