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Program in British Studies

British Studies at the University of Texas

The British Studies program at the University of Texas at Austin was created in 1975. The program sponsors public lectures in English literature, history, and government, and conducts a weekly seminar open to faculty members, graduate students, undergraduates, and members of the Austin community. British Studies also provides visiting scholars at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center an opportunity to talk on the subject of their research, and encourages discussion among participants in the program. All of the humanities and social sciences are represented, although literature, history, and political science are emphasized. Additionally, each semester British Studies awards a number of Churchill Scholarships to both undergraduates and graduate students.

British Studies has published five books, including Adventures with Britannia, a collection of representative lectures given to the seminar, and three sequels, More Adventures with Britannia, Still More Adventures with Britannia, and yes, Yet More Adventures with Britannia. In the fall of 2005, British Studies published Burnt Orange Britannia, a collection of autobiographical essays by UT faculty, staff, and friends to the British Studies seminar.  In 1991 British Studies sponsored a major international conference that reassessed the life and work of Winston Churchill. The Oxford University Press published a volume based on the conference papers called Churchill, which has been re-issued as a Clarendon Paperback and is recognized as a classic work throughout the world.

British Studies includes a Junior Fellows program consisting of about thirty assistant professors who meet weekly to discuss teaching and research as well as topics in the field of British Studies. A British Studies graduate course—the first of its kind co-sponsored by the three Departments of English, History, and Government—meets in conjunction with the British Studies seminar on Friday afternoons. Themes within the scope of British Studies might be Scottish or Indian, Welsh or Jamaican, English or Australian, Irish or Nigerian. “The interaction of British and other societies”, according to Roger Louis, the Director of British Studies, “is an endlessly fascinating subject.”