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Liberal Arts Honors

LAH 103H • The Ideas Of Civic Engagement

29925 • Carver, Larry
Meets M 4:00PM-5:30PM WEL 2.246
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HMN 116 continues the work LAH 102H, “The Idea of the Liberal Arts.”  Like LAH 102H, HMN 116 introduces Liberal Arts Honor freshmen to the resources of the University, their history and how to make best use of them.  It also provides guidance on internships, scholarships, and career paths, and in the belief that to those to whom much has been given, much is required, it encourages LAH students to prepare for a lifetime of civic engagement and public service.  Toward this latter goal, all students will propose a way or ways to become involved in the volunteer community of Austin.

LAH 350 • Complex Emergen Human Act

29940 • Newberg, Paula
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM CBA 4.338
(also listed as GOV 379S)
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Climate change.  Conflicts.  Coups d’etat.  Displacement.  Ethnic cleansing. Floods.  Genocide.  Pandemics.  Refugees.  Rights violations.  War crimes.

When these phenomena occur together, in varying combinations, they comprise complex emergencies –- overlapping, intersecting processes that can overwhelm a government and possibly an entire country, create and deepen humanitarian disasters, interrupt economic development, and lead to foreign policy crises.  (Think, for example, of the crisis in Syria today, Ebola in west Africa, or Nepal’s most recent earthquake.)  The causes of these crises are many, ranging from political extremism, poverty, resource scarcity and weak states to inadequate governance and diplomatic failures. 

We will spend the semester investigating complex emergencies and the ways that states, societies and international humanitarian actors respond to them.  Along the way, we will explore competing philosophies of humanitarian response (including neutrality and impartiality), international humanitarian law, thorny problems that arise when humanitarians meet difficult political actors, efforts to use international human rights law to resolve seemingly intractable problems, and ways the international community responds to (and sometimes does not) - and tries to solve (and often does not) -- these emergencies. 

We will study several recent and contemporary cases (from different regions), and seminar members will also explore specific elements of emergencies in their essays.

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LAH 350 • Decolonizatn Of Brit Empire

30030 • Louis, William
Meets TH 3:30PM-6:30PM CLA 0.108
(also listed as HIS 350L)
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The British Empire at the end of World War II still extended over one fourth of the world and represented a complex, worldwide system.  The seminar will focus on the era of decolonization.  

This seminar is designed as a reading and research course in modern British history—and in the history of Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.  Above all it is a class in professional writing.  It includes a cartographical component in which students are required to master the geography of the British Empire.


The main requirement of the course is a research paper focusing on one of the three components of British decolonization: the decisions made in Britain itself; the international influence of the United States and the United Nations in the context of the Cold War; and the initiatives by nationalists in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.  The paper in its final form will be about 6,000 words or 20 double spaced pages including notes. 

The writing component will be fulfilled in three ways.  First, critiques of books, approximately one a week (or comparable assignments), each less than 400 words or one page.  Second, a draft of the research paper.  The critiques and draft will be circulated to all members of the class who will make annotations on style as well as substance.  The third stage is for each writer to take note of the comments offered by others and to rewrite the research paper for final submission.

The principal primary source on which the papers will be based is the extraordinary archival collection in British Documents on the End of Empire (BDEEP).  The class sessions will be enriched by a film series produced by Granada Television entitled ‘End of Empire’.

In a general way, the seminar upholds the principles of the Modern History Faculty at Oxford—to enhance (1) intellectual curiosity; (2) conceptual clarity; (3) intellectual flexibility; (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 possession of appropriate historical knowledge and the capacity to deploy it.

John Darwin, Britain and Decolonisation; W. David McIntyre, Decolonization, 1946-1997; Geoffrey Best, Churchill; Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, Oh! Jerusalem; David Carlton, Suez Crisis; and Caroline Elkins, Imperial Reckoning

Grades are determined by attendance and participation in discussion (25%); weekly critiques (25%) and the quality of the final research paper (50%).  Final grades include plusses and minuses.

LAH 350 • Getting It In Writing

30035 • Mackintosh, Prudence
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM CLA 0.124
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“I’m in the service industry. I want to be sure you have what you need. It’s the same when I write. I want to be sure the reader has what he needs.”

--Danielle Hamilton, chef of Prune restaurant in New York and author of current best seller BLOOD, BONES & BUTTER, The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

You will write one brief (3-4 page) paper each week with occasional timeouts for rewriting. Anticipate ten papers. Finding the pleasure and power in writing well with humanity and warmth is a major focus of this class.  We will practice writing simple, honest, uncluttered prose on topics that you actually care about.  I will be meeting some deadlines for my own work along with you.

Learning to write fluidly, organize intelligently and edit carefully are life-enhancing skills. From the various readings, you will see how sharp observation and occasionally dialogue are as important to the non-fiction writer as they are to the novelist. Since writing is a performing art, you should expect to read some of your papers aloud in class and have them projected on the blackboard. We will establish a supportive atmosphere of respect from the beginning.

Readings: In addition to the book ON WRITING WELL by William Zinsser, you will have brief readings to accompany the early writing assignments.

Ignore them at your peril. Reading capable non-fiction writers will upgrade your sensibilities, improve your vocabulary and equip you with interesting ideas for your own writing. Class members will lead discussion on some of the readings.

Grading: I regret that this is a University fact of life.  I only hope that writing to my standards will assist you in developing your own. Grades will be based on the ten papers (80%). The remainder of your grade (20%) will come from your presence, your questions and your contributions to the class.

There is no final exam.

I want your papers in both hard copy (stapled and page numbered) and electronic document form. Be sure to put your name, LAH 350, the date and the topic in the top left hand corner.

LAH 350 • Global Sustainability/Soil

29944 • Beach, Timothy
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM CLA 3.102
(also listed as GRG 356)
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Honors course; restricted to students participating in an honors program.

Soil is our least understood but greatest natural resource and our most biodiverse ecosystem. Despite its importance, soil is being degraded at high rates around the world, which leads to hundreds of billions of dollars of economic and ecosystem service losses.  This course considers soils in the critical zone, including how they form, provide fertility to ecosystems and crops, how their ecosystems function, their distinguishing characteristics in Nature, their taxonomy, and their spatial variability around the globe with one-third of the examples from Latin America. The course also considers how soils change both in negative and positive terms over time, such as carbon and other elemental fluxes, soil erosion, desertification, and soil pollution.  The course then considers how we manage soils for a sustainable planet by sequestering carbon to counter climate change, treat soil and water pollution, conserve soil ecosystems, build soil fertility, and grow more crops with minimal environmental impacts.  Specific topics will include biochar, terra preta, organic agriculture, indigenous soil knowledge and farming systems, the soil science in World Food Prizes (i.e., development), and agroecosystems. Three lecture hours a week for one semester.

LAH 350 • History At Play

30045 • Casey, Julie
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM SZB 240
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Welcome to “History at Play II,” the upper-division version of “Reacting to the Past.” This is an interactive, interdisciplinary seminar that explores major ideas in political philosophy and the historical context in which those ideas gained significance.
This course engages students in the religious, political, and cultural debates surrounding two events that have profoundly shaped the history of the world: England’s break with the Catholic Church in 1536 during the reign of Henry VIII, and India’s independence from Britain in 1947 and subsequent partitioning of the country into India and Pakistan.
To explore these ideas and events, students assume the identities and perspectives of political and religious leaders of the historical setting and take part in elaborate role-playing games. For each game, the students will read widely and deeply in key texts to inform their assigned character’s perspectives and strategies. Then, in character, they re-enact the historical conflict, debating the pros and cons of some fundamental questions: how can different religious and social groups cohere as a single nation? How can the rights of vulnerable minorities be protected from the potential tyranny of the majority? How do religious beliefs influence politics, leadership, and identity?
In the course of the semester, each student will play two roles, one for each game. Not only does this give the students a chance to immerse themselves in the social and cultural aspects of different historical periods and countries, it also allows them to experience different political orientations: the student who begins the semester as a conservative English parliamentarian may end it as a radical Muslim. Students must determine on their own how best to achieve their victory objectives, drawing upon the course texts for intellectual guidance, as well as consulting the instructor, the preceptor, and each other.

Texts/Film List: 

Henry VIII Game:

  1. D.G. Newcombe, Henry VIII and the English Reformation (Routledge, 1995)
  2. Thomas More, Utopia Penguin Classic 2012 edition
  3. Desiderius Erasmus, The Education of the Christian Prince (Cambridge, 1997) Blue cover (Cambridge series on political thought)
  4. Niccolo Machiavelli, Selected Political Writings (Hackett, 1994)
  5. J. Patrick Coby, Henry VIII and The Reformation Parliament (Pearson, 2006, with 2012 addendum). This is the Student Game Book – purchase course packet at Jenn’s copies, 22nd and Guadalupe.
  6. Bible – any version 

India Game

  1. Ainslie Embree and Mark Carnes, Defining a Nation: India on the Eve of Independence, 1945 (This is the Student Game Book: purchase course packet at Jenn’s Copies, 22nd and Guadalupe)
  2. Hay, Stephen, Ed. Sources of Indian Tradition, volume 2 (Columbia U.P., second edition). 

Course Requirements: Your course grade will be based on the following:

(1) Written Work (60%). You’ll be required to write five persuasive essays totaling about twenty pages (about 4 pages each), submitted throughout each game as described in your assigned character role sheet. Three of these will be written in the Henry VIII game, and two will be written in the India game.
The writing process: drafting and revising. Because you are writing from the perspective of your assigned historical character, whose ideas you may not necessarily espouse personally, your essays may present a challenge. I can advise you on how to approach your assigned topic and can look over drafts/outlines (send them to me 24 hours in advance of the 8 pm submission deadline so that you have time to revise them based on my feedback). The preceptor is also available to give you feedback and advice as you write.
Submitting papers: All papers will be submitted electronically. Your papers are to be emailed to the professor and to the entire class at 8:00 pm the night before you are scheduled to speak on your assigned topic. This rather unusual submission process gives students time to read each other’s arguments in preparation for debate, to develop counter-arguments, prepare questions, and gather relevant research. There is a penalty for late papers. If you miss the 8pm deadline but submit it before midnight, your paper will be docked a half letter grade. If you submit it the next day, your paper is docked a full letter grade. **Be aware of the possibility for technical difficulties and don’t wait until the last second to send it in. You get a grace period on your first late paper; after that, penalties will apply.
Grading: I will grade your papers electronically using MS Word’s editing features, and I will return them to you via email on a rolling basis. The paper will be assigned a letter grade with a plus/minus, so that an A is 4.0, an A minus is 3.67, a B+ is 3.33, a B is 3.0, a B- is 2.67 and so forth.
(2) Speeches & Debate (10%) Another goal of this course is for you to become comfortable with and skilled at speaking in front of groups, which is best done through practice. You will be expected to give at least three speeches from the podium, in character, during the course of the semester. You should endeavor to be convincing, engaging, and informative. You are also expected to make substantive contributions to the debates during the game, incorporating the course texts and speaking in character.
(3) Class Participation (30%). You will be expected to speak regularly in class, commenting on the readings and adding your own perspective to the conversation. Your participation grade is based on

  •   regular and prompt class attendance,
  •   careful preparation of the readings,
  •   historically-accurate portrayal of your role (including costumes),
  •   active participation in pre-game sessions and in the games            themselves,
  •  and maintaining prompt and professional communication via group email

There may also occasionally be quizzes over the readings, which will factor into your participation grade. The preceptor and I will keep track each day of who is in attendance, who speaks and how involved each person is in the discussions/debates. There is also a victory bonuses awarded to the winner(s) of each game, which boosts the final participation grade up by half a letter grade.
NOTE: While you may not be able to lead class discussion or give speeches every day, you can find other ways to stay involved and show your high level of participation, such as circulating an e-mail to your peers (cc. the instructor & preceptor) with your thoughts regarding the substance of the class discussion or the readings; volunteering to coordinate a small group meeting outside of class, or taking the lead on a group project (notify the instructor or preceptor that you are doing this); doing extra research on a topic and sharing it with the class via e-mail or distributing a hard copy in class; meeting with the instructor before/after class regarding the substance of the class discussions. These types of activities will show that you are engaged intellectually in the course and that you willingly contribute your ideas to the mix.

Expectations for Communication: Absences and Participation

You are expected to refer to the syllabus regularly for the reading and game schedule and to stay in close communication with your instructor, your preceptor, and your peers during the entire course. This means checking your e-mail daily for updated assignments and any announcements, responding promptly and professionally as needed, and being willing to talk with and meet outside of class with your peers for group strategy. This is one indication of your participation and dedication to this course, and it will impact your participation grade.
Absences in this course are rare. If you are absent, your vote will not count, and your voice will not be heard; you can potentially alter the game dramatically and negatively. However, if you know you in advance that you must be absent or late to class, you must notify the instructor via e-mail (or text) BEFORE the class, if at all possible. It is your responsibility to find out what you’ve missed, and what you can do to catch up.
I am very open and available to talking with you at any point in the course. My cell phone number is at the top of the syllabus – feel free to call or text me if you need a quick answer to a question, a bit of advice, or some guidance. I check e-mail numerous times a day, and will gladly help you in any way I can. And of course, I am available to meet with you in person both before and after class and during office hours.



LAH 350 • Human Place In Nature

29955 • Turner, Matt
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM CLA 0.120
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When people go "out into nature," and especially when they are confronted with exceptional views of landscape or wilderness, something seems to change within them.  Some begin to speak of insignificance and mortality, others timelessness and eternity.  Some yearn for solitude and reflection, others vigorous recreation.  Some sense the mysterious and the sacred, others find their inspiration for creativity.  Many speak happily of freedom, having found release from crowded, stressful cities and an overly materialistic culture.  Others speak sadly and desperately of vanishing species, ecosystems, and a world out of control.  Few seem completely indifferent to nature, even if by nature they mean the decorative shrubbery in their yard.

The heart of this course is an exploration of these perceptions and attitudes through the nature writing of the United States, which some critics hail as our "most distinctive contribution to the world's literature."  Henry David Thoreau’s insights on the deliberate life in his cabin retreat, John Muir’s ecstatic mountain proclamations, and Aldo Leopold’s re-visioning of wilderness have become practically canonical reading for nature enthusiasts.  Many others, like Rachel Carson and Edward Abbey, have become well-loved clarion calls for environmental change.  And writers like Annie Dillard take nature observation to a profound spiritual level of meaning and identity.

What we think nature is, and the extent to which we include ourselves in it, is inevitably shaped by our cultural history.  Like all students of the humanities, we will want to understand and question the preconceptions these authors bring to their writing.  Many of these ideas--Biblical expulsion from paradise and redemption, the puritanical fear of wilderness, the rise of the sublime in the 18th century, Transcendentalist self-rediscovery, and the American frontier--still influence our views today.  As a counterpoint, we will look beyond these traditions at Native American writings, and toward the end of the course we will grapple with the unsettling proposition that nature no longer exists.

How we make sense of nature and how we understand our place in it have broad implications.  Environmental policies, urban planning, land use, law, and ethics are obvious contenders, but more broadly the questions raised here help us to define our place in the universe and inform us on how we should be living on Earth.


Bible – Selections Genesis and Job;
British Romantic poets  (selections);
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nature” (1836);
Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854) and other selections;
Frederick Jackson Turner, “On the Significance of the Frontier in American History” (1893);
John Burroughs, “The Art of Seeing Things” (1908);
John Muir,  Selections from My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), “Wild Wood,”  “God’s First Temples,” “A Wind Storm in the Forests,” “Hetch Hetchy Valley”;
Luther Standing Bear, Land of the Spotted Eagle (selections) (1933);
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac (1949);
Rachel Carson, brief selections from The Edge of the Sea (1955) and Silent Spring (1962);
Edward Abbey,  Desert Solitaire (1968);
Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (1974);
Leslise Marmon Silko, “Landscape, History, and the Pueblo Imagination” (1986);
Bill McKibben, “The End of Nature” (1989);
William Cronon, “The Trouble with Wilderness” (1995);
Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild (1997)—possibly movie only;
Texas nature writing (selections).

 Requirements & Grading:

Weekly journal entries on Canvas of approx. 700 words each (30%);
Attendance and class participation, including leading class discussion twice (20%);
2 Quizzes (20%);
Final exam consisting of one last journal entry or essay (min 1500 words) about the most meaningful thing to you in the course (30%).



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LAH 350 • In Search Of Meaning

30040 • Adams, Michael
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CBA 4.340
(also listed as HMN 350)
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This is a course that asks a lot of questions. And it questions all the answers. If you are uncomfortable being asked questions (about your beliefs, your personal meaning) and reluctant to ask the tough questions of others, this may not be the course for you.

We will begin by establishing (as best as history tells us) how what we recognize as western reality came into existence, how the foundation was laid and when. The concepts will include: monotheism; original sin; heaven; hell; salvation, etc. After we establish how and when these and a host of other foundational features came into existence and created what we call judeo-Christian  reality, we will contrast the reality created therein with other realities- Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam.

The we turn back to the West and explore writer and philosophers who reject the institutionally handed down judeo-Christian  reality, and try to put something in its place (Humanism, Deism, Transcendentalism, Existentialism, Nihilism, Eurekans crystal worshippers, etc.) or find a kind of consolation in atheism or, and often most ignored, a noble kind of Aesthetic Humanism. This journey will lead us to what Pars Lagerkvist called the central question of the modern mind-How do we find meani ng

in a meaningless world? We will spend some special time exploring your answers to this question. And, to

be fair, at the end of the semester I'll give you my answer (which is the right answer, of course - hint: to err is human, to forgive, canine). AND I'll let you interrogate me, as I will have interrogated you during the semester. 

Texts and Works: (assigned readings from)

The Old Testament (selections); Plato, Crito. Phaedo; India's "Vedic Hymns," "The kena-Upanishad" and "The Mahabharata" or the Bhagavad Gita; Cicero, "The Offices"; Lucreti us, "The Nature of Things"; the Gnostic texts (selections), The New Testament (selections), the "Nicaean Creed"; St. Augusti ne's City of God (selections); the Koran (selections); Erasmus, "The Praise of Folly", Pico della Mirandola "Of the Dignity of Man"; Nicolaus Copernicus, "The Revolutions of Heavenly Bodies"; Bruno, "Of the Infinite Universe and Innumerable Worlds"; Sir Francis Bacon, "Novum Organum:, Marti n Luther, "Table Talk"; Thomas Paine, "The Age of Reason"; selections from Locke, d'Holbach, Dickinson, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Anne Sexton, Edna St. Vincent Millaly; Herman Hesse, Siddhartha; Flannery O'Connor; selected stories; Dostoevsky's "Grand Inquisitor"; Pars Lagervist, Barabbas; Camus, The Stranger; Sartre, No Exit; Nathaniel West, Miss Lonelyhearts; Denis Johnson, Jesus' Son; Raymond Carver, selected stories; Don Delillo, White Noise. 

Requirements  and Grading Policy Five analytical essays (4-8 pages) 75% Quizzes 15% Discussion 10%

Attendance required. Five point deduction from final average for every unexcused absence. Five point deduction from final average for three or more times late to class.

LAH 350 • Lit/Health/Disease: Honors

29965 • Minich, Julie
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM PAR 210
(also listed as E 360S)
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E 360S  l  Literature, Health, and Disease-HONORS


Instructor:  Minich, J

Unique #:  35500

Semester:  Spring 2017

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors, Liberal Arts Honors

Computer Instruction:  No


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


Description:  In this seminar, we will read contemporary texts in multiple genres (novels, memoirs, literary journalism, short stories, essays, poems, films) by multiethnic writers concerned with the idea of health.  Questions we will explore together include the following:  What does contemporary literature about health and well-being teach us about our broader society? Can literature be an effective tool for combatting health inequities? Can literature help us understand or change health policy?  In addition to exploring the topic at hand, our work together will also be guided by the following two goals:  1) interrogating the presumed division between literature and the society that produces it (or, more precisely, addressing why literature matters in the so-called “real world”), and 2) acquiring literary research skills: identifying research questions, selecting primary and secondary sources, and making and defending original arguments.


Texts may include the following:  Monica Sone, Nisei Daughter; Junot Díaz, This Is How You Lose Her (selections); Sherman Alexie, selected short stories; Damon Tweedy, Black Man in a White Coat; Rafael Campo, The Desire to Heal (selections) and selected poems; Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; Eula Biss, On Immunity.


Requirements & Grading:  Short Papers (2 @ 15% each): 30%; Presentation: 15%; Attendance and Participation: 10%; Preparation for Final Research Paper (proposal, annotated bibliography, outline, etc.): 20%; Final Research Paper: 25%.

LAH 350 • Only Child: Lit/Cul/Env

29970 • Cullingford, Elizabeth
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CAL 221
(also listed as E 350E)
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E 350E  l  The Only Child in a Crowded World: Literature, Culture, & the Environment-HONORS


Instructor: Cullingford, E

Unique:  35465

Semester: Spring 2017

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors, Liberal Arts Honors

Computer Instruction:  No


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


Description:  It’s official: we now live in the Anthropocene, which means we live on a planet that has been permanently altered by human activity.  Environmentalists have long argued for smaller families in order to slow the erosion of what is left of the "natural" world.  Accepting human responsibility for climate change, and relating fossil fuels to fecundity, this course will explore and challenge the negative literary and cultural stereotypes attached to only children.

The accumulated weight of centuries of cultural disapproval bears heavily against the single-child family.  In 1928 the psychologist G. Stanley Hall famously declared: “Being an only child is a disease in itself."  This judgment still exerts a powerful grip on the collective psyche of the developed world.  Until the late twentieth century, having an only child was widely perceived as a misfortune.  Being an only child was no better.  Although social science research suggests that most of the negative stereotypes concerning only children and their parents are wide of the mark, it is a truth universally acknowledged that as well as being spoiled, selfish and arrogant, the only child will be lonely and maladjusted in childhood, overburdened in middle age by the sole responsibility for elderly parents, and lonely again as the end of life approaches.

Yet the single child family is currently the fastest-growing demographic group in the developed world.  The main impetus behind this change is the entry of women into the workforce.  Working women marry later and delay pregnancy, while other factors such as divorce may intervene to frustrate their plans.  The only child, whether planned or accidental, may represent a satisfactory compromise between the desire for motherhood, the desire or need for paid employment, and the health of the planet.

The first part of the course will consider only children in the Bible, the classics, and Shakespeare, the indispensible cultural referents of later literature.  We will go on to analyze changing representations of only children in America during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  We will also examine contemporary novels, films, and excerpts from popular parenting manuals, the “conduct books” of our time.  We will be concerned with the history of women in the family, the perpetuation or revision of cultural stereotypes, and the considerable aesthetic advantages of the single child: pathos, economy, and intensity.  Because of the artistic power of what is unique, there may have been more only children in literature than there were in life.  Throughout the course we will balance the insights of environmentalism, demography and sociology against the imperatives of aesthetic form.


Texts:  The Bible: Abraham and Isaac; Jephthah's Daughter; selections from the Gospels • Ovid: Procne and Philomel, Ceres and Proserpina • Sophocles: Oedipus Rex • Shakespeare: Hamlet, The Tempest • Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter, Rappacini’s Daughter • Henry James: “The Author of Beltraffio,” Washington Square • Edith Wharton: The Custom of the Country • Booth Tarkington: The Magnificent Ambersons, and Orson Welles’ film • Andre Dubus: “Killings,” and film In the Bedroom • Emma Donoghue: Room, novel and film.


Course packet: short essays and excerpts from writings by feminists, environmentalists, social historians, demographers, and parenting “experts.”


Requirements & Grading:  Weekly reading blog posts (20%), one seminar presentation (20%) written up into a 4-page paper (20%), one 10-page paper (40%).

LAH 350 • Paper Chase: Law Schl, Life

29975 • Levy, Mark
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM CLA 0.122
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For generations, every first-year law student has been taught to “think like a lawyer.”  By examining the fundamental elements of the law as contoured by seminal caselaw, law students not only learn the basic tenets of legal theory, but also begin to internalize how the law touches all aspects of our society.  The law does not simply provide for an outcome in a specific lawsuit, it provides our language for understanding culture, history, government, and business, just as mythology shapes the language of literature or the Bible or Koran shape the language of religion. 


In this course, we will explore the liberal arts through the lens of the first-year law school experience and the first-year law school experience through the lens of the liberal arts.  We will read literature that melds the reality of imprisonment with the fantasy of kangaroo courts.  We will watch how the law is presented for public consumption to analyze if it still resembles its blackletter origin.  We will examine how legal decisions affect economic markets, from the micro to the macro. And we will learn how lawyers apply these principles in daily practice. 


“The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience.  The felt necessities of the time, the prevalent moral and political theories, institutions of public policy, avowed or unconscious, even the prejudices which judges share with their fellow-men, have had a good deal more to do than the syllogism in determining the rules by which men should be governed.  The law embodies the story of a nation’s development through many centuries, and it cannot be dealt with as if it contained only the axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics.  In order to know what it is, we must know what it has been, and what it tends to become.”


–Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. The Common Law, p. 1.


Course Bibliography:


For generations, every first-year law student has been taught to “think like a lawyer.”  By examining the fundamental elements of the law as contoured by seminal caselaw, law students not only learn the basic tenets of legal theory, but also begin to internalize how the law touches all aspects of our society.  The law does not simply provide for an outcome in a specific lawsuit, it provides our language for understanding culture, history, government, and business, just as mythology shapes the language of literature or the Bible or Koran shape the language of religion. 


In this course, we will explore the liberal arts through the lens of the first-year law school experience and the first-year law school experience through the lens of the liberal arts.  We will read literature that melds the reality of imprisonment with the fantasy of kangaroo courts.  We will watch how the law is presented for public consumption to analyze if it still resembles its blackletter origin.  We will examine how legal decisions affect economic markets, from the micro to the macro. And we will learn how lawyers apply these principles in daily practice. 


“The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience.  The felt necessities of the time, the prevalent moral and political theories, institutions of public policy, avowed or unconscious, even the prejudices which judges share with their fellow-men, have had a good deal more to do than the syllogism in determining the rules by which men should be governed.  The law embodies the story of a nation’s development through many centuries, and it cannot be dealt with as if it contained only the axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics.  In order to know what it is, we must know what it has been, and what it tends to become.”


–Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. The Common Law, p. 1.


Course Bibliography:


Various legal opinions by Judges Learned Hand, Richard Posner, Oliver Wendell Holmes, etc., and Lord Alfred Denning.


(all or a portion of the following texts)

Arthur Miller: The Crucible

Franz Kafka: The Trial

John Nichols: The Milagro Beanfield War

Edward Larson: Summer for the Gods


Selections from “The Paper Chase,” “Law & Order,” “A Civil Action,” “My Cousin Vinny”


Assignments and Grading Policy:


Students will be graded on a combination of written work product (85%) and classroom participation (15%). Students will write three one-page case briefs (15%) and two four-page papers (30%). Students will receive grades for each four-page paper based on a final product, to be submitted after at least one round of revisions offered by the professor. In place of a final exam, students will submit a 6-8 page paper developing the same topic as in one of their four-page papers or on a separate subject (40%).


Guest Lecturers:


Professors Carma Gorman (the influence of the law on industrial design), Lucille Wood (disability law), and Philip Durst (employment law); and attorneys Paul Coggins (criminal law); Will Shieber (antitrust law).


University Policy:


The University of Texas at Austin provides, upon request, appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-6441 TT.


LAH 350 • Power/Belief: Early Mod Eur

30025 • Bodian, Marion
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CLA 2.606
(also listed as HIS 362G)
show description

This course deals with the long and difficult process by which a principle of freedom of conscience emerged in early modern Europe – a principle that is still contested in many parts of the world. In late medieval Europe, such an idea was unimaginable. Over many centuries the Church had exercised authority in matters of belief, and the Church’s power was embedded in the social fabric in myriad ways. The Reformation of the sixteenth century shattered not only the unity of the Church, but perceptions of its authority and of the bonds of community. Yet it was by no means obvious to anyone that a person should be free to believe what seemed true to him or her.

In this course we will travel back in time to Reformation Europe during the bitter religious wars between Catholic and Protestant powers. In the wake of these wars (and other episodes of religious violence), pragmatic ideas about how to keep civil peace emerged. So did new ideas about freedom of individual conscience. Why were such ideas so threatening? Why did they seem to so many people downright immoral? How did a psychological and intellectual shift take place that allowed ordinary people (as well as brilliant thinkers) to change their minds and come to support freedom of conscience? To answer these questions we will examine important episodes like the Dutch Revolt against Spain, the Inquisition trial of Galileo, and the English Civil War; we will read from works by authors who struggled to envision a society without religious controls; and we will examine the underground world of “forbidden best-sellers” and popular ideas about freedom of religion.

Each of you will choose a historical figure from a list provided by me. (You may also choose a figure not on the list, in consultation with me.)  You will read more deeply about this person and represent his or her opinions in mock debates we will stage in class. Your grade will be based on the following: 10% attendance and participation, 20% a review of a book on your “person,” 20% blog participation, 30% a paper on a topic related to your “person,” 20% final exam.

Suggested to buy (they can all be obtained cheaply online as used books):

Joseph Perez, The Spanish Inquisition

Benjamin Kaplan, Divided by Faith

Readings marked with a * will be done by only one or two of you; you will discuss the reading in class.

download syllabus

LAH 350 • Psych/Relig In Mod Amer Cul

29979 • Abzug, Robert
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM CLA 0.120
show description

Religion and Psychology in Modern American Culture 

            American religious culture is not only exceptional for its vigor but also for an increasingly creative fostering of spiritual experimentation and pluralism. It has been especially unusual in the role that psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic ideas have played in modern American spiritual quests. This seminar explores the historical, religious, and psychotherapeutic manifestations of the “search for meaning” in modern American culture. We will begin in the 19th century with spiritualism and other alternative religious paths, and quickly move to the 20th century and the uneasy and sometimes hostile interactions between formal religion, psychotherapies, and everyday experiences of illumination and transcendence. Our explorations will take us through theology, psychological theory, literature, music, politics, and art. For their term reports, students may write on topics of their choice on any aspect of the intersection of psychology and religion.

Readings (Viewings, Listenings) (examples open to revision):

Sigmund Freud, selections on religion (pdfs accessed through Canvas)

Jessica Grogan, Encountering America: Humanistic Psychology, Sixties Culture, and the Shaping of the Modern Self

Andrew Heinze, Jews and the American Soul

William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience(This edition (Abzug, editor and abridged)

Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul 

Rollo May, Psychology and the Human Dilemma

Various examples from music, art, and drama illustrating themes in the course. 


Perfect Attendance at Seminar and timely completion of reading assignments

Active Participation in Seminar 

Ungraded Responses to Readings (300 words) (critiqued for content/style) 

Term report presented to class and as 15 page paper on topic chosen by student in conjunction with and approved by professor


Class Participation, Including Oral Reports and Reading Discussions (40%)

On Time Completion of All Responses to Weekly Readings (20%)

Graded Oral Report and 15-page term paper (40%)

LAH 350 • Race And Medicine In Amer Life

29980 • Hoberman, John
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CLA 0.122
show description


         This course examines the relationship between African Americans and the American medical profession from the era of plantation slavery to the present day. The course divides the history of this relationship into several periods: the era of plantation medicine during the antebellum period; the formation and propagation of ideas about African American health following Emancipation; the practice of segregated medicine up until the 1960’s; interactions between black physicians and the American Medical Association prior to and during the Civil Rights era; and the period from the 1960’s to the present. The course examines the persistence of medical racism in American medicine up to the present day.

The course is built around two major themes: the history and dynamics of the estrangement of African Americans from the white medical establishment, and how racial folklore has influenced the diagnosis and treatment of black patients. Many inaccurate accounts of “racial” differences in anatomy, physiology, psychology, and immunity to disease persisted in the medical, psychiatric, and anthropological literatures for much or all of the twentieth century. Most of this history has remained unknown to successive generations of American physicians. We will examine the copious evidence of racially differential treatment and diagnosis that has appeared in medical literature over the past 25 years. We will then examine how white physicians have reacted to these findings and have talked among themselves and with others about physician behaviors they cannot explain because they do not think historically about race and medicine.

Required reading:

John Hoberman, Black & Blue: The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012).

John Hoberman, “Examining Tuskegee,” Social Science and Modern Society 46 (November/December 2009).

John Hoberman, “Medical Racism and the Rhetoric of Exculpation: How Do Physicians Think About Race?” New Literary History 38 (Summer 2007): 505-525.

John Hoberman, "The Primitive Pelvis: The Role of Racial Folklore in Obstetrics and Gynecology During the Twentieth Century," in Body Parts: Critical Explorations in Corporeality, Christopher E. Forth and Ivan Crozier, eds. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2005): 85-104.

William W. Dressler, “Health in the African American Community: Accounting for Health Inequalities,” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 7 (1993): 325-345.

Ford Fessenden, “A Difference of Life & Death,” Newsday [Long Island, New York] (November 29, 1998): A4-A6, A55-A57.

Newton G. Osborne and Marvin D. Feit, "The Use of Race in Medical Research," JAMA 267 (January 8, 1992): 275-279.

Ritchie Witzig, "The Medicalization of Race: Legitimization of a Flawed Social Construct," Annals of Internal Medicine 125 (1996): 675-679. 

Stephen B. Thomas, "The Color Line: Race Matters in the Elimination of Health Disparities," American Journal of Public Health 91 (July 2001): 1046-1048 

Michelle D. Holmes, David Hodges, John Rich, “Racial Inequalities in the Use of Procedures for Ischemic Heart Disease,” JAMA (June 9, 1989): 3242-3243. 

H. Jack Geiger, “Race and Health Care,” NEJM 335 (September 12, 1996): 815-816. 

Peter B. Bach et al., “Racial Differences in the Treatment of Early-Stage Lung Cancer,” NEJM 341 (October 14, 1999): 1198-1205. 

Charles F. Whitten, "Sickle-Cell Programming – An Imperiled Promise," NEJM 288 (February 8, 1973): 318-319. 

Doris Y. Wilkinson, "For Whose Benefit? Politics and Sickle Cell," The Black Scholar (May 1974): 26-31. 

William F. Mengert, "Racial Contrasts in Obstetrics and Gynecology," Journal of the National Medical Association (November 1966): 413-415. 

Stanley M. Garn, Nathan J. Smith, and Diane C. Clark, "Lifelong Differences in Hemoglobin Levels Between Blacks and Whites," Journal of the National Medical Association 67 (1975): 91-96. 


3 two-hour take-home examinations

1 five-page paper

12-15-page paper 

attendance (absences require medical documentation)

LAH 350 • Reading The Moderns

29985 • Staley, Thomas
Meets MW 2:00PM-3:30PM HRC 2.214
show description

Course Description and Objectives:

This course will examine five works by modern authors, Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier, James Joyce’s Ulysses, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. We will read closely and look widely at this quintet of works, comparing the various expressions of these strains of modernism. The course will make strong use of primary materials in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Texts/Film List:

The Good Soldier, Ulysses, Wasteland, The Great Gatsby, The End of the Affair, (possibly The Power and the Glory).

Course Requirements:

All exams will be essays 1 paper , 10-12 pages

Class attendance and participation 50%

Writing 50%


LAH 350 • Sailors/Explrs/Brit Nov

29995 • Bertelsen, Lance
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM CAL 200
(also listed as E 350M)
show description

E 350M  l  Sailors, Explorers, & the English Novel, 1700-1820-HONORS


Instructor:  Bertelsen, L

Unique:  35470

Semester: Spring 2017

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors; Liberal Arts Honors

Computer Instruction:  No


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


Description:  This course will address fictional and factual representations of British maritime life during a period of rapidly expanding global exploration, trade, and naval warfare.  Beginning with Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719), we will probe the public’s fascination with voyage and castaway narratives through a novel with such mythic power that it gave its name to a sub-genre:  the Robinsonade.  Turning to Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726), we will examine how the conventions of the Robinsonade can be turned to the purposes of social and political satire.  Shifting to the Royal Navy—Britain’s bulwark against invasion and instrument for fulfilling its colonial and imperialistic aspirations—we will read Nicholas Rodger’s The Wooden World to deepen our understanding of shipboard life as presented in Smollett’s novel Roderick Random.  We will then read excerpts from logs, journals, letters, and histories of Captain Cook’s three voyages with particular focus on British interactions with indigenous peoples of the Pacific.  These concerns find fictional form in the The Travels of Hildebrand Bowman (1778), an eponymous novel combining the structure of the Robinsonade, contemporary theories of human and social development, and satirical techniques drawn from Gulliver’s Travels in the story of a midshipman left behind in New Zealand during Cook’s second voyage.  The course will conclude with the reading of Jane Austen’s two naval novels, Mansfield Park and Persuasion, informed by the naval careers of her two brothers, Frank and Charles, and contextualized by materials from the most famous of all British sea wars:  the Royal Navy’s campaign against the French during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras.


Texts:  Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Swift, Gulliver’s Travels; Rodger, The Wooden World; Smollett, Roderick Random; Cook materials (online); Anon., The Travels of Hildebrand Bowman; Austen, Mansfield Park and Persuasion; secondary criticism on Austen and the navy.


Grading & Requirements (tentative):  2 memos (10% each), 20%; 2 quizzes (10% each), 20%; oral presentation, 10%; five-page essay, 20%; 8-page research paper, 30%.

LAH 350 • Tech Change & Financ Crisis

30015 • Galbraith, James
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM CRD 007B
(also listed as T C 358)
show description

This is a class about the modern economic world: a world of change and  instability, of bubble and bust, euphoria and depression.  It is a world  driven by technology on one side and finance on the other -- and  increasingly aware of the larger geophysical environment.   Economics -- as a broad subject -- has not done a very good job of coping  with this world.  But some economists and other observers have, and here we  focus on the Keynesian, institutionalist and structuralist traditions,  mainly in 20th century economics. We will pick a number of major texts, and  a few minor ones, read them, and try to relate them to the issues of our  time.   This class is a seminar. It is not a lecture course. You are expected to  read material fully in advance. Come well prepared to discuss it and to  answer my questions.  Some of the readings are long. Search for the  important parts, skim the rest, but don’t forget to slow down and enjoy  some of the digressions.


Texts and Works:

Veblen:  Theory of Business Enterprise, or possibly Theory of the Leisure Class.

Imperial Germany. Schumpeter:  Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy

Keynes:  Economic Consequences of the Peace, Essays in Persuasion, General Theory

Ayres: Theory of Economic Progress

Galbraith:  The New Industrial State. Galbraith (fils):  The Predator State


Grading Policy:

The course will require detailed attention to readings, including notes that I will review on a weekly basis, and two papers, one short and one longer. Grading will be based

25% on notes

25% on class discussion

15% on the short paper

35% on the final paper.

About the Professor:

James K. Galbraith holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations and a professorship of Government at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin. He holds degrees from Harvard and Yale (Ph.D. in economics, 1981).

He studied as a Marshall Scholar at King's College, Cambridge in 1974-1975, and then served in several positions on the staff of the U.S. Congress, including executive director of the Joint Economic Committee. He directed the LBJ School's Ph.D. Program in Public Policy from 1995 to 1997. He directs the University of Texas Inequality Project, an informal research group based at the LBJ School.

Galbraith's new book is Inequality and Instability: A Study of the World Economy Just Before the Great Crisis (Oxford University Press, 2012). Previous books include The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too (Free Press, 2008), Created Unequal: The Crisis in American Pay (Free Press, 1998) and Balancing Acts: Technology, Finance and the American Future (Basic Books, 1989). Inequality and Industrial Change: A Global View (Cambridge University Press, 2001), is co-edited with Maureen Berner. He has co-authored two textbooks, The Economic Problem with the late Robert L. Heilbroner andMacroeconomics with William Darity, Jr. He is a managing editor of Structural Change and Economic Dynamics.

Galbraith is a member of the Lincean Academy, the oldest honorary scientific society in the world. He is a senior scholar of the Levy Economics Institute and chair of the Board of Economists for Peace and Security, a global professional network. He writes frequently for policy magazines and the general press.


LAH 350 • Tolkien And Morris

30000 • Birkholz, Daniel
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM PAR 310
(also listed as E 349S)
show description

E 349S  l  Tolkien and Morris-HONORS


Instructor:  Birkholz, D

Unique #:  35430

Semester:  Spring 2017

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors; Liberal Arts Honors

Computer Instruction:  No


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


Description:  An in-depth study of two key figures in the early history of English medieval-fantasy writing, with opportunties for individualized, cross-disciplinary research.  Tolkien is widely regarded as the single most influential writer in this genre, full stop; and he himself acknowledged his debts to his “Arts & Crafts” precursor Morris, a gifted polymath and major figure in a variety of cultural forms (from poetry, fiction, translation, and medieval scholarship, to architecture, design, printing, handicrafts, and politics).  We’ll read multiple works by both writers and do our best to understand them in the context of their times as well as from the perspective of various critical approaches arising since.  Expect lots of reading; engaged discussion; and unusual research.  No prior experience with the authors or “medievalist” literary study is expected, but student engagement and enthusiasm are highly desirable.


Texts:  J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (Houghton Mifflin), The Fellowship of the Ring (Houghton Mifflin), The Two Towers (Houghton Mifflin), The Return of the King (Houghton Mifflin), The Monsters & the Critics and Other Essays (Harper Collins).

William Morris’s The Wood Beyond the World (Inkling Books), News from Nowhere & Other Writings (Penguin Classics), The Defence of Guenevere & Other Poems, The House of the Wulfings (Inkling Books).


Requirements & Requirements:  (assignment specifics discussed in class; percentages approximate & subject to change)

Morris Paper (5-7+ pp.; prospectus, draft, revision), 20%; Morris Research Presentation (handouts/visual aids; synopsis; bibliography),20%; Tolkien Research Paper & Presentation (8-10+ pp.; prospectus, draft, revision), 40%; In-Class Performance (writing, discussion, engagement, preparation, process work), 20%; On-time Attendance (note: every absence beginning with #4 will reduce grade), Required; On-time Completion of Reading, Writing, Research, & Feedback Assignments, Required.


All assignments must be completed satisfactorily to receive any passing grade for the course.

LAH 350 • Treasure Hunt Hrc Arch Rsch

29960 • Lang, Elon
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CLA 0.122
(also listed as HMN 350)
show description

Have you ever wondered how letters, pictures, and other texts recovered from the past can change the telling of history? Have you ever wondered how a book, poem, play or film might have turned out differently? Have you ever wondered who or what gets left out of the narrative as stories about creative processes and stories about the past unfold? These are questions that humanities researchers can address by studying the materials preserved in archives and special collections around the world and that scholars from around the world come to study at the renowned archives at the University of Texas at Austin. As Prof. Tom Staley, former director of the Harry Ransom Center, writes, the mission of archives is to “attempt to create some order among the random remnants of history - the poetic fragment, the unfinished drawing, the unpublished novel, even the masterpiece; it is an attempt to bring the pieces of our human story together.”* In this course, students will discover, explore, and promote some islands of order that emerge from the vast cultural and historical collections at the Ransom Center and other archives on the UT-Austin campus, and learn essential skills for pursuing original research projects in humanities disciplines.


Some of the essential research skills students will develop in this course include:


  • How to form significant research questions about cultural objects and texts and primary source evidence in historical contexts
  • How to understand the nature and purpose of cultural archives like the Harry Ransom Center and historical archives like the Dolph Briscoe Center
  • How to find, access, and use physical archival material and digital collections published online
  • How to identify scholarly critical discourses and intervene in them
  • How to develop and refine analytical arguments through a process of research and archival discovery
  • How to scale research projects up from response papers to seminar-length papers to theses; and how to scale large projects down to fit into presentations, blog posts, or exhibits
  • How to use archival scholarship and online exhibit development to raise awareness about and give voice to marginalized or hidden populations, social groups, and cultural movements


This course is geared toward any upper-division student interested in refining his or her analytical writing skills while learning to research and interpret unique, rare, and valuable primary source materials in archives like the Harry Ransom Center and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. Students who are thinking about developing a senior thesis project in a humanities discipline—especially those who seek to discover a research topic and learn applied research methods—should find this course useful. The course will offer students a chance to explore cultural history via early books like the Shakespeare First Folio and unique artifacts of performance history from the perspective of 20th century actors like Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh. Students will have a chance to study the creative processes behind great works of literary art revealed in notebooks by poets from Walt Whitman to Anne Sexton to Billy Collins, or in the papers of famous dramatists and novelists like Tennessee Williams, Lillian Hellman, John Steinbeck, Julia Alvarez, Tim Obrien, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Students will have a chance to explore the history of the universal struggle for civil and human rights in the Sara Clark Collection on Social, Political, and Environmental Reform at the Briscoe Center, the Oliver LaFarge, Jessica Mitford, and Morris Ernst Papers at the Ransom Center, the League of United Latin American Citizens Archives at the Benson Library, and the Human Rights Documentation Initiative.


Students will develop archival research skills and multimodal writing skills through several guided research, analysis, and digital publication exercises led by the instructor, the Learning Programs Librarian at UT Libraries (Elise Nacca), and expert staff at the Harry Ransom Center and other on-campus libraries and archives. Students will then develop their own final research projects around materials in archival collections on campus that have little attention or research done on them, and that may align with, overlap, include, or take part in marginalized conversations in humanities and cultural studies: e.g. African American, LGBT, women, Mexican-American/Latin-American, first nations, etc.


(*read Prof. Staley’s full essay at


Assignments and Grading:

10%     Participation: including attendance, active engagement in discussions, meetings with instructor, and presentation of work to class

30%     Guided Research and Analysis Exercises: written up as response papers or blog posts to provoke class discussion, including critical responses to self-selected scholarly essays, books, and digital artifacts

25%     Midterm Research Project: an 8-12 page research paper and presentation on an “Island of Order” at the Harry Ransom Center (optionally collaborative)

35%     Capstone Independent Research Project and Final Presentation: Discovery and description of an item or set of items in an archival collection around which the student will build her or his own “Island of Order.” This will involve defending a scholarly claim about the interpretation of archival items in the context of documented history, thoroughly explaining the significance of that claim in a public-facing piece of multimodal writing, and then promoting that claim both in a live presentation and via social media.


Description of Class Format:

This class is designed as an undergraduate seminar experience. Therefore, attendance at class sessions, active participation in discussions, punctual submission of assignments, keeping up with readings, group collaboration, and meetings and private work outside of class (that may need to be scheduled to fit into limited reading room hours at the Harry Ransom Center and other archives) are mandatory and expected. That is to say, well beyond the 10% grade apportioned to general participation, your attendance, activity, and level of engagement with the class will factor into the grades for each assignment.

For the first half of the course, students will become oriented toward scholarly research in the University Libraries and learn about the nature of archives and the scholarly possibilities for archival research. While Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, Shakespeare, and other works of drama, fiction, and poetry may serve as unifying themes for this unit; students’ main objective will be to learn about archival theory and practice, and research goals and methods in the study of literary and cultural history. Short exercises and response papers will provide opportunities for students to reflect on these topics and to experiment with new analytical techniques. In this part of the course, students will utilize the amazingly comprehensive and connected collections at the Harry Ransom Center to see how “islands of order” can be formed around seemingly random collections of archival materials to enrich and advance the study of culture and the human experience. Students’ midterm research papers will explore and elaborate upon sets of collection materials and research paths recommended by the instructor and curatorial staff. For example, one “island of order” students might be able to explore at the Harry Ransom Center could be focused on The Diary of Anne Frank. In this project, students would analyze the Diary, research its publication history and the history of Nazi-occupied and post-war Amsterdam, and then use the Lillian Hellman Papers and related collections to research how Frank’s tragic story was turned into a Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning play. This could lead to a midterm project on the ways Frank’s book’s transformation into a cultural phenomenon affected the Western World’s perception of the Holocaust.

In the second half of the course, students will apply the skills practiced in the first half of the course to do research on underutilized archival materials on campus that need a voice. Students will work with Elise Nacca, the Learning Programs Librarian at UT Libraries, and staff at libraries and archives throughout campus to select a collection that needs attention and conduct sustained research on its holdings. Students will report frequently back to the class on their findings and will also learn how to use a digital content management and web publishing platform, like Omeka, Scalar, WordPress, or Weebly, for multimodal writing. Thus, rather than just producing and presenting a capstone research paper, students will develop a public-facing online exhibit. Through the process of researching, drafting, editing, presenting, and promoting this exhibit, students will have the opportunity to help develop UT’s own online cultural collections while also developing and showcasing valuable digital communications skills, honing their research skills, learning how to find real audiences for their work across different media networks, and discovering how humanities scholarship can be used to promote social justice and understanding.

The readings list below is very provisional. A major component of the work students will have to do for the course is to work with the instructor and their peers to figure out what they need to read in order to learn about a subject they’ll investigate in the archives. This is an essential skill any student needs to learn in order to become a competent and competitive critical thinker and researcher in the world today.


Selected readings may be drawn from: 


  Drama, Fiction, Poetry

Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

William Shakespeare, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Hamlet (selections)

Tennessee Williams, Streetcar Named Desire

Lillian Hellman, The Children’s Hour

Adrienne Kennedy, Funnyhouse of a Negro

Edgar Allen Poe, The Black Cat

Anne Sexton, The Black Art

Walt Whitman, Song of the Exposition

John Steinbeck, East of Eden


  Theory and Methodology

Jacque Derrida, Archive Fever

Matthew Reason, Documentation, Disappearance, and the Representation of Live Theater

W.K. Wimsatt and Monroe C. Beardsley, The Intentional Fallacy

James O’Toole and Richard Cox, Understanding Archives & Manuscripts

Maggie Gale and Ann Featherstone, The Imperative of the Archive: Creative Archive Research

Sheila Cavanagh, Gitanjali Shahani, and Irene Middleton, Engendering the Early Modern Archive

Wayne Booth, Gregory Colomb, and Joseph Willams, The Craft of Research

Kristen Arola, Jennifer Sheppard, and Cheryl E. Ball, Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects


Online resources:


  Archival Research Methods:


  Harry Ransom Center research guides:


  Human Rights Documentation Initiative:


  Benson Latin American Collection:


  Dolph Briscoe Center for American History:


  Fine Arts Library:


  Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO):



LAH 350 • Weaponry Of Words

30005 • Roberts, Daron
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WEL 4.224
(also listed as T C 325)
show description

Great Speeches: A Weaponry of Words 

“A good traveler leaves no tracks. Good speech lacks fault-finding.”

― Lao Tzu

“To talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but that an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop.”

― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 

“The pillars of a great speech are: clarity, brevity, levity and charity.”

― Ted Sorensen

Today, social media dominates the landscape of communication. This relatively new apparatus creates truncated messages aimed at grabbing the short attention spans of distracted users. Public speaking – articulating ideas through the spoken word in a powerful way – is a lost art.

This course examines the tradition of public speaking. We will literally start at Genesis (“Let there be light.”) and trek the landscape of rhetoric through antiquity into the 21st century. How have humans harnessed the sentiment of their time by leveraging the use of words to compel others to act? What makes a narrative resonate with the listener? Why do certain phrases stick in the collective psyche of society? From Lou Gehrig (“Today I am the luckiest man alive.”) to Jesse Jackson (“I am somebody.”), history’s best orators have wielded the spoken word with precision and poise. The ability to craft a stirring message is an essential trait for the aspiring leader. 

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) construction and delivery of a speech. 

Final grades will be calculated using the following formula: (1) short (double-spaced/3-4 pages) response papers – 35%, (2) final assignment – construction and delivery of a speech – 35%, and (3) class participation and attendance– 30%. There will not be a final examination. 


Our primary text for the course will be: 

Lewis Copeland et al., The World’s Great Speeches (1999)

We will watch online videos of great speeches to supplement our readings. 

University Policy:

"The University of Austin provides upon requestappropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-6441 TT

About the Professor:

Roberts is founding director of UT Austin's Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation that leverages the university's expertise in academics and success in athletics to change the culture at a time when national headlines remain focused on high-profile athletes' behavior and responsibilities. The first-of-its-kind program will build on the university's long-held philosophy of "winning with integrity."

As a lecturer in the College of Liberal Arts, Daron Roberts focuses on courses related to sports leadership, management strategy and disruptive innovation. He teaches two upper-division honors courses, "Leadership Strategy in Sports" and "Disruptive Innovation in Sports". Guests have included Lance Armstrong, Mack Brown, Dan Beebe, Suzanne Halliburton and Marion Jones. Roberts has held coaching positions with the Detroit Lions, West Virginia Mountaineers and Cleveland Browns, and is also a guest analyst with ESPN's Longhorn Network. 

He is a scholar-in-residence with the African American Male Research Initiative (AAMRI), a faculty-led academic initiative in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement rooted in evidence-based practices to promote academic excellence among African American males. His passion lies in working with first-generation college students.
More info on Prof. Roberts -


LAH 358Q • Supervised Research

show description

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)
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.

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.