College of Liberal Arts

Family Weekend

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September 23 - 25 is Family Weekend 2016!

Breakfast, Open House, and Mini-Classes with Faculty, Saturday, September 24.


Liberal Arts Breakfast & Open House

Saturday, 8:30 a.m.– Noon
College of Liberal Arts Building

Enjoy a complimentary breakfast with other families in the Glickman Conference Center on the first floor of the College of Liberal Arts Building. Throughout the morning you can visit information tables hosted by Dean’s Office advisors, UT and Liberal Arts study abroad, Liberal Arts Career Services, and Liberal Arts Parents’ League. There will also be information sessions presented by various offices and programs throughout the morning.

Information Sessions

9:00 a.m. Welcome from Randy Diehl, Dean, CLA 1.302 B
9:30 a.m. Advising Services, CLA 1.302 E
10:00 a.m. Liberal Arts Career Services, CLA 1.302 E
10:30 a.m. Liberal Arts Study Abroad, CLA 1.302 E
11:00 a.m. Liberal Arts Honors, CLA 1.302 B  (by invitation only for parents of Liberal Arts Honors students)

Mini-Classes with Faculty

College of Liberal Arts Building

Attend any of the six short courses that will be taught by some of the most talented faculty in the College. Classes are 40 minutes long and cover a variety of topics and issues. 2016 classes are:

9:30 - 10:10 a.m.

Dr. Bharath Chandrasekaran

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, and Department of Linguistics, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Language Learning as an Adult: Perspectives from Neuroscience

Have you ever wanted to learn a second language? Have you been put off by the popular belief that achieving native-like fluency is a near impossible task as an adult? In this talk I will a) discuss the advantages of learning a language as an adult, b) present evidence against the concept of a ‘critical period’ for language acquisition, c) discuss emerging neuroscience work that compares the learning strategies employed by successful and less successful language learners. I will argue that native-like fluency can be a realistic goal if training programs are tailored to the dynamics of the adult brain.

CLA 1.104

Dr. David Schnyer

Professor, Department of Psychology, Institute for Neuroscience

Psychology: What does the brain have to do with it?

Psychology as a discipline has been around since the later half of the 19th century, yet in just the past couple of decades the scientific literature has exploded with brain imaging studies of psychological phenomenon. What was lacking in the traditional behavioral approaches to studying mental states that demanded we turn to brain data? In this short course we will explore the philosophical, historical, and neural foundations of brain imaging and how we can apply imaging to study mental phenomena and mental illness.

CLA 1.106

10:20 - 11:00 a.m.

Dr. Donna Kornhaber

Assistant Professor, Department of English

Stop Watching Movies! And Start Reading Them.

Everyone knows how to watch a movie. But do you know how to read one? This class will introduce some of the basic terms and techniques of film analysis and will demonstrate how they can be used to interpret and critically analyze films. How can you identify different shot distances and why do they matter? What is mise en scène? What exactly does a cinematographer do anyway? Together we’ll answer these questions and more.

CLA 1.104

Dr. Shannon Cavanagh

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology

Zika, HIV, Ebola! How a population perspective helps us understand the reemergence of infectious diseases

In the midpoint of the 20th century, the general consensus among medical professionals was that infectious diseases no longer posed a significant threat to population health, especially in the global North. Still, a series of “spectacular” infectious disease have emerged over the past 40 years. Importantly, emergence of these diseases does not reflect a change in the microbe but instead a change in how we live. In this talk, I will discuss population level changes in human behavior that encourage an environment for infectious disease to thrive.

CLA 1.106

11:10 - 11:50 a.m.

Dr. Melissa Murphy

Senior Lecturer, Department of Spanish & Portuguese Director, Language Program

Language Change: Good? Bad? Inevitable?

Changes in the way our language is spoken and written often elicit strong criticism because of the belief that these changes represent deterioration. But are things really getting worse? Did our ancestors have better grammar? Was their vocabulary more expressive? The reality is that all human languages are constantly evolving. In this lecture I will present a few of the principal theories that address the causes of language change as well as the processes involved. Together we will explore several specific types of change and examine examples that highlight similar patterns found in various languages.

CLA 1.104

Dr. Eric Tang

Associate Professor, African and African Diaspora Studies Department, Department of Sociology, Center for Asian American Studies, Faculty Director, Community Engagement Center

Those Who Left: On Austin’s Declining Black Population

Although Austin is one of the fastest growing major cities in the United States, its African American population has been in steady decline for nearly two decades. From 2000 to 2010 African Americans were the only racial group in Austin to experience an absolute numerical decline during a decade of otherwise remarkable growth in the city’s general population. Moreover, no other fast-growing major city experienced a decline in African Americans during that same decade. Why are longtime African American residents leaving and where are they going? How are those who have resettled outside of Austin faring? This presentation explores these questions and, through the voices of displaced African American families, focuses on two primary forces that have led to the decline in Austin’s African American population: unaffordable housing and dissatisfaction with the city’s public schools.

CLA 1.106

Additional Information

Liberal Arts Parents’ League

Join the College of Liberal Arts Parents’ League today by filling out this quick online membership form. Parents’ League memberships are free.


Once registration opens, parking cards will be available for purchase.

Disability Resources

Disability resources at The University of Texas at Austin may be found here.


Maps of campus can be found here.

For more College of Liberal Arts information, please email Agnes Savich.