skip to contentThe University of Texas at Austin

Online Training

College of Liberal Arts

This caption describes the image above.

Lots of training options are moving online these days. They're convenient, require no travel or time off, and many of them are free and give you credit toward your certification!

Hemispheres offers short webinars year round through the Adobe Connect platform. Adobe Connect is easy to use, as it requires you, the viewer, only to have a web browser -- there is no additional software to download or install!

Archived Webinar Series

Many of our old webinars are archived and available for you to view (and sometimes you can still earn CPE for watching them. See details below!)

  • The Enigmatic Frida Kahlo: An Approach to Understanding her Work

    Tuesday, April 26, 2016

    4:30pm Central

     In this webinar, Patricia Ruiz-Healy will explore Frida Kahlo’s life - from her early childhood years, to the bus accident that changed her life, to her tumultuous marriage with Diego Rivera - and how it influenced her work as an artist. She will examine how Freud and other theorists of her time also influenced Kahlo’s paintings and led to her self-portraits that were a reflection of her own reality. Finally, she will examine why, after nearly 60 years after Kahlo’s death, the public remains enraptured with her work.

     Patricia Ruiz-Healy holds a Master's Degree in Art History from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has done postgraduate work in London, England at Sotheby's Institute of Art and Courtauld Institute of Art, and is the author of the recently published book, Mathias Goeritz. Ruiz-Healy is currently a PhD candidate at The University of Texas at Austin where she is completing a Doctorate in Latin American Studies, with a concentration in Art History.  She is the proprietor and director of Ruiz-Healy Art, a contemporary art gallery located in San Antonio, Texas and New York, New York.

    Access the recording here.

    From Peter to Putin: The Enduring Myth of Saint Petersburg

    Wednesday, March 9, 2016
    4:30 PM Central
    with Dr. Thomas Garza

    When Peter the Great founded his new Russian capital in 1703, the imagined and forced city of St. Petersburg became the center of Russian art, architecture, and literary culture for the next 200 years. During that time, the city and its denizens became part of a “myth,” a collection of legends and tales connected to the image of the city in cultural texts and in the collective Russian consciousness. This presentation traces the development of the Petersburg Myth in the literary works of the great writers (including Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tsvetaeva), art (Benois, Kramskoi and “The Wanderers”), and architecture (Rastrelli, Rossi, Quarenghi), focusing on the creation and perpetuation of this salient phenomenon in Russian national culture. We will examine cultural products (literature, art, film) that represent various perspectives on the Myth, and bring its relevance right up to the 21st century and one of Petersburg’s most (in)famous native sons, Vladimir Putin.

    Access the recording and materials here.

    The Qur'an, Art & Architecture 

    Thursday, February 25, 2016
    4:30 PM

    Over Islam's first few centuries a new style of art and architecture was developed that was intended to keep core principles in mind through the expression of repeating patterns (representing eternity), and a non-iconic style of art emphasizing the beauty of heaven and earth. But just how do art and architecture reflect the values of Islamic societies throughout the ages?

    This presentation will take a look at some notable examples you're probably familiar with, including some of the world's most iconic buildings—the Taj Mahal, the Alhambra in Spain, and Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock.

    We'll also look at some aspects of Islamic art throughout the ages that may surprise you, including Islamic devotional painting depicting Muhammad, and the prominent placement of a mosaic of the Virgin Mary on one of the world's oldest mosques.

    Access the recording and materials from the webinar here.

    Nectar in a Sieve (India)

    January 22, 2016
    4:30 PM

    This webinar will discuss the themes of rural poverty, colonialism, religious traditions and role of women in India present through the novel Nectar in a Sieve
    Nectar in a Sieve is a 1954 novel by Kamala Markandaya that depicts the story of a simple peasant woman, Rukmani, who was married as a child bride to a tenant farmer and their struggles to care for land and loved ones during times of poverty and disaster. The novel is set in India during a period of intense urban development and the speaker will expand on the historical context for the book’s setting and it’s impact. 
    Aniruddhan Vasudevan is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at University of Texas at Austin. Aniruddhan is also a performer, write, and activist from Chennai, India. His research focuses on gender and sexuality politics in India specifically LGBT rights activism in Chennai. 

    Watch at:

  • South Asian Religions

    The South Asia Institute at UT Austin hosted a four part webinar series based on South Asia Religions. This webinar series is geared toward teachers for social studies and language arts educators at the middle and high school level (others are welcome to tune in, too!). It addressed Texas and national teaching standards that examine the relationships among religion, philosophy, and culture and the development of major world religions. Webinars covered the South Asian religious traditions of Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Presentations covered their historical emergence as well as important ideas and practices that emerged out of them.



  • Introduction to SW Asia and North Africa

    Intro to Mid East Webinar #1 (January 31, 2013)

    This webinar introduced the southwest Asia / North Africa region and discussed why the region is popularly known as "The Middle East."  It looked at the demographics of the region, and discussed some of the social and political pressures that led to the Arab Spring.

    Intro to Mid East Webinar #2: (February 14, 2013)

    This webinar divided the Middle East into seven smaller cultural sub-regions and discussed the history and unique features of each.

    Video clips used in the Presentation:

    The language videos for Arabic, Persian, and Turkish that were showed can be accessed through the Listen2Learn project at UCLA:
    (For the record: UCLA did this on a grant to support the learning of "Islamic languages" - we would love to find something similar for Hebrew; if anyone knows of a good resources, please let us know!)

    The Hajj-Ritual of Purity video is on Vimeo and can be downloaded.
    Videos that can not be downloaded but are worth viewing include:

  • Accordion 4
    Panel 4. Add body text in this space.
  • Accordion 5
    Panel 5. Add body text in this space.
College of Liberal Arts

This caption describes the image above.

´╗┐Holidays and Festivals Around the World

This 3-part webinar was based on our popular training "Festivals and Holidays Around the World."  This series was geared toward teachers of the 6th grade contemporary world cultures in Texas (others are welcome to tune in, too!). Festivals covered included Baisakhi, Carnaval, Diwali, the Hajj, Maslenitsa and Yom Kippur.

Archives of two of the webinars are available:

Part 1: Ramadan and Baisakhi: 

Part 3: Carnival and Maslenitsa: 

Webinar logo

This caption describes the image above.

´╗┐Bridging the Physical and Human Experiences of Africa

Bridging the Physical and Human Experiences of Africa is a project to improve the abilities of K-12 educators to provide rigorous levels of instruction about Africa, aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS).

Webinar 1: Trans Saharan Trade and the Spread of Islam into sub-Saharan Africa

presenter: Christopher Rose, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UT-Austin 

What economic and social forces led man to first cross the Sahara, and what technical innovations did it require? (Hint: it has four legs and a hump). We'll talk about the origins of Trans-Saharan trade, and Islam's impact on the human geography of sub-Saharan Africa.

Webinar #2: Africa's Infectious Disease Ecology

Presenter: Nikki Williams

Why does the African continent seem to carry a disproportionate amount of the world's infectious disease burden? Disease transmission requires interaction among population, environment, and behavioral factors. We will investigate past and present determinants contributing to the prevalence of cholera, schistosomiasis, ebola, malaria, and other diseases endemic throughout Africa.