(Sept. 15, 2014) -- Over the last three decades, the number of open faculty positions for all ranks in African-American literary studies has seen a drastic decline, down to single-digit figures. To help combat the downward spiral, The University of Texas at San Antonio established the African American Literatures and Cultures Institute (AALCI) in 2010 to try to increase the number of students pursuing academic careers in English and African-American literary studies.
The AALCI was created at the recommendation of an advisory council comprised of 10 of the nation's leading African-American literary scholars. Each year, UTSA selects six to eight top applicants from around the country to participate in the three-week institute. It provides them with $2,000 research stipends, rigorous mentoring, innovative academic training and encouragement to pursue academic careers in English and African American literary studies.
Five years into the program, 16 of the AALCI's 37 student fellows, or 43 percent, will be in graduate school or will have already earned a graduate degree.
AALCI Fellow statistics:
This summer the curriculum was once again taught by Howard Rambsy II, an expert in African-American studies and former director of the Black Studies program at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Ill. Rambsy also assisted students with writing samples for graduate school applications, and Adam Johnson of UTSA led the students in preparation for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
Participants discussed the works of African American scholars and met various authors, art collectors and educators to assist them in making their way through the graduate school processes.
One of this year's fellows was Josalynn Smith, a 20-year-old junior from Washington University in St. Louis. Her research project focused on African-American women who blog on social media.
"I looked at a range of blogs from political to pop culture and found that the women were saying some really cutting edge things that they might not be able to say in literature. I am hypothesizing that these works will one day have as much merit as published works that appear online," said Smith.
Smith enjoyed collaborating with the AALCI's students and making connections that could prove to be beneficial in the future.
The final week of the program, Smith and her peers traveled to New York City and visited several sites including the Brooklyn Museum, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem and the African Burial Ground in downtown Manhattan.
"It was wonderful to see what literary pieces attracted the students, pushed their thinking and helped them to grow in a robust way," said Joycelyn Moody, UTSA Sue E. Denman Distinguished Chair in American Literature and AALCI founder.Read the San Antonio Express-News feature story on the AALCI.
Join Rowdy Crew near the Roadrunner Statue for food, games and information to get hyped for the game. Some UTSA football players also plan to stop by.
Central Plaza, Main Campus
Interested in becoming a dietitian? Come and speak to our faculty! Bring questions, hear them speak, and obtain information. Event is free.
Main Building (MB 2.220), Main Campus
Be ready to laughs during this entertaining evening at the Homecoming Comedy Show! Free with a UTSA Student ID.
H-E-B University Center Ballrooms (HUC 1.104 and HUC 1.106), Main Campus
Organizations participating in the golf cart parade will be creatively decorating their carts in the 2017 UTSA Homecoming theme "Spirit, Tradition, and Pride".
University Center Lawn, Main Campus
As he wrote about in his book, Kill It To Save It: An Autopsy of Capitalism's Triumph Over Democracy, Corey Dolgon will speak about what made Donald Trump the preferred choice for many voters and shows how policy is crafted, marketed and sold or rejected.
Buena Vista Street Building, Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BVB 1.328), Downtown Campus
The UTSA African American Studies Program is proud to present Dr. Rupert Evans, a Harvard Macy Scholar and the immediate past President of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management.
Main Building (MB 0.208), Main Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA faculty and staff to "Tacos With Taylor." Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President at any one of these casual meet and greets.
Frio Street Building, Food Court Commons Area, Downtown Campus
Celebrate 40 years of BestFest, an annual event hosted by Roadrunner Productions as a part of UTSA Homecoming festivities. The event will feature a carnival, food and drink booths, a golf cart parade, firework and live music from Anthem.
Brackenridge Lot 1, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.