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Liberal Arts Honors

LAH 103H • The Ideas Of Civic Engagement

29410 • Musick, Marc
Meets M 4:00PM-5:30PM GAR 0.102
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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 • Afr Am Fam: Hist/Contem Cntxt

29424 • Pikus, Monique
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CBA 4.342
(also listed as AFR 372D)
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From the time of slavery when their marriages and families were not recognized to the present where many are considered pathological, African American families have been under almost constant attack in the United States. Yet, a close examination of the changing African American family in the United States does not demonstrate its pathology but rather its resilience and adaptability to societal constraints. In this class, we will examine how African Americans managed to maintain a sense of family from the time of slavery to the present trend of mass incarceration. We will analyze how different perspectives on gender, race/ethnicity, social class and the family have been applied to African American families. In addition, we will discuss the importance of single parent and multigenerational households, extended family, fictive kin and the entire community in raising African American children. Finally, we will critique and evaluate the impact of the portrayal of African American families in academic research, politics, and the media.



LAH 350 • Archival Fictions

29550 • Cvetkovich, Ann
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 210
(also listed as E 360S)
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E 360S  l  7-Archival Fictions-HONORS


Instructor:  Cvetkovich, A

Unique #:  35070

Semester:  Spring 2018

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors, Plan I Honors

Computer Instruction:  No


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


Description:  This course will focus on contemporary fiction inspired by the archival remains of actual historical events, with the larger aim of exploring literature’s value as a forum for cultural memory and public history.  We will begin with the use of fiction to explore the Holocaust (via Sebald’s Austerlitz) and the absent archive of slavery (via Toni Morrison’s Beloved).  The course will also draw significantly on the role of fiction in the historical archive of queer sexuality, through texts such as Monique Truong’s The Book of Salt, which imagines the queer life of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas’s Indochinese cook, and Alison Bechdel’s graphic narrative, Fun Home.  We will also take up the literature of 9/11 through Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, as well as how histories of colonialism and the Americas are represented through a specific focus on the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean in Diaz’s Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.  We will consider how this literature’s historical concerns are also global ones that touch on a range of geopolitical regions beyond the U.S., including Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia.


Another aim for the course will be to provide honors students with critical tools and frameworks, including historical and archival research, for writing theses about contemporary fiction.  The course will also look at the role of contemporary writers as public intellectuals who help create counterhistories and new public cultures, and students will report on additional literary texts of interest to them and their representation in the popular media.  In addition to reading the novels themselves, we will likely do some secondary reading in the areas of archive theory, affect theory, history of the novel, and narrative theory.


Texts (tentative):  Toni Morrison, Beloved; W.G. Sebald, Auschwitz; Monique Truong, The Book of Salt; Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; Alison Bechdel, Fun Home; Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.


Requirements & Grading:  35%, 1 long research paper (10-15 pages, including proposal, draft, revision, and peer review); 35%, 3-4 short assignments (a report on a contemporary novel, an archive assignment, short papers on the readings in preparation for the longer paper); 30%, regular discussion posts to Canvas} and class participation.

LAH 350 • Complex Emergen Human Act

29425 • 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, the global refugee crisis, Ebola in west Africa, or some hurricanes in the Atlantic.) 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 recent and contemporary cases from different regions, and seminar members will also explore specific elements of emergencies in their essays.

Readings and reference materials

Source material for this subject is voluminous, varied and invariably interesting.

We will use David Keen’s Complex Emergencies ({Polity Press 2008) to help anchor our early class discussions and debates. It will be available for purchase before the term begins. For those who are interested, two additional volumes will be available for purchase: Elizabeth Ferris’s, The Politics of Protection (Brookings Institution 2011); and Didier Fassin and Mariella Pandolfi’s edited collection, Contemporary States of Emergency (Zone Books 2013).

Most of our reading (and some viewing) will be based around academic studies, current and historical news reports, participant testimonies, websites, videos, blog sites and case studies.

Prerequisites for enrolling

This seminar is intended for upper division students. Previous experience in this field is not required; all seminar members should have completed University prerequisites in Government and History.

Course requirements

Our seminar will be successful if everyone attends every class, prepares carefully, and participates actively. The subject is constantly changing, and our collaborative work will help to further our collective understanding of the problem of complex emergencies.

Written work will be graded on the basis of clarity, structure organization, quality of argument, familiarity with class material, and improvement as we all become more comfortable with the subject.

Clearly drafted memoranda responding to each week's readings will be due by noon each Monday (posted on Canvas); everyone is expected to review all of these short memos before class on Tuesday, with written responses to each other's memos assigned on a rotating basis.

Tw carefully crafted papers (approximately 2500 words in length) will be assigned during the semester. (50% of the course grade)

Attendance is required.  Seminar members are expected to participate actively in every class session, lead class discussions as designated (including reporting on written assignments), and work together as needed to further our collective conversation. (50% of the course grade.)

Seminar members are required to meet with me individually during the course of the semester to discuss classroom and written assignments.

Honor code and academic integrity

The core values of the University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Each member of the University is expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect toward peers and community. Should you have any questions regarding University policies concerning academic integrity, please visit the website of the Office of the Dean of Students:


The University provides, on request, appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. Students for whom such services are needed should contact -- at the beginning of the semester -- the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities. (512-471- 6259:

 Religious holidays

The University requires students to notify instructors at least fourteen days prior to a pending absence due to religious observance. If you must miss a class, an assignment or a project in order to observe a religious holiday, you will be given an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence.

Emergency evacuation policy

The Office of Campus Safety and Security (512-471-5767: ( recommends the following safety practices: When a fire alarm is activated, please evacuate the building, assemble outside and follow instructions from the faculty; do not re-enter the building until instructed by the Austin Fire Department, the UT /Austin Police Department or the Fire Prevention Services office. Please familiarize yourself with the closest exit doors in the building. Should you need assistance for possible evacuation, please inform me during the first week of class.



LAH 350 • Decolonizatn Of Brit Empire

29530 • 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.

Grades are determined by attendance and participation in discussion (25%) and the quality of the final research paper (75%). 

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




LAH 350 • Drama Of Jamestown

29430 • Wojciehowski, Hannah
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM PAR 214
(also listed as E 350E)
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E 350E  l  The Drama of Jamestown: HONORS


Instructor:  Hannah Wojciehowski, Professor

Unique #:  35025

Semester:  Spring 2018

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  English Honors, Plan I Honors

Computer Instruction:  No


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


Description:  This upper-division Honors course will explore the early history of British colonialism in North America through representations of English expeditions to Roanoke, Plymouth, and Jamestown that were penned by leading playwrights, poets, intellectuals, soldiers-of-fortune, and first-hand witnesses.  Students in this course will study a wide array of texts that provide multiple, often conflicting accounts of the Virginia Company, its various investors, and the participants in the highly risky voyages to the new colonies, as well as the British colonial project itself.  We will focus on the myth and reality of Pocahontas and John Smith, the lethal conflict between the British and the Algonquian natives of Virginia, the so-called First Starving Time at Jamestown, and the establishment of slavery in British America.


This course is designed for students wishing to acquire a deeper understanding of British and U.S. history and culture, together with new perspectives on the foundation myths of both empires, which are still very much in circulation; and an awareness of the continuing impact of events during this period of history (ca. 1588-1619) on our world today.  It is also designed to analyze the history and culture of the Virginian Powhatans, both before and after contact with the English at Jamestown; to understand how the conflicts between the Natives and the Europeans unfolded during the earliest years of the colony; and to discover the sequence of events leading up to the 1619 establishment of African chattel slavery in the colony.  The course aims to teach students to think historically and to conduct historical/literary historical research at an advanced level.  Finally, the course aims to develop students’ writing skills in preparation for the completion of the senior honors thesis.


The texts we will read are riveting, often mind-bending, and truly rewarding to study in depth.  The payoff will be high, but only with a significant commitment of time and interest from students who take the course.


List of Primary Sources:  Harriot, A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia; Chapman, Johnson, Marston, Eastward Ho; Shakespeare, The Tempest; Drayton, “Ode to the Virginian Voyage”; Chapman, The Memorable Masque; Ben Jonson, Vision of Delight; Francis Bacon, Masque of Flowers; William Crashawe, “Dedication”; Haile, ed., The Jamestown Narratives; Strachey, True Reportory of the Wrack; Jourdain, A Discovery of the Bermudas; James I, A Counterblaste to Tobacco; Pocahontas [1995 Disney film].


List of Secondary Sources:  Gunn Allen, Pocahontas: Medicine Woman, Spy, Entrepreneur, Diplomat; Kupperman, The Jamestown Project; Rountree and Turner, Before and After Jamestown: Virginia’s Powhatans and their Predecessors; Gallivan, James River Chiefdoms: The Rise of Social Inequality in the Chesapeake; Hashaw, The Birth of Black America: The First African Americans and the Pursuit of Freedom at Jamestown.


In addition to these primary and secondary sources, students will be assigned additional secondary readings, which will be gathered into two course packets.


Requirements & Grading:  50% of each student’s grade will be related to a final research project, written in the following stages:  prospectus and preliminary annotated bibliography:  10%; first draft (10 pages): 15%; final draft (15-20 pages): 25%.


Additional assignment will include an oral report and PPT presentation on one of the readings (10%), two exams (15%) each, and quizzes (10%).

LAH 350 • Ethical Issues/ Med & Society

29435 • Brown, Virginia
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM ETC 2.102
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This course takes a critical approach in understanding, analyzing, and evaluating health and health care in the 21st century.  Students will develop an understanding of 1.) the social factors at play in relation to disease and illness, 2.) the rise of the medical industrial complex, 3.) while learning how issues of power underlie ethical dilemmas in both medicine and society.  Students will be introduced to the theory and application of Principalism in order to develop a foundation in ethical reasoning. Through course readings, interactive lectures, special guest lectures, and case analysis, students will be able to recognize and develop a response to ethical issues confronting individuals, communities and clinicians alike. 


The Sociology of Health, Illness & Health Care, 7th Edition, Rose Weitz, and

Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 13th Edition, Tom L. Beachamp and James F. Childress (selected chapters)


LAH 350 • Film Theory

29439 • Kornhaber, Donna
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 210
(also listed as E 344L)
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E 344L  l  Film Theory-HONORS


Instructor:  Kornhaber, Donna

Unique #:  34980

Semester:  Spring 2018

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors; Plan I Honors

Computer Instruction:  No


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


Description:  Since the early decades of the twentieth century, scholars and filmmakers alike have sought to develop a theoretical understanding of the cinema as a cultural institution and an art form, attempting to determine what Jean Mitry calls “the essential components of cinematic expression … that define the rules of its existence.”  This course offers a survey of the major developments in film theory, providing an introduction to the leading theorists of the twentieth century and to the primary themes and movements within film theory.  At key points throughout the semester, significant theoretical works will be paired with representative films—those that directly inspired major theoretical works, that are directly analyzed by a major theorist, or that in some other way exemplify a particular branch of film theory.  Major movements and theorists to be covered include Formalism (Eisenstein, Pudovkin), Structuralism (Mitry, Balazs), Post-Classicism (Bazin), Film Philosophy (Deleuze, Cavell), Neoformalism (Boardwell), and Psychoanalytic, Marxist, and Feminist criticism (Zizek, Debord).  As an Honors Seminar, students will be expected to engage at length in writing with the theorists being studied.  Additionally, students should expect to reflect directly on some of the major topics of film theory themselves, offering their own theoretical approaches to selected films.


Texts (tentative):  The Film Theory Reader; other texts to be provided by the instructor.


Films (tentative):  Bicycle Thieves, The Searchers, Breathless, Tree of Life, Vertigo, Jaws, There Will Be Blood, Fight Club, Her, The Grand Budapest Hotel.


Requirements & Grading:  Attendance and participation: 10%; two short essays (7 pages each): 25%+25%; one long essay (12 pages): 40%.

LAH 350 • Hitler/Nazism/World War II-Hon

29450 • Crew, David
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM CLA 2.606
(also listed as HIS 376G)
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How was an obscure, unemployed Austrian, who never rose above the rank of corporal in the German army, able to become the leader of a mass political movement which overthrew the most democratic political system Germany had ever known? Why did Germany begin the most devastating and brutal war in world history just two decades after having lost the First World War? Why did the Nazi state systematically murder 6 million Jews? How did the implementation of Nazi plans for a “racial empire” affect the lives of millions of Europeans during the Second World War? And what is the legacy of the Third Reich, for Germany today? These are the primary questions addressed by this course.

Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
David F. Crew, Hitler and the Nazis. A History in Documents (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005)[also available on-line at the PCL as an e-book]
J. Noakes and G. Pridham(editors), Nazism. A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts, 1919-1945 (University of Exeter Press Edition: Volumes 2 &3)
Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz
We are also going to be working with the images at these two web-sites: and

A distinctive feature of this course is the fact that we will be working extensively with original documents, in translation. This will give you a more direct and immediate connection to the past, will allow you to experience, at first hand, the language and ideas of the period. It will also allow you to engage directly in the process of interpretation. Rather than simply ingesting the arguments of historians who write about the Nazi period, you  will have the opportunity to analyze the "raw materials" with which historians themselves work. The first and second document essays will ask you to comment on the meaning and significance of several documents(or parts of documents) assigned for the class. You will be given a copy of the document(s) which will be clearly identified for you (i.e. author, date, place). These are, therefore, not identification quizzes; your job is rather to write an essay in which you show why the particular documents are important in terms of the larger history of the period from which they derive and what they tell us about that particular phase in the rise or development of Nazism.

    Your general participation in class discussions (i.e. attendance + involvement) counts for 20% of the overall grade. There will be a take-home mid-term document essay (5-6 pages, 20% of the final grade).There is no final exam per se but you will have a second take-home document essay (5-6 pages, 20% of the final grade). You will also be asked to write one short essay on any one of the books by Remarque or Levi (4-5 pages, 20% of final grade). Finally, you will be asked to write two  brief (2-3 page) analyses of the visual evidence(photographs, propaganda, election posters, etc.) discussed in class and/or those that are available on the web-sites listed above. Each of these two assignments is worth 10% of the final grade. I will be using the full range of +/- grades.

LAH 350 • Human Place In Nature

29455 • 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.  Some choose words of disgust and fear.  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, the Romantic Revolution, Transcendentalist self-rediscovery, and the American frontier--still influence our views today.  As counterpoint and critique, we will look beyond these traditions at Native American, Latino, and African 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.


Full-Length Books  (available at UT Coop):

Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854)
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac (1949)
Edward Abbey,  Desert Solitaire (1968)

Selections, Chapters, Articles  (available as Course Packet at UT Copy Center, McCombs School of Business, GSB 3.136 ….or on Canvas)

Bible – Genesis
Roderick Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind (1967)
William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647
William Wordsworth, selected poems (1807)
Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful (1757)
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nature” (1836)
Henry David Thoreau,  “Walking” (1863), The Maine Woods, “Ktaadn” (1864)
John Muir,  My First Summer in the Sierra (1911); “Wild Wood,”  “God’s First Temples,”
        “A Wind-Storm in the Forests,” “Hetch Hetchy Valley”
John Burroughs, “The Art of Seeing Things” (1908)
Frederick Jackson Turner, “On the Significance of the Frontier in American History” (1893)
Luther Standing Bear, Land of the Spotted Eagle (1933)
Rachel Carson, The Edge of the Sea (1955) and Silent Spring (1962)
Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (1974)
Bill McKibben, “The End of Nature” (1989)
Jamaica Kincaid, “Alien Soil” (1993)
William Cronon, “The Trouble with Wilderness” (1995)
Arturo Longoria, Adios to the Brushlands (1997)
Louis Owens, “Burning the Shelter” (1998)
Evelyn White, “Black Women and the Wilderness” (1999)
Joseph Bruchac, At the End of Ridge Road (2002)
bell hooks, “Earthbound: On Solid Ground” (2002)


Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for our Time (2011) (in class)
Into the Wild (2007) (out-of-class, date TBD)


  • 14 Weekly response papers (via Canvas), min. 700 words each – drop two lowest scores (30%)
  • 2 Tests (30%)
  • Final “exam” consisting of one last response paper (min 1500 words) about the most meaningful thing to you in the course (20%)
  • Attendance and class participation (20%).  Some classes may be held outside.


Response papers provide you the freedom and space to respond critically to what we are reading.  They provide a way for you to be engaged with the course readings in a consistent, meaningful way without the burden of formal structure.   Find a quote, passage, or idea in the week’s reading that truly excites you.  You might love it, or hate it.  It might delight, sadden, or infuriate you.  Maybe it just piques your curiosity or challenges something you’ve always held to be true.  It might incite you to roll your eyes, or to takes steps to change your life.  Articulate what effect the passage or idea has and why you respond the way you do.  On a few occasions in the semester you will be encouraged to be more creative and do your own nature writing or photography or other activity.  Regardless of topic, entries are expected to be insightful, organized, relevant to the course, and grammatical (including spelling, complete sentences, etc.).  There are 14 total assignments, but I’ll drop the two lowest scores (so plan accordingly).

Deadlines:  Every Monday (starting Jan. 23) by beginning of class (10:00 a.m.).  The one exception is the week after spring break, where the due date is Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. 

Grading:  12 entries x 25 pts each = 300 pts (30%).  Journal entries submitted Monday after 10:00 a.m. will automatically receive a 2.5 pt (10%) deduction.  Each day late thereafter is an additional 10% reduction.  Entries will be graded using the following rubric:  the level of insight and analysis given to the topic at hand (10 pts); course relevance --the quote, passage, or idea is clearly identified by author and page number and the discussion stays relevant to a course on nature and the themes we are discussing (5 pts); organization and comprehensibility --the extent to which the entry is logically arranged, effective, and easy to understand (5pts); and mechanics --grammar, spelling, complete sentences, sentence structure, etc. (5 pts).

Requirements:  Each journal entry should be approximately 700 words (as a minimum) and submitted to Canvas (upload a document). 

Tests will consist of quote identification (by author), the significance of a passage (short answer), as well as short essay-type questions.  Both tests are in-class.  The first test covers the first half of the course, and the second, the second half. 

Grading:  2 tests x 150 pts each = 300 pts (30%)


There is no comprehensive final exam.  What will count as your final is a longer, richer response paper about the most meaningful thing to you in the course.  The word count should be at least 1500 (20%). 

Deadline:  The official exam time at UT for this section
  1 exam x 200 pts  = 200 pts (20%).  As with journal entries, a final submitted after this time will automatically receive a 10% reduction in grade; additional 10% reductions will occur each day thereafter.  Grading will be similar to that for journal entries with added weight to insight and analysis.


Regular attendance and active class participation are required in a humanities seminar such as this.  You are expected to have read the reading for the class meeting in question and to be ready to actively engage in discussion about it.  We frequently discuss issues in pairs or small groups, but you will also be called on individually.

Attendance:  100 pts (10%).  Three absences—a full week— are allowed (no questions asked).    Beyond this, each absence counts as a 10 point deduction, no matter the reason.  PLAN CAREFULLY.   Tardiness:  Classes only last 50 minutes, so arriving 10 minutes late means you missed 20% of the day’s class.  Two tardies are allowed; beyond this each tardy counts 2 points for every 10 minutes you are late.  Attendance is expected at the one out-of-class movie (schedule to be arranged with class).  Absences beyond 100 pts will begin to deduct (10 per day) from Participation points.

Participation:  100 pts (10%).  You are expected to actively engage in discussion, ask questions, etc., but quality of discussion counts as much as quantity.  I will call on you directly for answers or thoughts.  At mid semester I’ll give you an idea of how you are doing.
Leading Class Discussion:  Each student will be expected to lead class discussion once during the semester.  This may be done individually or in pairs (TBD).  You will be expected to stimulate class discussion by posing a question or problem to the class that comes directly from the reading for that day.  You then might have a follow-up question or two depending on the responses.  You are not expected to lead the discussion further.


A = 93-100%; A- = 90-92%; B+ = 87-89%; B = 83-86%; B- = 80-82%; etc.  Grades are based on 1,000 possible points as outlined above.


LAH 350 • In Search Of Meaning

29540 • Adams, Michael
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CBA 4.340
(also listed as HMN 350)
show description

This is a course that asks a lot of questions. And it questions all the answers. Ifyou 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 • Inqlty In The US Educ Sys

29460 • Pikus, Monique
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CBA 4.342
(also listed as SOC 321K)
show description

Course Description

For centuries many have seen the United States as the land of opportunity. Free public education is often seen as one of the key pillars of opportunity in the U.S. Yet, the quality of public education varies greatly depending on the neighborhood and characteristics of the student. In this class, we will examine how inequality has developed and is maintained within the American public education system. We will learn and critique existing theories of educational inequality such as meritocracy, stereotype threat, and oppositional culture. Next, we will explore the effect of students’ traits on how they interact with and experience school in the U.S. Race/ ethnicity, gender, social class, and special educational needs are just a sample of the attributes that we will investigate. In addition, we will pay particular attention to the role of school funding and residential segregation in maintaining disparities in educational quality. We will conclude by exploring current efforts to combat inequality within the public education system through school choice, magnet programs, accountability campaigns, community-based school reform, and other efforts.

Course Objectives

It is my hope that students will set their own goals for the course. Nevertheless, by the end of the course, all students should be able to:

1)    Analyze existing theories of educational inequality.

2)    Understand the different relationships between inequality, education, and students’ characteristics.

3)    Recognize the mechanisms through which inequality is perpetuated within the U.S. public education system.

4)    Outline and critique existing reform efforts to reduce educational disparities within the U.S. public education system.                                                                                

5)    Be able to communicate orally and in writing the complexity and difficulty in developing reforms designed to eliminate inequality among all students within the American public education system.

Course Requirements

Class Participation (20%). I believe that learning is an interactive sport. Therefore class participation is critical to the success of the course for the class will consist mainly of guided discussion with brief lectures as needed. Students are expected to attend every class on time prepared to discuss the materials assigned for that date. Students are allowed two unexcused absences without penalty. However, students’ class participation grade will decrease with each additional absence.  Students are also expected to participate fully in any class activities that occur. Finally, peer review (50% of participation grade) is an important part of the class. Students are expected to provide written feedback and a rating in Canvas on fellow classmates’ school reform proposal presentations. In addition, students will be divided into small peer review teams and provide written feedback on each other’s first position paper.  

Position Papers (25%). Writing is an essential way to assist students in engaging in the reading materials on a deeper level. Students are required to write four 700-800 word essays in Canvas summarizing and responding to the major argument(s) of the readings. Students are required to revise one of their position papers based on the feedback provided by their peer review team and the instructor. The total number of position papers submitted will be four original and one revised paper.

School Reform Proposal and Presentation (Total: 55%). It is not only important to understand the disparities within the current public education system, but we must also try to develop solutions to these problems. Therefore each student is required to write their own school reform proposal based on independent research of one of the many school reform efforts discussed in class (or one approved by the instructor).

Abstract and Annotated Bibliography (10%). Students are required to submit a 500 word abstract of their school reform proposal in which they briefly outline the theories to be examined, the proposed school reform, and how it will alleviate inequality for at least one traditionally disadvantaged group. The abstract will include an annotated bibliography (50 word summary each) of at least 5 outside sources.

 Revised Abstract and Annotated Bibliography (5%). Students will submit a revised abstract based on the instructor’s feedback.

 Presentation (10%). Students will give a 10 minute class PowerPoint/Keynote presentation of their school reform proposals. Presentation slides should be posted to Canvas by 5pm the day before the class presentation. Presentations will be evaluated based on classmates’ written feedback and rating (50% of grade) on a form provided in Canvas and the instructor’s evaluation (50% of grade).

 Final Proposal (30%). Students are expected to complete an 8-10 page double spaced school reform proposal. The proposal should develop the theories outlined in the abstract, describe the school reform effort they support, provide evidence of the effectiveness of their proposed reform, and explain how their plan will alleviate inequality for at least one traditionally disadvantaged group. The proposal should also incorporate the presentation feedback provided by fellow classmates and the instructor.

 Grading Scale

Final scores will be rounded to nearest whole number.

100 – 98


77 – 72


97 – 92


71 – 70


91 – 90


69 – 68


89 – 88


67 – 62


87 – 82


61 – 60


81 – 80


59 – 0


79 – 78








Classroom Decorum

            Academic freedom is a hallmark of higher education. In this class, we will discuss opposing viewpoints on difficult topics. Some students may find these opposing views personally offensive. All students should feel free to voice opinions in a respectful manner without fear of reprisal. Perspectives should be combatted with evidence. Personal attacks will not be tolerated in this class. Finally, confidentiality is a requirement of this course. Students are not allowed to record, discuss with non-classmates, and/or post on social media classroom discussions or negative opinions of fellow students.

 Writing Flag

“This course carries the Writing Flag. Writing Flag courses are designed to give students experience with writing in an academic discipline. In this class, you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you may be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your written work. Writing Flag classes meet the Core Communications objectives of Critical Thinking, Communication, Teamwork, and Personal Responsibility, established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.” (Retrieved August 15, 2017:

 Policy on Academic Integrity

“Students who violate University rules on academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and / or dismissal from the University. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students, and the integrity of the University, policies on academic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. For further information, please visit the Student Conduct and Academic Integrity website at:” Retrieved August 15, 2017:

Students with Special Needs

“Any student with a documented disability who requires academic accommodations should contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 471-6259 (voice) or 512-410-6644 (Video Phone) as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations.” (Retrieved August 15, 2017:

Course Readings

Book List

All books are available for purchase at the University Co-Op.

David, Jane L. and Larry Cuban. 2010. Cutting Through the Hype: The Essential Guide to

School Reform Revised, Expanded, and Updated Edition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Grubb, W. Norton. 2009. The Money Myth: School Resources, Outcomes, and Equity. New

York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation. (Also available online from UT libraries.)

Lareau, Annette. 2011. Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life with an Update a

Decade Later (Second Edition). Berkeley, CA: University. (Also available online from UT libraries.)

Lewis, Amanda E. and John B. Diamond. Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality


Thrives in Good Schools. 2015. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Rosenthal, Robert and Lenore Jacobson. 2003. Pygmalion in the Classroom: Teacher

Expectation and Pupil's Intellectual Development, Second Edition. United Kingdom: Crown House Publishing, Ltd.


Article List

Links to all articles are provided on Canvas.

Education Theory

Collins, Randall. 1971. “Functional and Conflict Theories of Educational Stratification.”

American Sociological Review 36, 6: 1002-19.

Lamont, Michele and Annette Lareau. 1988. “Cultural Capital: Allusions, Gaps and

Glissandos in Recent Theoretical Developments.” Sociological Theory 6, 2: 153-168.

Steele, Claude. 1997. “A Threat in the Air: How Stereotypes Shape Intellectual Identity and

Performance.” American Psychologist 52, 6:613-629.

Turner, Ralph. 1960. “Sponsored and Contest Mobility and the School System.”

American Sociological Review 25: 855-67.

Individual Characteristics and the Education Experience

Buchmann, Claudia, Thomas A. DiPrete, and Anne McDaniel. 2008. “Gender Inequalities in

Education.” Annual Review of Sociology 34: 319-337.

Cervantes-Soon, Claudia G., Lisa Dorner, Deborah Palmer, Dan Heiman, Rebecca

Schwerdtfeger, and Jinmyung Choi. 2017. “Combating Inequalities in Two-Way Language Immersion Programs: Toward Critical Consciousness in Bilingual Education Spaces.” Review of Research in Education 41: 403-427.

Chin, Aimee, N. Meltem Daysal, and Scott A. Imberman. 2013. “Impact of Bilingual Education

Programs on Limited English Proficiency Students and Their Peers: Regression Discontinuity Evidence in Texas.” Journal of Public Economics 107: 63-78.

Collins, Patricia Hill. 2015. “Intersectionality’s Definitional Dilemmas.” Annual Review of

Sociology 41: 1-20.

Else-Quest, Nicole M., Concetta C. Mineo2, and Ashley Higgins. 2013. “Math and Science

Attitudes and Achievement at the Intersection of Gender and Ethnicity.” Psychology of Women Quarterly 37, 3: 293-309.

Hibel, Jacob, George Farkas, and Paul Morgan. 2010. “Who is Placed into Special Education?”

Sociology of Education 83, 4: 312-32.

Kosciw, Joseph G., Neal A. Palmer, and Ryan M. Kull. 2015. “Reflecting Resiliency: Openness

About Sexual Orientation and/or Gender Identity and Its Relationship to Well-Being and Educational Outcomes for LGBT Students.” American Journal of Community Psychology 55: 167–178.

Ladson-Billings, Gloria and William F. Tate IV. 1995. “Toward a Critical Race Theory of

Education.” Teachers College Record 97, 1: 47-68.

Oh-Young, Conrad and John Filler. 2015. “A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Placement on

Academic and Social Skill Outcome Measures of Students with Disabilities.” Research in Developmental Disabilities 47: 80–92.

Ngo, Bic and Stacey J. Lee. 2007. “Complicating the Image of Model Minority Success: A

Review of Southeast Asian American Education.” Review of Educational Research 77, 4: 415-453.

Pang, Valerie Ooka, Peggy P. Han and Jennifer M. Pang. 2011. “Asian American and Pacific

Islander Students: Equity and the Achievement Gap.” Educational Researcher 40, 8: 378-389.

Pritchard, Eric Darnell. 2013. “For Colored Kids Who Committed Suicide, Our Outrage Isn’t

Enough: Queer Youth of Color, Bullying, and the Discursive Limits of Identity and Safety.”  Harvard Educational Review 83, 2: 320-345.

School Characteristics & Inequality

Ansalone, George. 2010. “Tracking: Educational Differentiation or Defective Strategy.”

Educational Research Quarterly 34, 2: 3-17.

Logan, John R., Elisabeta Minca, and Sinem Adar. 2012. “The Geography of Inequality: Why

Separate Means Unequal in American Public Schools.” Sociology of Education 85, 3: 287–301.

School Reform

Prado, Jose and Jeffrey Montez de Oca. 2014. “Waiting for Superman: Neoliberal Educational

Reform and the Craft of Filmic Direction.” The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies 36: 274–297.

LAH 350 • Kipling And Wilde

29465 • Hoad, Neville
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM PAR 310
(also listed as E 349S)
show description

E 349S  l  Kipling and Wilde--Honors


Instructor:  Hoad, N

Unique #:  35005

Semester:  Spring 2018

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors, Plan I Honors

Computer Instruction:  No


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


Description:  In this class, we will read selections of two of the most important British writers of the second half of the nineteenth century:  The “Anglo-Indian” writer, Rudyard Kipling, and the “Anglo-Irish” writer, Oscar Wilde.  We will read their respective major novels, Kim and The Picture of Dorian Gray, paying particular attention to how these novels embrace and resist the conventions of the bildungsroman, alongside excerpts from their biographies (Ricketts and Ellmann), their various children stories, as well as some poems, and representative journalism.  While loosely contemporaries, (Wilde was roughly a decade older than Kipling) their literary and political projects diverged, particularly as Kipling aged.  We will contextualize their literary works in relation to British aestheticism, particularly the work of Ruskin and Pater, the rise of the British empire, contemporaneous social and political debates and their relation to the Victorian gothic and questions of realism.


The honors version of this course will strongly encourage students to incorporate primary historical and manuscript materials in their final research papers.  We will spend a day perusing the Wilde holdings at the Harry Ransom Center and the Victorian popular periodicals at the PCL.  The focus of the class will be comparative and contextual, and students will further be expected to assess the state of criticism around both authors today, in order to help prepare them to write historically informed and analytically rigorous honors theses that reflect and engage the scholarship of our present moment.


Requirements & Grading:  1 Class presentation and seminar participation 20%; 2 reading response papers (3-4 pages) 30%; 1 final research paper (10-12 pages) 50%.

LAH 350 • Paper Chase: Law Schl, Life

29475 • Levy, Mark
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM CLA 2.606
show description

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 • Philanthropy/Nonprofit Orgs

29480 • Paxton, Pamela
Meets MW 9:00AM-10:30AM CBA 4.340
show description

Charitable giving in the United States topped 370 billion dollars in 2016, and over 70% of those dollars came from individual giving. Is this money well spent? Unfortunately, only some charities are effective. This course will cover the scope and diversity of the nonprofit sector, as well as individual patterns of giving and volunteering.  A significant portion of the course will focus on providing students with the tools and skills to evaluate charitable programs for effectiveness using social scientific techniques.

Based on their own evaluations, students will have the opportunity to distribute significant funds, at least $25,000 (provided through The Philanthropy Lab and individual donors), to charitable organizations. Students will be placed into groups that will do extensive research on a category of nonprofits, ultimately deciding which charities will receive funds through discussion and debate.

LAH 350 • Photography/Amer Culture

29485 • Abzug, Robert
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CLA 0.124
show description


             This LAH Seminar will investigate the importance of photography in the United States in relationship to changing currents in America society and culture. We will explore the history of the medium, from 19th century daguerreotypes and wet plate to digital imaging; the relationship between photography and American history, especially in relation to popular culture, social depiction, and war. We will be especially interested in photographic works that attempt to represent the essential nature of America and American life.

            In addition to considering how others have photographed American life, students will have the opportunity to make their own photographs. Any camera or cell phone with the capacity to take pictures will do for equipment. The idea is to study photography as practiced by others and experience the challenge of photographic depiction by actually applying what has been learned and creating an 8-10 image photographic exhibit on a theme, one that includes an “artist’s statement” about your methods and approach to the particular subject you have chosen. We will have an exhibit of this work on the final day of class. Refreshments served. Berets and black turtlenecks may be worn. Friends may be invited.

Some Possible Reading Selections:

Miles Orvell, American Photography

James Agee and Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography

Robert Frank, The Americans

Stephen Shore, The Nature of Photographs: A Primer

Susan Sontag, On Photography

In addition, we will view original photographs at the Harry Ransom Center and books on reserve at the Fine Arts Library.

 Assignments and Requirements

  1. Periodic short, 3-5 page papers on readings and class discussions.
  2. Photographic essay, images and text, to be shared with class as a final assignment.
  3. Unfailing attendance and participation in seminar meetings.

LAH 350 • Pope Francis's Cath Church-Ita

29490 • Theriault, Sean
(also listed as GOV 379S, T C 358)
show description


This program offers the unique opportunity to explore first-hand the history and politics of papal succession and church policy in Rome, Italy. Specifically, we will concentrate on Pope Francis, the Holy See, the Vatican, and the world that it serves. The course will introduce, describe, and analyze how the Church makes its decisions and why. In addition to a regular classroom schedule, we will visit the great churches of Rome, meet with the Princes of the Church, and observe the church's far-reaching influence. By the end of the course, students will have developed an understanding of the Church as a historical, religious, and political organization. Local program staff in Rome will organize orientation and housing and support students throughout the program's duration.

The deadline to apply for this program is Nov. 1, 2017. More information including application instructions can be found here:

ENROLLMENT NOTE: Students who enroll in this class and are not accepted into the Maymester progarm will be dropped from the course in January.  Students may enroll in a full course load (12-17 hours) in addition to the 3 hour Maymester course as the Maymester course is not counted against total registration hours.

LAH 350 • Race & Gen In Pub Policy

29494 • Vohra, Shetal
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM CBA 4.342
show description

This course explores the overt and covert representations of race, ethnicity, and gender issues in public policy. The class acquaints students with the process of policy development and the multiple factors that influence its content, implementation, and consequences. In addition, the course will focus on the history and theoretical perspectives on race, ethnicity, and gender as it relates to current policies.

Course Objectives:

At the completion of the course, each student must be able to demonstrate their ability to:

1.     Identify and describe current and historical public policies by race, ethnicity, and gender;

2.     Critically evaluate the process through which race, ethnicity, and gender issues become integral parts of public policy development at state, federal, or local levels;

3.     Utilize alternative theoretical frameworks as the basis for critically analyzing the development, content, and outcomes of public policy;

4.     Apply various methods [qualitative and quantitative] for evaluating the different effects of public policies on different populations, distinguished by race, ethnicity, and gender;

5.     Critically evaluate select policies issues in such areas as health, mental health, criminal justice, voting, education, income, and employment;

6.     Develop a plan for participating in and influencing public policy to promote social and economic justice.

Course Requirements:


  The Behavioral Foundations of Public Policy    Editor: Eldar Shafir; Princeton University Press    

  Policy Paradox  Deborah Stone

  Mapping “Race”: Critical Approaches to Health Disparities Research.  Editors: Laura E Gomez and Nancy Lopez

  Delgado, R. and Stefancic, J. (2012) 2nd Edition. Critical Race Theory: An Introduction New York University Press

  Smith, C. (2013) Writing Public Policy.

Presentation: Each student will present at the end of the semester on their chosen policy topic. Students should have established an area of policy research through the submissions of the three policy briefs.

Course Points: 40%

Students can work individually on a topic of their selection or with a partner or group. Students will present an overview of their completed work in the latter weeks of the course.

Policy Briefs:  Each student must complete 3 policy briefs or court case reviews in the course during the semester. An outline of a policy brief and course case outline will be provided by the instructors. The policy or court case selected should correspond to the student’s specialized area of interest. Where possible, the policy briefs or court case reviews can help support the major end-of-course paper. Copies of different approaches to the writing of policy briefs are included on the Blackboard site for the course.

Course Points: 30% [5 points for 1st brief; 10 for 2nd; 15 for 3rd]

Course Discussion: Participation in Discussion: Ongoing

Each week the class will examine a specific policy or current policy issue as a means of increasing familiarity with the structure of policies and ability to quickly identify content. Each student must participate in the overall discussion in class of the subject matter. Input should be based on readings, news items, lecture, experience, and theory. Student input should show a progression in quality over the course of the semester. Within a relatively brief period of time each student should be willing to take increasing levels of intellectual risk to challenge established theory, put life experiences in a theoretical frame of reference, place controversial societal issues in a conceptual framework, and identify gaps and holes in theory. Course Points: 30%

Course Evaluation: Students will be asked to evaluate and contribute to improving the course by providing feedback on readings, lectures, discussions, assignments, syllabus, or structure of the course. The evaluations are pertinent to our ongoing efforts to improve the course.

Final Paper Outline

The course paper is the student’s opportunity to expand their knowledge of a specific public policy or court case and its effects in the area of their interest during the course. It is best to build on the prior briefs and readings that have been done in the area of choice rather than focus the paper on an entirely new area.

The expected maximum length of the paper is less than 25 pages. However, the instructor will read and evaluate any papers that exceed that length. The focus of the paper must be in one of the areas of the course and correspond [generally] to the following outline. You can adjust the outline to fit your particular interests.

  1. Introduction – (Why did you select this policy?) Policy Title/Name
  2. Statement of the Problem(s) Addressed by the Policy 
  3. Scope, Dimensions, History, and Current Data about the Problem 
  4. Identification and Background of the Policy and History – Prior Policies & Cases
  5. Review of the Literature – Could focus on the problem and policy/Should                  include an example of quantitative or qualitative methods
  6. Applicable Policy Theory
  7. Content [Descriptive] Analysis of the Policy Using any Method of Your Choice
  8. Critical Analysis of the Policy –

(1)   What are the strengths and weakness of the policy?

(2)  Any development or implementation issues?

(3)  Any unexpected outcomes?

(4)  How does the policy address social justice issues, i.e. Does this policy fairly apply to the public regardless of gender, ethnicity, poverty, age, disabilities, or sexual orientation?

(5)  Recommendations for Change/Improvement in the Policy

(6)  Bibliography

LAH 350 • Reacting/Revolutionary Ideas

29495 • Mayhew, Linda
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM CBA 4.340
show description

This course will use the popular “Reacting to the Past” curriculum to introduce students to the philosophical ideas and texts surrounding revolutions through historical role-playing.  We will explore pre-revolutionary Russia using the game “Literary Journals, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy in St. Petersburg, 1877”, then consider political and cultural tensions in the Hundred Days of Reform, Beijing, 1898, in “The New is Strong.” Finally, we will move forward in time to a revolution in progress, playing “Mexico in Revolution, 1912-1920.”  We will take an interdisciplinary approach in both games, considering ideals of justice, equality, art, and the use of violence in connection with revolution.

In 1877 Saint Petersburg, we will study the connection between literature and politics within the context of the pre-revolutionary debate under Tsar Aleksandr II.  While Slavophiles sought to preserve Russia’s cultural, religious, political traditions, Westernizers and Populists called for reforms to the current system.  Our game will focus on how these opposing perspectives play out among the intelligentsia and in the popular literary journals of the time.  Editors of literary journals will seek out aesthetically pleasing works, while also publishing a variety of non-fiction articles, sometimes carrying political subtexts designed to escape the attention of censors.  To create a successful journal, they must uphold their political agenda while competing for the work of popular writers, such as Dostoevsky and Tolstoy.  Writers will contend for publication space in literary journals amidst the intellectual divides between Westernizers, Slavophiles, and Populists. As players – writers, editors, censors, and secret police – consider the role of literature in society, they will also debate political issues such as the Tsar and the monarchy, social classes and peasants, religion and the Russian Orthodox Church, and the role of women and the family in society.  The most successful journals will shape Russia’s literary and political future.

The New is Strong, set in Beijing, 1898, addresses the pull between traditionalism and modernizations as the Guangxu Emperor weighs reforms to education, military, social and cultural practices, and the infrastructure.  While everyone in the game wants reform in these areas, there will be debate about how radical and extensive these reforms should be.  The Guangxu Emperor has asked for advice, but his level of influence is questionable.  Some argue that the Empress Dowager Cixi is really the one in power and will be influencing the proposals for reform from afar.

Our Mexico in Revolution, 1912-1920 game will explore similar issues in a different context, transporting players to tumultuous Mexico City during the Revolution. Although the game begins in March of 1912, Mexico has been at varying levels of chaos and instability since Francisco I. Madero called for revolution in November 1910. Porfirio Diaz, long-standing president (some say dictator) of Mexico, was forced into exile in May of 1911, and Madero has been in the office of the presidency since November of that year. The country is far from stable, as Madero's ability to rule effectively has been questioned and undermined--by foreigners and Mexicans alike--from the day he took office. Even some who rallied behind his cry of "Effective suffrage, no reelection" have begun to criticize him and question his dedication to his campaign promises, such as land reform. Amidst the violence and chaos of the Revolution, players will grapple with socio-political ideologies such as Comtian Positivism, Social Darwinism, Agrarianism, Anarchism, Social Catholicism, Feminism, and Liberalism as they make decisions concerning federal versus state government power, land reform, labor reform, suffrage, women's rights, religious reform, foreign investment, and education reform. Throughout the process of negotiating Mexico's future, they must keep the questions of how to establish a national identity (relative to cultural and historic memory) and stabilize the country. 

This class will require you to participate actively in debates, defending your character’s perspective (even if you personally disagree with it) and questioning the values of your opponents. 


For the Dostoevsky and Tolstoy Game:

  1. Mayhew, Literary Journals, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy in St. Petersburg, 1877 [Referred to as the “Game Book;” available digitally or as a course packet from the printer)
  2. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, trans. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky  (You MUST use this translation!)
  3. Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, trans. Rosamund Bartlett (You MUST use this translation!)

For the New is Strong Game:

  1. Walden, The New is Strong: The Hundred Days Reform in China, 1898 [Referred to as the “Game Book;” available digitally or as a course packet from the printer)

For the Mexican Revolution Game:

1. Truitt and Slaughter, Mexican Revolution, 1912 – 1920 [Referred to as the “Game Book;” available digitally or as a course packet from the printer)

For Writing:  Hacker, Diana Rules for Writers, 6th Edition (Bedford/St.Martins) Recommended

REQUIREMENTS:  Your course grade will be based on the following: 

(1) Class Participation  (30%).  This includes pre-game discussion, classroom debates, and representing your character’s perspective and objectives.

(2) Written Work  (70%).   Your grade here will be based on six writing assignments (speeches, newspaper articles, poems, or whatever written expression that enables you to persuade your fellow students) totaling about thirty pages.



LAH 350 • Sicily: Myth/Reality/Mafia

29500 • Carter, Daniela
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM HRH 2.112
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At the cross of the Mediterranean, placed at the most strategic location, Sicily has been the coveted island of Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Spaniards. These diverse civilizations contributed to the creation of a Sicilian culture that is unique in its richness and complexity. The course will briefly survey the artistic traces left by those civilizations placing them in dialogue with the present Sicilian reality they contributed to create. From the Greek temples of Agrigento and Segesta through the Byzantine mosaics of Palermo and Cefalù, the baroque Spanish churches, to the lush colors of Guttuso’s paintings, the course will try to tie together the visual images of Sicily with its literary and filmic expressions.  Major historical and social phenomena such as Mafia, Italian unification, sexual mores will be discussed through the texts of Verga, Pirandello, Sciascia, Tomasi di Lampedusa, and films by Petri, Visconti, Germi, Taviani brothers, Giordana, Crialese, Amenta.



Verga, Giovanni: selected short stories on Canvas

Pirandello, Luigi: Selected short stories on Canvas (please, print them for class discussion, since laptops, iPhone, iPads should not be used in class)

Tomasi di Lampedusa, Giuseppe: The Leopard

Brancati, Vitaliano: Don Giovanni in Sicily

Sciascia, Leonardo. The Day of the Owl

___________ Parts of Sicily as Metaphor


Amenta, Marco: The Sicilian Girl

Pietro Germi: Seduced and Abandoned

Traviani Brothers: Kaos

Crialese, Manuele: Respiro

Marco Tullio Giordana: The One Hundred Steps


LAH 350 • Tech Change & Financ Crisis

29525 • Galbraith, James
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM CRD 007A
(also listed as T C 358)
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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 • Treasure Hunt Hrc Arch Rsch

29510 • Lang, Elon
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CAL 21
(also listed as HMN 350)
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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

LAH 358Q • Supervised Research

(also listed as AAS 318Q, AAS 358Q, HMN 358Q, WGS 358Q)
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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 LAH 358Q may be applied towards college honors. Course may be repeated.

LAH 679TA • Honors Thesis

(also listed as LAH 679TB)
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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.