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The Humanities Program

HMN 102T • Design A Path

30195 • Mayhew, Linda
Meets W 4:00PM-5:00PM RLP 2.606
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Description:
In this course, students will design their Humanities contract of courses and write their personal statement. The course will also cover the research process and academic writing. 

Prerequisites:

For Humanities majors. 

Grading Method:

Letter Grade 

Hours: 1


HMN 350 • Treasure Hunt Archival Rsch

30200 • Lang, Elon
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CAL 221
CDIIWr (also listed as LAH 350)
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Course Description:

Have you ever wondered how letters, pictures, records, 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 stories we learn about the past? 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“attempt to create some order among the random remnants of history - the poetic fragment, the unfinished drawing, the unpublished novel, even the masterpiece; it is an attempt to bring the pieces of our human story together.”* In this course, students will discover, explore, and promote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 archives on the UT-Austin campus including the Ransom Center, the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, and the LLILAS Benson Latin American Collection. In the process, students will learn essential skills for pursuing original research projects in humanities disciplines and learn how to apply these skills to bring public attention to hidden histories and marginalized voices in our culture. 

(*read Prof. Staley’s short essay at http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/2000/islands/Islands2.html) 

Objectives:

This course is designed to provide any student with (or approaching) upper-division standing the opportunity to refine his or her analytical writing skills while learning to research and interpret unique, rare, and valuable primary source materials using UT’s world-class historical and cultural archives. 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 very useful.

Students will develop archival research skills and multimodal writing skills through several guided research, analysis, and digital publication exercises led by the instructor, the Head of Information Literacy Services at UT Libraries (Elise Nacca), and other expert staff at on-campus libraries and archives. Students will then develop their own capstone research projects around lesser-used materials in archival collections on campus that provide windows into marginalized conversations in humanities and cultural studies: e.g. those involving African American, LGBTQ, women, Mexican-American/Latin-American, first nation, etc. voices.

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

  • Learning how to use archives as research tools
  • Performing effective document and object analyses and primary source transcriptions
  • Defining, designing, and articulating research questions suggested by primary source analysis
  • Learning how to put primary source analysis into conversations with secondary scholarship
  • Refining secondary source research strategies to discover how to stake out original claims in a scholarly discourse
  • Learning how to recognize the power relations at stake in archiving and exhibiting practices
  • Developing a collaborative exhibit in which each researcher has an independent voice and can pique the interest of knowledgeable general audiences
  • Using a web-design tool and content management system to create public-facing scholarship
  • Building metadata to make public scholarship easily discoverable
  • Promoting ones own work revealing hidden histories using social media

While exercising these skills, students of the course will learn how to explore cultural history via rare early books like the Shakespeare First Folio and unique artifacts of performance history such as a James Wilkes Booth promptbook or objects like Marlon Brando’s address book. 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 Radclyffe Hall, and 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, Terrence McNally 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.

 

 

 


HMN 358Q • Supervised Research

30205
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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 HMN 358Q may be applied towards college honors. Course may be repeated.


HMN 370 • Senior Tutorial Course

30210
II
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A tutorial program of supervised reading and writing, including an individual paper or papers in which the student draws together the central directions and discoveries of his or her studies in the humanities. Humanities 370 and 679HB may not both be counted.

Prerequisite: Consent of the humanities adviser.


HMN 379 • Conference Course

30215
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Individual instruction in a topic approved by the instructor and the humanities adviser.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and consent of the humanities adviser.

Hour(s) to be arranged. May be repeated for credit.


HMN 679HA • Honors Tutorial Course

30220
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Directed reading and research, followed by the writing of a report or the creation of a project. Humanities 370 and 679HB may not both be counted.

Prerequisite: For 679HA, admission to the Humanities Honors Program and consent of the humanities adviser; for 679HB, Humanities 679HA.

Class meets Thursdays 3-4p in PAR 214.


HMN 679HB • Honors Tutorial Course

30225
IIWr
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Directed reading and research, followed by the writing of a report or the creation of a project. Humanities 370 and 679HB may not both be counted.

Prerequisite: For 679HA, admission to the Humanities Honors Program and consent of the humanities adviser; for 679HB, Humanities 679HA.

Class meets Thursdays 3-4p in PAR 214.