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Liberal Arts Honors

LAH 102H • The Idea Of The Liberal Arts

29825 • Carver, Larry
Meets M 4:00PM-5:30PM WEL 2.246
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Restricted to students in the Freshman Honors Program in the College of Liberal Arts. An overview of the liberal arts disciplines.

Offered on the pass/fail basis only.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

29830 • Lang, Elon
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GAR 0.128
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“Reacting to the Past” seeks to introduce students to major philosophical ideas and texts. Because ‘compulsory learning never sticks in the mind,’ as Plato noted, this course introduces these major philosophical concepts with role-­‐playing games, letting the students re-­‐create the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance.  During this semester, students will play three role-­‐playing games: “Democracy at the Threshold:  Athens in 403 B.C.;” “Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-­‐li Emperor, 1587 A.D.;” and “Rousseau, Burke, and the Revolution in France, 1791.”   

In these games, students will be assigned different character roles, including some prominent historical figures and some fictional characters typical of their age and social positions, all derived from the historical setting. Each role is defined largely by its game objective, which corresponds to a political position in a country during a time of crisis. In the course of the semester, each student will play three or more roles, so the student who begins the semester  as a radical may end it as a conservative. Students must determine on their own how best to achieve their victory objectives, drawing upon the course texts for intellectual guidance, as well as strategic advice from the instructor, the preceptor, and each other. 




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LAH 350 • Amer Lit/Cul Of Late 1960s-Hon

29845 • Gorges, Marshall
Meets MW 12:30PM-2:00PM CRD 007B
(also listed as AMS 321)
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American Literature and Culture of the Late 1960s

Todd Gitlin, respected sociologist and writer, summarized the decade of the 1960s as “Years of Hope, Days of Rage.”  In this course we will explore this hope/rage dichotomy and examine the late 1960s U.S. cultural and social milieu through the prism of American literature, film and popular music produced primarily in 1967, 1968 and 1969. The course will analyze subjects that polarized Americans in the late 60s and will consider how, despite the lapse of nearly 50 years, our society continues with the struggle to reconcile many of these same issues today.

We will read a wide range of literature published in the late 60s including new journalism, essays, novels, autobiographies, short stories, drama and poetry. Throughout the semester we will screen a variety of Hollywood produced movies, in addition to watching shorter documentary films produced in 1968-69 by the Newsreel Film Collective. Two weeks of the semester will be devoted to listening critically to popular music of the era. One class meeting will feature a guest speaker who is a nationally recognized authority on the 60s decade, and another class meeting will include a visit to a campus museum to view late 1960s archival material.

The course will cover the following topics—the counterculture, the Vietnam War, youth protest, racism in the South, and the Black Power/Black Arts Movement.


  • Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968) ISBN-10: 031242759X, ISBN-13: 978-0-312-42759-7
  • Robert Stone, Dog Soldiers (1974) ISBN-10: 0395860253, ISBN-13: 978-0395860250
  • Norman Mailer, Miami and the Siege of Chicago (1968) ISBN-10: 1590172965, ISBN-13: 978-1590172964
  • Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi (1968) ISBN-10: 0440314887, ISBN-13: 978-0-440-31488-2
  • Eldrige Cleaver, Soul on Ice (1968) ISBN-10: 038533379X, ISBN-13: 978-0-385-33379-5

In addition, there is a coursepack of required materials including new journalism by Gay Talese, Joan Didion and Michael Herr; essays by Todd Gitlin, Tom Wolfe, Andrew Kopkind, Joan Didion, Reebee Garofalo, Dave Marsh, Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Larry Neal; fiction by Saul Bellow; poetry by Amiri Baraka and Don L. Lee; and dramatic plays by Jimmy Garrett and Sonia Sanchez. 


  • Easy Rider  (1969)
  • Platoon  (1986)
  • Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)
  • In the Heat of the Night (1967)
  • Medium Cool  (1969)


1.  Group presentation/group direction of a class discussion on one of the screened films   10%

2.  Three 2-3 page response papers on three of the screened course films   15%.  

3.  Class attendance, careful preparation of each class meeting's reading assignments, required attendance at four evening film screenings on campus and active participation in class discussions   20%

4.  Mid-course paper assignment of 7-8 pages   25%

5.  Final paper assignment of 9-10 pages   30%


Instructor: Marshall P. Gorges




LAH 350 • Amer Tech/Victory Cold War

29850 • Mark, Hans
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CRD 007A
(also listed as T C 325)
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Description:A good case can be made that one of the vital factors in bringing about the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the communist ideology on which it was based, was the consistent superiority of American technology for the forty-six year duration of the "Cold War". It is the purpose of this course to examine this proposition. Many of these technologies had their origins during World War II when they were developed on a "crash" basis because of the exigencies of war. The institutions that developed these technologies were then converted to new work of a military nature that turned out to be important during the Cold War. Thus, the course will start with a discussion of the situation as World War II ended in the summer of 1945.

A number of examples of American technological developments will be presented, and the effect that they had on Soviet-American relations will be evaluated. One of the first was the Berlin Airlift, which broke the Soviet blockade of the city in 1949. We astonished the Soviets with our technological capability to supply a city of three million people with aircraft alone. It was the first "peaceful victory" in the Cold War. Next was the use of U-2 aircraft to gather credible information about the deployment of Soviet missiles in Cuba. The high-resolution U-2 pictures permitted President Kennedy to persuade a skeptical public that the Soviets were indeed doing just that. The development of the technology for defense against ballistic missiles was another important element. President Reagan 's refusal to trade away the work on missile defense at the Reikjavik summit meeting with President Gorbachev in 1986 was one of the critical turning points in U.S.-Soviet relations during the Cold War. The meeting persuaded Gorbachev that we were serious, and some believe he lost his nerve at that point. Gorbachev himself has actually said so. The continuing work on cryptology and other information systems were also a decisive element in winning the Cold War. This work was an extension of what was started in World War II and profoundly influenced computer development.

Perhaps even more important, the unclassified work on information technology, transistor radios, Xerox machines, FAX machines and VCR technology made it impossible for the Soviets to operate the closed society that the communist philosophy demanded.

The lectures will be presented roughly in chronological order of events during the Cold War. There will also be some discussions of how the legacy of the Cold War affects current events.


Course packet of articles about the Cold WarSupplemental readings for term paper (guided by the professor) 


The course consists of twenty-four lecture sessions supported by video presentations. There will be a mid-term and a required term paper. The students' grades will be determined by their performance on these  assigments.

About the Professor:

Dr. Mark specializes in the study of spacecraft and aircraft design, electromagnetic rail guns, and national defense policy. He has served on the faculty of the Cockrell School of Engineering since 1988. He served as chancellor of The University of Texas System from 1984 to 1992. He previously taught at Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California at Berkeley, and Stanford University.

Dr. Mark has served as director of the NASA-Ames Research Center, Secretary of the Air Force, deputy administrator of NASA and most recently, the Director of Defense Research and Engineering. He has published more than 180 technical reports and authored or edited eight books. Dr. Mark is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is the recipient of the 1999 Joe J. King Engineering Achievement Award and the 1999 George E. Haddaway Medal for Achievement in Aviation. He holds six honorary doctorates.


LAH 350 • British Hist/Lit/Politics

29855 • Louis, William
Meets F 3:00PM-6:30PM HRC 3.204
(also listed as HIS 366N, T C 325)
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This seminar is designed as a reading course in history, literature, and politics, and as a class in professional writing.  In addition to the required reading listed below, each student draws up an individual reading list in consultation with the professor.

The scope of the seminar includes not only the literature, history, and politics of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland but also the interaction of British and other societies throughout the world.  One point of emphasis will be the history of the British Empire and Commonwealth in its Asian and African as well as early American dimensions. 

Another point will be a focus on historical and literary biography—and autobiography—for example, not only Disraeli, Virginia Woolf, T. E. Lawrence, and George Orwell but also Gandhi.

The main requirements of the course are met by students reading a book or its equivalent each week and by submitting a weekly critique of the reading.  Each of the weekly essays is circulated to all other members of the class who make annotations on style as well as substance. The class thus becomes as much a course in professional writing as one in which individual academic interests are pursued. The class also meets together with the British Studies faculty seminar at three o’clock Friday afternoons. This is a requirement of the course. The seminar upholds the principles of the Modern History Faculty at Oxford—to enhance (1) intellectual curiosity; (2) conceptual clarity; (3) flexibility, that is, the capacity to engage with alternative perspectives and new information; (4) accuracy and attention to detail; (5) critical engagement; (6) capacity for hard work; (7) enthusiasm for history, literature, and politics; and (8) historical imagination and understanding, that is the ability to speculate and compare, alongside the possession of appropriate historical knowledge and the capacity to deploy it.


The following books are required -- plus other books (one a week) to be decided upon in consultation with the instructor:

Lytton Strachey, Eminent Victorians; Hermione Lee, Virginia Woolf; Norman Davies, The Isles

Course Requirements:

Grades are determined by attendance and participation in discussion (25%) and the quality of the weekly critiques (75%). 

The class also meets together with the British Studies faculty seminar at three o’clock Friday afternoons.  This is a requirement of the course.


LAH 350 • Charles Dickens

29860 • Mackay, Carol
Meets MW 2:00PM-3:30PM CRD 007B
(also listed as E 349S)
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E 349S  l  13-Charles Dickens-HONORS

Instructor:  MacKay, C

Unique #:  35435

Semester:  Fall 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  English Honors

Computer instruction:  No

Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description:  This course will critically examine some of the key writings of Charles Dickens.  The popularity of Dickens and his novels worldwide, both in his own and in our time, is phenomenal: at the middle of the nineteenth century in Britain, he was considered "at the top of the tree," and his work continues to flourish in myriad translations and film adaptations today.  Early on, the tale of the beleaguered orphan child in a Dickens novel drew from sympathetic readers cries for reform in crowded urban environments and the workplace, whether or not the author stipulated a specific plan of action.  With each new novel, he gained new adherents, and his novels were regularly reprinted in America without any copyright payments to their author as well as freely adapted for the stage--sometimes even before they were finished (most of his work appeared in serial installments).  We will start with one of those orphan tales, namely Oliver Twist, from which Dickens performed the infamous oral reading of "Sikes and Nancy," and then proceed to one of his most challenging monthly serials, Bleak House.  Along the way, will read some of his shorter pieces, such as excerpts from his London scenes in Sketches by Boz, one or two of his Christmas books, and articles from the first journal he edited, Household Words.  But there is a darker side to the Dickens biography, both with respect to his own experience as a child laborer and his latter-day efforts to conceal the fact of having a mistress, and these elements reverberate in his most artistically-taut novel--Great Expectations--published in weekly "numbers" in his now-renamed journal, All the Year Round.  We will conclude the semester with a close study of his last--but incomplete--novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.  Besides critical and biographical readings to contextualize our reading of Dickens's primary works, we will view the BBC mini-series of Bleak House and the award-winning post-World War II David Lean films of Oliver Twist and Great Expectations.  (Note: this course will satisfy the University Writing Flag requirements.)

Primary Texts (to purchase):  Oliver Twist, Bleak House, Great Expectations, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Requirements & Grading:  2 short papers (4-5 pp. apiece), 2 oral reports, prospectus/bibliography, and seminar paper (8-10 pp.), as well as class participation/attendance.

LAH 350 • Criminal Trials In History

29865 • Levack, Brian
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM CLA 0.120
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This seminar will explore the ways  in which crime was prosecuted in Europe and America from ancient times to the present. The first three weeks  of the course will be devoted to reading about  accusatorial and inquisitorial systems  of  criminal procedure, the administration of judicial  torture, and the punishment of offenders. The second part of the course will begin with a study of trials in the ancient world (focusing on the trials of Socrates and Jesus) and then study trials for witchcraft in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, trials involving the conflict between religion and science  (Galileo  and Scopes), trials for treason, prosecutions for sexual crimes, including adultery, incest, bestiality and rape;  trials for infanticide, mainly in the eighteenth century; trials  involving issues of rae (the Scottsboro  Boys, Ossian Sweet, and 0. J Simpson), trials for Satanic ritual abuse in the 1980s, and trials for crimes against humanity in the twentieth century  (Nuremberg, Eichmann and Milosevic). The third part of the course will involve presentations of reports to the seminar on the topics of their research papers.

Required Texts:

All common  readings will  be made available  in a course  packet. Reading assignments will  average  about  150 pages per week.

Grading  Policy:

Each student will select a trial or a set of related trials, which will become the subject of a research paper. The paper will deal with the historical context of the trial, the procedures used in it, the issues that were debated, the reasons for the outcome of the trial, and its broader significance in the history of crime and the law. The first section of the paper, dealing mainly with the historical context of the trial, will be due in early October. The second part, dealing with the course of the trial, including procedures and the issues debated, will be due in early November. Students will have an opportunity to rewrite either or both of these parts of the paper in light of the instructor's comments. The entire paper, including the third and final part (dealing with the outcome and significance  of the trial), together with any rewritten versions of the first two parts, will be due on the day on which a final exam would be given. (The paper is technically a take-home final.)

Each student will also present a 1 5-minute oral report to the seminar on the topic of the research paper. These reports will be given on the last three weeks of the course. The paper, which should run between 18 and 25 pages, will count for 75% of the course grade. Class participation, including the oral report, will count for 25%. The instructor will assign plus but not minus grades in this course.

LAH 350 • Germany In The 20th Cen-Honors

29870 • Crew, David
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM GAR 2.128
(also listed as HIS 337N, REE 335)
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Description: Hitler and the Nazis have given twentieth-century Germany a world-historical significance it would otherwise have lacked. Even from our vantage point, the Nazi regime is still one of the most dramatic and destructive episodes in western European, indeed, in world history. Nazism is synonymous with terror, concentration camps and mass murder. Hitler's war claimed the lives of tens of millions and left Europe in complete ruins. The danger resides in the temptation to view all of German history from the end of the nineteenth-century onwards as merely the pre-history of Nazism, thereby failing to deal with each period on its own terms. And what do we do with the more than half a century of German history since 1945? With the defeat of  Nazi Germany in 1945, the course of German history appears to have experienced a radical break. New political and social systems were imposed upon the two halves of the divided Germany by the victors. The hostilities of the Cold War appeared to ensure a permanent division of Germany, which in 1961 assumed a compelling symbolic form, the Berlin Wall. But in 1989, the dramatic changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe revolutionized East Germany as well. The Berlin Wall came down, East and West Germany were once again joined together in one nation. What exactly this newest version of the German nation will look like in ten or twenty years is still unclear. 

In the first half of the course, we will begin by discussing the origins and effects of  World War One(1914-1918), then move on to the German Revolution(1918-1919) and the Weimar Republic(l9l8-l933), the Nazi regime (1933-1945) and the Holocaust. The questions we will focus on here are: Was Germany’s first experiment with democracy between 1918 and 1933 doomed to failure? What factors contributed to the rise of Nazism and how did the Nazi regime affect Germany and Europe? Were all vestiges of Nazism destroyed in 1945? In the second half of the semester we will discuss the history of  Germany in the Cold War(1945-1989). We will end by talking about the consequences of the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989 to the present). Here, the main questions will be: Did, West and East Germany follow fundamentally new paths? What clues can be found in the histories of the Federal Republic in West Germany and the German Democratic Republic in East Germany since 1949 that may indicate the possibilities for change in the future? How does the unification of East and West Germany affect Germany's future role in Europe and the world?



Required Reading:

Mary Fulbrook,The Divided Nation?Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front?Richard Bessel(ed.) Life in the Third Reich?Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz?Peter Schneider, The Wall Jumper?We will be working extensively with materials on this site:



(1)Two longer essay assignments (each 6-8 pages typewritten, each worth 30% of your final grade) which ask you to think critically about some of the major issues in twentieth century German history.

(2)In addition to these two longer essay assignments, you will be asked to write one shorter essay (4-5 pages typewritten—worth 20% of the final grade) on any one of the books by  Remarque, Bessel, Levi, or Schneider.

LAH 350 • Holocaust Aftereffects

29875 • Bos, Pascale
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BUR 234
(also listed as C L 323, J S 365, WGS 340)
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The events of the Holocaust changed Western culture in fundamental ways. Not only was a great part of Jewish culture in Europe destroyed, the circumstances of the Nazi genocide as a modern, highly rationalized, efficient form of mass murder which took place in the heart of civilized Europe changed the conception of the progress of modernity and the Enlightenment in fundamental ways. This course explores the historical, political, psychological, theological, and cultural fall-out, as well as literary and cinematic responses in Europe and the U.S. to these events as they first became known, and as one moved further away from it in time and came to understand its pronounced and often problematic after effects. Central to our inquiry is the realization that the events of the Holocaust have left indelible traces in European and U.S. culture and culture production, of which a closer look (first decade by decade, then moving on to a number of themes and questions), reveals profound insights into current day culture, politics, and society.

Required Texts:

Levi and Rothberg, The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings; Art Spiegelman, Maus I ⅈ Ruth Klüger, Still Alive: a Girlhood Remembered; Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz;  Elie Wiesel, Night; Additional  course packet

Films: Nuit et Brouillard; Holocaust (excerpts); Shoah (excerpts); Schindler's List (excerpt)

Grading Policy

Attendance/participation 15%

Response papers (2) 10%

Class presentation 10%

Presentation paper 15%

Midterm exam 20%

Final research paper 30% (proposal, bibliography, outline + 1st, 5% each, paper: 15%)

LAH 350 • Jewish Identities: Americas

29880 • Abzug, Robert
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.204
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Jews of the Americas comprise 47% of the world's Jewish population and, though a small percentage of the countries in which they live, have greatly influenced the shape of high and popular culture in the United States, Canada, and Latin America (including both the Spanish­ speaking countries and Brazil). In tum, their varied experiences throughout the Westem Hemisphere have challenged traditional Jewish identities in many significant ways. This course will compare and contrast aspects of Jewish presence in the Americas-literature, music, art, dance, photography, filmmaking, and journalism-in order to understand the nature and variety of cultural interactions from the nineteenth century through the present. We also examine the work of Jorge Luis Borges, the celebrated non-Jewish Argentine writer known for his highly imaginative use of Kabbalah and magical Jewish folk beliefs.

Some of the artists, writers, photographers, musicians, and filmmakers referred to in the course include: 


Leonard Cohen-songwriter, singer, poet

A. M. Klein-poet

David Cronenberg-film director Mordecai  Richler-novelist

Robbie Robertson-lead  singer of The Band and more

United States:

Leonard Bemstein--composer and conductor, classical and Broadway

Bob Dylan-singer-songwriter, poet

Steven Spielberg, film director

Regina Spektor-singer-songwriter

Helen Frankenthaler-abstract expressionist artist

Michael  Chabon-novelist

Philip Roth-novelist and short-story writer

Jon Stewart-satirical broadcast journalist

George Gershwin--composer  of both classical and popular music and more

Spanish America and Brazil:

Ilan Stavans, Tropical Synagogues: Short Stories by Jewish-Latin American  Writers(anthology)

Moacyr Scliar, selected short stories

Jorge Luis Borges, "Death and the Compass," "The Golem," "Emma Zunz" Cao Hamburger, director (The Year My Parents  Went on Vacation)

Daniel Burman, director (Waiting for  the Messiah; The Lost Embrace)

Jose Judkovski, tango DJ and historian of Jews in Argentine tango. Grading Criteria:

Required ungraded weekly joumal entries on readings and class discussions. (all joumal entries required on time with penalty for late entries)

Term paper and in-class presentation on term paper topic 40%

first exam 20%

In-class second exam 30%

Faithful attendance and participation in class discussion 10%. No final examination during finals week.


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LAH 350 • Johnson Years

29885 • Lawrence, Mark
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM LBJ 10.150
(also listed as HMN 350)
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Nearly 50 years after it ended, the presidency of Lyndon Johnson continues to inspire enormous interest and controversy. What sort of person was Johnson?

What motives underpinned his greatest achievements and biggest errors in both the domestic and foreign-policy arenas? How can we reconcile the triumphs of civil rights with the setbacks of the Vietnam War? What is LBJ's legacy, and what place does he deserve in the long flow of American history? These will be among the major questions at the heart of this seminar. In addressing them, we will read and discuss scholarship on the Johnson administration and the 1960s. We will also meet with various participants in-or close observers of-the Johnson administration who live in and around Austin.

The central course requirement will be a research paper of approximately 25 pages based on materials in the LBJ Library archive. We will devote considerable time early in the term to identifying promising topics and learning how to use the library's reading room. Over the remainder of the term, students will be expected to conduct research and, in consultation with the instructors, produce a polished scholarly paper.

Required readings will likely include Mark K. Updegrove, Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency; Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s; and Fredrik Logevall, Choosing War: The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam, as well as a packet of photocopied chapters and  documents.

LAH 350 • Leadership And Ethics

29890 • Drumwright, Minette
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BMC 3.206
(also listed as ADV 378, HMN 350)
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The central purpose of the course is to examine business and the professions in the larger context of society.  Such an examination requires consideration of a multitude of issues ranging from normative philosophical positions to practical day-to-day decision making by managers, professionals, and  leaders. The goal is to raise important questions and issues and to help students think about how to think about them. The course is neither a course in ethics nor a course in management per se, but it prompts students to approach the issues of business and society in a more integrative and systematic way. The course should be of interest to a wide range of students, and it does not presume previous courses in ethics or business.

Texts List: 

Drumwright, Business Professionals & Society  (these are cases and readings in a course packet)

Course Requirements:

Class Participation 30% Two 8-page case write-ups

One 1 5-page paper (group project) (papers comprise 70% of final grade)

LAH 350 • Leadership Strategy In Sports

29895 • Roberts, Daron
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CLA 0.108
(also listed as T C 325)
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In February of 2014, Michael Sam, a former outside linebacker for the University of Missouri and SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, announced that he was gay. The announcement did not come as a surprise to his former teammates – Sam had shared his sexual orientation during a fall practice session the previous year – but the news sent shockwaves through the news media. His declaration was met with both scorn and praise. With the NFL Draft nearly four months away, would Sam become the first openly gay player in the NFL?

His courage attracted international media attention and drew the support of First Lady Michelle Obama via Twitter: “You’re an inspiration to all of us, @MikeSamFootball.  We couldn’t be prouder of your courage both on and off the field.”  But some NFL players, including Jonathan Vilma, voiced uneasiness about Sam’s reception in the locker-room. “I think he [Sam] would not be accepted as much as we think he would be accepted,” Vilma cautioned.

The Sam Saga underscores the extent to which sports reflect ideological divides in our culture. In this course, we will frame our discussion of contemporary issues in sports through a historical lens that examines the introduction of athletic contests into American society.  Next, we will use this backdrop to wade through complex social, economic and cultural issues including: compensation of college athletes, use of analytics to inform decision-making, minority representation among players and managers, introduction of openly gay athletes and the health implications of player safety. 

Most importantly, we will take on the role of key decision-makers (e.g., athletic directors, head coaches and general managers) and construct our own management strategy for dealing with these issues in the sports context. 

Assignments and Grading Policy:

Grades will be based on the following: (1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, and active participation in the class; (2) timely submission of all work; (3) a term paper.

Final grades will be calculated using the following formula: (1) short response papers – 35%,  (2) term paper and presentation – 35%, and (3) class participation – 30%. There will be no final examination.


Books that will be used: Michael Lewis, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (2004). William Rhoden, 40 Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of the Black Athlete (2007); Mark Faninaru-Wade & Steve Fainaru. League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth (2013). There will also be a course packet comprised of short readings.


download syllabus

LAH 350 • Machiavelli

29904 • Frazier, Alison
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GAR 0.132
(also listed as AHC 330, CTI 375, EUS 346, HIS 350L, R S 357)
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This upper-division research seminar takes students through Niccolò Machiavelli’s chief writings. We consider the local, regional, Mediterranean, European, and global aspects of his work. Through class discussion and short written assignments (20%), students will identify a research topic in consultation with the professor.
There are no prerequisites but His 343g “Italian Renaissance” (offered Spr 2016) is strongly recommended.
Readings will include:
Machiavelli: The Prince; The Discourses; The Art of War; Mandragola; Clizia; The Florentine Histories; selected letters and short writings (buy the required translations)
Black: Machiavelli (the best recent biography)
Najemy, ed.: Cambridge Companion to Machiavelli
Course packet of scholarly articles

Each student will write a historiography essay (15%); draft a prospectus (20%); and complete a major research paper (30%). Students will give two oral presentations, one at the prospectus stage (5%), and one upon completion of the research paper (10%).


LAH 350 • Media Thry And Litry Crit

29905 • Baker, Samuel
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM MEZ 2.118
(also listed as E 324)
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E 324  l  Media Theory and Literary Criticism-HONORS

Instructor:  Baker, S

Unique #:  35310

Semester:  Fall 2016

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description:  In literary studies, “media theory” usually denotes new ways of conceptualizing new platforms, while “the new criticism,” ironically, now refers to distinctly “old school” ways of talking about classic texts.  In their time, however—across the “short twentieth century” from 1914 to 1989—the new critics and their contemporaries were themselves media theorists.  After all, the question of how one should engage new media is as old as Plato and Aristotle, and like their ancient forerunners, the modern British and North American critics who developed the practice of “close reading” thought about writing in relation to theater, storytelling, and song.  What’s more, mid-century critics experienced several revolutions in print culture, including the emergence of paperback books, and faced an unprecedentedly pervasive, powerful, and distracting media environment.  Many of these critics grappled in writing with this emergent mediascape, or encouraged colleagues who did so. In this course, we will read these critics’ essays in literary criticism, theory, and history, together with essays from the era—by some of the same authors—that concern film, television, photography, mass spectacles and other non- or extra-literary cultural practices.  We will track how the relationship between literature and other media has evolved over time, ask what qualities make works in literary media count as a specific kind of object of study for us twenty-first century scholars, and envision what an increasingly digital twenty-first century might determine the situation of literature and the function of criticism to be.  At the beginning of the semester, students will research potential readings, collaborating with the professor to produce a syllabus featuring two or three essay-length critical selections per day, along with occasional supplementary readings in the literary texts being discussed by critics.

Texts:  The authors to be read will include some of the following (listed roughly in the chronological order of their entry into the Anglo-American critical conversation):  T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, I. A. Richards, James Weldon Johnson, Edmund Wilson, William Empson, Cleanth Brooks, Kenneth Burke, F. R. Leavis, Q. D. Leavis, R. S. Crane, Lionel Trilling, Dwight MacDonald, James Baldwin, Walter Ong, Marshall McLuhan, Northrup Frye, Irving Howe, Norbert Wiener, Amiri Baraka, Susan Sontag, Kate Millet, Gregory Bateson, Jacques Derrida, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Elaine Showalter, Richard Hoggart, Raymond Williams, and Stuart Hall.

Requirements & Grading:  Seminar Attendance and Participation (including short quizzes), 40%; Writing, 60%.

The English Department's Honors seminars are designed in part to prepare students to write senior theses.  With this in mind, this course will feature writing assignments at increasing lengths, moving from one-paragraph and two-paragraph essays through 5-page efforts toward a final 15-page seminar paper.  Extensive written and oral feedback will be delivered in person and electronically; there will be several opportunities to revise in light of comments.  Several rounds of peer-review work shopping are planned for both shorter and longer writing exercises.

LAH 350 • Money In Amer Politics

29935 • Roberts, Brian
Meets W 3:30PM-6:30PM CBA 4.340
(also listed as GOV 379S, HMN 350)
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This course explores the nature and consequences of money in American politics and why, at this point in history, we find ourselves embroiled in the most significant debate over campaign finance reform in over thirty years. The debate goes to the heart of the U.S. Constitution, pitting the First Amendment rights of speech and assembly against the perceived fairness and efficacy of a republican government awash, some claim, in increasingly unaccountable money.

     Campaign finance issues lie at the crossroads of a bewildering number of analytical perspectives.  We (must) examine the work of historians, social scientists, legal scholars, and interested parties on all sides of the debate in an effort not only to assess current policy debates but also to understand how we got here.  During the course we confront and seek answers to a host of questions, including, but by no means limited to,

   - How will corporations respond to the Supreme Court’s recent decision permitting unlimited political advertising?

   - Why did most 2008 presidential candidates abandon the system of public financing for presidential elections? -Why

     does the public believe that corporations play such a large role in funding federal election campaigns?    

    -Why does the Supreme Court allow public perceptions to determine the constitutionality of campaign finance laws?

    -Why do U.S. Senators refuse to report their campaign finance activity electronically to the Federal Election


    -How and why is the Internet treated differently than other means of political communication by campaign finance 


     -What are the consequences of unlimited individual contributions to state election candidates in Texas?

Texts and Works:

Corrado, Anthony, et al. The New Campaign Finance Sourcebook. 2004. Washington D.C.: Brooking Institution; Corrado, Anthony and David Magleby Financing the 2008 Election. 2010. Washington D.C.: Brooking Institution; McChesney, Fred. Money For Nothing: Politicians, Rent Extraction, and Political Extortion.  1997. Cambridge: Harvard University Press; Urofsky, Melvin., Money & Free Speech: Campaign Finance Reform and the Courts. 2005. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press. Other readings as assigned.

Grading Policy:

     In addition to a midterm exam and meeting expectations of strong class participation, students engage in two significant projects over the course of the semester, first in the role of campaign finance consultants advising either a candidate or a political action committee, and second as members of a legal team preparing for a (marginally fictitious) Supreme Court case confronting the constitutional challenges posed by campaign finance laws.

LAH 350 • Shakespeare

29910 • Bruster, Douglas
Meets MW 8:30AM-10:00AM GAR 1.134
(also listed as E 321)
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E 321  l  Shakespeare: Selected Plays-HONORS

Instructor:  Bruster, D

Unique #:  35290

Semester:  Fall 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Global Cultures, Writing

Restrictions:  English Honors students

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description:  This course will survey Shakespeare’s beginnings as a writer, emphasizing questions of literary form, authorship, and chronology. Where did Shakespeare's famous style come from, and how did it develop? What were his literary contexts like, and how might he have changed them? When and how, finally, did Shakespeare become "Shakespeare"? To answer such questions, we will read works like the Henry VI trilogy of history plays, The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, Edward III, and Arden of Faversham. In addition to such plays, we may read his verse as well, including selected Sonnets and the narrative poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. Current scholarship on Shakespeare's biography, style, and first writings will augment our reading of these primary texts.

Recommended Text:  I will order separate paperback editions of the works we will read.  However, you may use any scholarly edition of Shakespeare's works (in single-volume version or as separate paperbacks).  Please check with the instructor if you have questions about the suitability of an edition or editions.

Requirements & Grading (subject to change upon notice):  This course will culminate in an original research essay of approximately 15 pp. in length, worth 50% of the final grade. In addition to this paper, you will be expected to write several shorter essays (worth 20%, combined), make a formal presentation (15%), and contribute meaningfully to class discussion (15%).

LAH 350 • Technologies Of The Book

29925 • Winship, Michael
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM HRC 3.206
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The book – the printed book in particular – has been the most important medium for the communication and preservation of written human culture for the past millennium. This course will examine the technologies that enabled this remarkably persistent and flexible object and explore its impact on society. Technology will be understood in its broadest sense: attention will be paid not only to the technologies of production and manufacture, but also those that enabled the creation of texts by authors and their distribution and reception. Finally, the course will consider the future of the book in today’s society, which is in the midst of a digital revolution.

The course will meet in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in order to draw on its remarkable resources.   Students will also participate in a printing laboratory, where they will set type and print a text by hand. If students are interested, we may also arrange several field trips over the course of the semester.

This course carries both the writing and independent inquiry “flags” and is designed to give students experience with investigating and writing up an academic research topic of their own choosing that is related to the class material.  You can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete a substantial research project, and receive regular feedback to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise your assignments, and to read and discuss your peers' work.  A substantial portion of your grade will be based on your written work, and students are encouraged to take advantage of the resources available to you through the University Writing Center in the PCL (

Texts: Our readings will be a selection of articles that will be made available in digital form on the class’s Canvas page, supplemented by Philip Gaskell’s useful New Introduction to Bibliography. Students will also be required to view a number of on-line videos that demonstrate various book-making technologies. 

Grading and Requirements: Students will produce two short writing exercises (3-4 pages each) and a final research paper (8-10 pages). Letter grades (with plus or minus) will be based on class participation (20%), the two short writing exercises (15% each), and the final research paper (50%). No late writing assignments will be accepted unless an extension has been granted in advance of the due date. In evaluating your work, the strength of the analysis will be emphasized, though clarity, spelling, and grammatical correctness will also be taken into account. Students are encouraged consult with me during the semester to discuss their writing and research skills. 

Attendance in class is required, and students missing 3 or more classes without prior permission will have their grades lowered; regular tardiness will be considered the equivalent of missing one or more classes. As an upper-division honors course, students will be expected to come to every class fully prepared, having completed the assigned readings and ready to contribute to class discussion. 

LAH 350 • Vampires And Dandies

29915 • Richmond-Garza, Elizabeth
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM CAL 221
(also listed as E 350R)
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E 350R  l  Vampires and Dandies-HONORS

Instructor:  Richmond-Garza, E

Unique #:  35455

Semester:  Fall 2016

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description:  A Gothic Perspective on the Long Nineteenth Century --

This course proposes to track two archetypes which have travelled through literature and culture together: the vampire and the dandy.  The period considered by this course, 1789-1922, sees the dandy/vampire’s apogee as the sensationalist vehicle for both the most subversive and the most conservative tracts on European identity and culture from the height of Romanticism to the First World War.  We shall begin with Beau Brummel’s creation of the dandy, the elegant man about town, and with recollections of the Grand Tour, which took British travelers to the realm of the vampire.  The course will contextualize these new identities in regard to Central and Eastern European folk origins, European analogs and the imperial culture of Great Britain.  The pairing combines ideally the century’s two most provocative iconographies of difference, whether that difference is cultural, ethnic or sexual:  the Gothic and the Orientalist.  From his/her origins as the predator who attacks the next-of-kin, the vampire joins with the dandy’s new image of gender and sexuality.  Together they emerge as an “Other” who combines multiple fantasies of threat and seduction:  that of a New-Woman feminine evil, that of Jewish or Slavic contamination, that of Orientalist, diasporic xenophobia, that of localized homophobia, that of cultural degeneration and decadence.

The vampire draws on Western Europe’s own atavistic past and links it to the Eastern Others who increasingly form and transform the British Empire and Europe as a whole.  The dandy embodies the decadent modern self whose existence is as unnatural as that of the undead.  The vampire is both the Turk and the Baron; she is both the transgressing Jew and the independent daughter, and “they” now inhabit the increasingly uneasy European capital cities.  The dandy strolls these same boulevards, impersonating a modernity that is at odds with imperialist ideals of healthy citizenship.  Are vampires and dandies a masquerade for demonizing marginal identities or can they seductively infiltrate society undetected as more than a strange visitor?

The century’s preoccupations with immigration, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class will be mapped against this reliably flamboyant combined figure.  The methodology will combine cultural history, drawing upon the work of critics like Dijkstra, Auerbach, Williams, West, Hobsbawm and Foucault, with a special focus on identity politics as suggested by Phelan, Bulter, Gilman and others.

The spine of the course will be a genealogy of texts from Coleridge’s Christabel (1798) to the first filmic presentations of this figure. Its central piece will be a close cultural, historical reading of Stoker’s Dracula.  It will include materials drawn from relevant genres, including painting and film.  The British texts, including Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and Salomé, will be viewed in juxtaposition with continental ones whose material conditions nuance their presentation of the icon of the dandy/vampire in different ways.  Thus Byron/ Polidori’s The Vampire will be juxtaposed with Gogol’s Viy, and Stoker’s text with Parisian novellas by Rachilde and Huysmans.  The suggestion is that the vampire/dandy combination become a distinctly contested site of cultural self-definition throughout nineteenth-century Europe.

Texts:  Texts will include:  backgrounds texts on Vlad Tepes and Erzebet Bathory, and on folk vampires; Burger, Lenora; Karamzin, The Island of Bornholm; Coleridge, Christabel; Byron/Polidori The Vampyre; Keats, “La belle dame Sans Merci” and Lamia; Gogol, Viy; Maupassant, Horia; the vampire poems from Baudelaire and Kipling; Tennyson “Tithonous”; Planché, The Vampire, Délibes, Lakmé; Le Fanu, Carmilla; Dion Boucicault, The Vampire (The Phantom); Turgenev, Phantoms; Rymer, Varney the Vampire; Rachilde, Monsieur Venus and “The Blood Drinkers”; Schoenberg, Anticipation; Wilde, Salomé and The Picture of Dorian Gray; Bram Stoker, Dracula; Murnau’s Nosferatu and selected paintings.

Requirements & Grading:  Written requirements for the course will include: a short initial essay based on a prompt from the instructor (20%), a research/bibliography report (5%), a long research paper on a topic chosen by the student (including a formal prospectus, 5% + 35%), a reading journal (collected in two halves, 5%+5%) and a final short writing assignment (15%).  Additionally, each student will receive a grade for oral participation.  The oral participation will include preparing, together with a colleague, an oral presentation for the class for which instructions will be provided (10%).

LAH 350 • Writing Nonfiction

29930 • Curtis, Gregory
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM MEZ 1.104
(also listed as T C 325)
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Overview – This is a rigorous course for students who want to learn to write well. We focus on writing profiles and narratives based on research and personal experience. We will also write two imitations and two parodies. This is decidedly not a course about writing journals, diaries, or memoirs. Student work is read and discussed in class.

     The assigned reading, with one exception, consists of work by contemporary writers. All this work is legally available for free on the web or on reserve in PCL. The one exception is A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway (Scribner 1964), which is available at the Co-Op as well as in used book stores. The readings are also discussed in class.

     This course carries the Writing Flag. Writing Flag courses are designed to give students experience with writing. In this class, you will write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from me to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you will be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work. Your grade will mostly depend on the quality of your written work. Writing Flag classes meet the Core Communications objectives of critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and personal responsibility, established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.  This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the communication component of the university core curriculum.

     If you must miss class or an assignment in order to observe a religious holy day, you should notify me at least fourteen days in advance.  You will be allowed to complete the missed work within a reasonable time.

     Any student with a documented disability who requires academic accommodations should contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 471-6259 (voice) or 512-410-6644 (Video Phone) as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations.

Grading Information

Assignment   %of final grade

Self-portrait         4

Quizzes              15

3 Profiles            25

3 Narratives        25

2 Imitations          8

2 Parodies            8

1 Free choice      15

download syllabus

LAH 358Q • Supervised Research

(also listed as HMN 358Q)
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Supervised Research. Individual instruction. Prerequisite: A
University grade point average of at least 3.50 and consent of the
liberal arts honors program adviser. Only one LAH 358Q may be applied towards college honors. Course may be repeated.

LAH 679TA • Honors Thesis

(also listed as LAH 679TB)
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Restricted to Plan I majors in the College of Liberal Arts. Supervised research, reading, and writing of a substantial paper on an interdepartmental subject.

LAH 679TB • Honors Thesis

(also listed as LAH 679TA)
show description

Restricted to Plan I majors in the College of Liberal Arts. Supervised research, reading, and writing of a substantial paper on an interdepartmental subject.