(David) Todd Lawrence  portrait

(David) Todd Lawrence

Associate Professor of English / Graduate Program Director
Degree
Ph.D., University of Missouri
M.A., Creighton University
B.A., Rockhurst University
At St. Thomas since 2003
Office
JRC 335
Hours
(Spring 2020) MWF 10:00-10:45am and 12:00-1:00pm; also by appointment
Phone
(651) 962-5625
CV
I teach African American literature and culture, folklore studies, and cultural studies. My research and teaching areas include the Black Arts Movement, James Baldwin, racial passing, black speculative writing, and ethnographic writing. My work straddles a number of areas, but generally sits at the intersection of identity, narrative, community, and culture. Recent work I’ve done includes a chapter on police incident videos, social media, and black counter-narratives; as well as a new book – When They Blew the Levee – an ethnographic study done in collaboration with former residents of Pinhook, Missouri, an African American town destroyed when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intentionally breached the Birds Point levee during the Great Mississippi River Flood of 2011. This book, co-authored with Elaine Lawless, focuses on the persistence of community in the face of disaster and counter narratives of environmental and social justice

 

Spring 2020 Courses

Spring 2020 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ENGL 337 - L01 Afrofuturism & Social Justice M - W - F - - 1055 - 1200 OEC 210

Days of Week:

M - W - F - -

Time of Day:

1055 - 1200

Location:

OEC 210

Course Registration Number:

21963 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

David T. Lawrence

To create just, equitable worlds, we must first imagine them. In this course, we will consider Afrofuturism, a cultural aesthetic that describes the interface between the African diaspora and technology, but we will also explore the powerful potential of the black visionary imagination to reclaim black histories and conjure alternative black futures. Genres closely related to Afrofuturism such as black speculative writing, African futurism, and visionary fiction all engage in a kind of radical imagining which can serve as the foundation for transformative action. Considering these in the course, students will engage the intersection of the black imagination and social change. How can imagining fictive worlds help us to transform the one we currently live in? How can speculative creativity enable possibilities for social justice? Writers, artists, and thinkers will include: Walidah Imarisha, Adriene Marie Brown, Nnedi Okorafor, N.K. Jemison, Octavia Butler, Colson Whitehead, Sun Ra, Wangechi Mutu, and Samuel Delany among others. This course satisfies both the core Literature and Writing requirement for students who started that requirement with an ENGL 201-204 class and the core Human Diversity requirement. It also satisfies an allied requirement for select business majors, a Diversity Literature distribution requirement for English majors, and the WAC Writing to Learn requirement. Prerequisites: ENGL 201, 202, 203, or 204.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

Summer 2020 Courses

Summer 2020 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Fall 2020 Courses

Fall 2020 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
AMCD 200 - L01 American Culture:Power/Identit M - W - - - - 1335 - 1510 JRC 126

Days of Week:

M - W - - - -

Time of Day:

1335 - 1510

Location:

JRC 126

Course Registration Number:

46760 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

David T. Lawrence

In ACST 200, students learn about the historical and theoretical foundations of Cultural Studies as an academic discipline and use cultural theory to analyze a variety of cultural products and representations. In this course, students look specifically at dominant and subversive constructions of gender, race, ethnicity, national and sexual identities, and how these constructions are deployed through cultural practices and productions such as sports, film and television, folklore and popular culture, youth subcultures, music, and so on. For example, the course may contain units on "nation" and the creation of American mythologies; the process of hero-making in American history; stereotypes and the representation of race and ethnicity in television and film; representations of gender and sexuality in advertising; as well as a section on American music from jazz, blues, folk and roots music, to rock and roll, punk, and hip-hop. This course fulfills the Human Diversity requirement in the core curriculum.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 202 - W05 Reading Black Resistance M - W - F - - 1055 - 1200 JRC 247

Days of Week:

M - W - F - -

Time of Day:

1055 - 1200

Location:

JRC 247

Course Registration Number:

46420 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

David C. Williard, David T. Lawrence

This course, team-taught by a historian and a literary scholar, focuses on the long struggle of African Americans for justice and equality in the U.S. Analyzing literary and historical texts, students in this course will learn about and engage in research on African American history and culture. Utilizing historical, literary, and cultural approaches, this interdisciplinary course will immerse students into an exploration of the African American experience from multiple perspectives using dual disciplinary frameworks. For example, students may study Richard Wright’s NATIVE SON, but would read the text within the historical and cultural framework of the Great Migration, connecting Wright’s text not just to other literary texts, but situating it within an historical and cultural context vital to the novel’s creation and essential for its interpretation. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing. This course satisfies the WAC Writing Intensive requirement and an Integration in the Humanities requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
HIST 292 - W01 Topics: Reading Black Resist M - W - F - - 1055 - 1200 JRC 247

Days of Week:

M - W - F - -

Time of Day:

1055 - 1200

Location:

JRC 247

Course Registration Number:

46478 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

David C. Williard, David T. Lawrence

This course, team-taught by a historian and a literary scholar, focuses on the long struggle of African Americans for justice and equality in the U.S. Analyzing literary and historical texts, students in this course will learn about and engage in research on African American history and culture. Utilizing historical, literary, and cultural approaches, this interdisciplinary course will immerse students into an exploration of the African American experience from multiple perspectives using dual disciplinary frameworks. For example, students may study Richard Wright’s NATIVE SON, but would read the text within the historical and cultural framework of the Great Migration, connecting Wright’s text not just to other literary texts, but situating it within an historical and cultural context vital to the novel’s creation and essential for its interpretation. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing. This course satisfies the Writing Across the Curriculum Writing Intensive requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)